Four Taiwan art troupes to perform at Avignon festival

A diverse selection of Taiwan art troupes are set to perform at this year's Festival Off d'Avignon taking place July 7-30 in France, marking the 11th year that local performers have appeared at the event, the Ministry of Culture announced.

The troupes will stage four performances. Tjimur Dance Theatre and Shu-Yi and Dancers featuring renowned choreographer Tien Hsiao-tzu will perform As Four Step and The Hole, respectively, Formosa Circus Art will showcase its skills with How Long Is Now? while Puppet and Its Double Theater will put on a show titled Mr. Ruraru's Yard.

According to MOC Department of Cultural Exchange Director-General Samuel S. K. Wu, in the 11 years that Taiwan has participated in the Festival Off d'Avignon, a total of 36 art groups have showcased 51 pieces. He added that such experiences can help Taiwan art groups to explore future international collaborative projects.

Tjimur Dance Theatre, founded in 2006, is the first Taiwan contemporary dance company dedicated to creating performances inspired by the culture of Taiwan's indigenous Paiwan people. As Four Step is based on an ancient Paiwan dance and performed to the sounds of ancestral worship melodies.

The Hole is a modern dance piece choreographed and performed by Tien Hsiao-tzu alongside four members of the Shu-Yi and Dancers company, established in 2011 to explore experimental dance techniques.

Formosa Circus Art's How Long Is Now? is a new take on traditional circus acts that replaces conventional props with everyday objects such as buckets, coat hangers, mops and plungers. According to the circus, the goal of the performance is to examine whether mankind designs objects to accommodate life or if people's lives are shaped by the things around them.

Mr. Ruraru's Yard, by the Puppet and Its Double Theater, is a contemporary puppet show about an old man. It carries the message that generosity brings greater joy than selfishness.

Founded in 1947, Festival d'Avignon is considered one of the most prestigious art events in France. The Off section of the festival was introduced in 1968 to incorporate avant-garde and spontaneous performances at informal venues such as theater schools, streets and restaurants.

According to the festival's official website, last year's Avignon Off program brought together over 1,000 companies from around the world and featured over 1,400 performances.

Source: Taiwan Today