Taiwan art troupes take center stage at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Five Taiwan performance troupes are set to star at next month's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, continuing the country's participation for the fourth consecutive year in what is widely considered one of the largest art festivals in the world.

Chen-wei Lee and Art B&B, Co-coism, Kuo-shin Chuang Pangcah Dance Theatre, Puppet Beings Theatre and Sun Son Theatre will delight festival-goers at venues Dance Base and Summerhall in the Scottish city with an eclectic array of art forms spanning folk customs, modern dance, puppet arts and theater, according to the Ministry of Culture July 10.

MOC Secretary-General Chen Ji-min said the diverse nature of this year's troupes offers an accurate snapshot of the creativity and vibrancy of Taiwan's performing arts sector. It is expected that the shows will open the door to more opportunities for local artists and administrators to collaborate with their counterparts from abroad, he added.

Chen-wei Lee and Art B&B will deliver modern dance piece Together Alone. Featuring two performers in constant physical contact, the expressive physical interaction illustrates the intimacy and limitations in a relationship.

Similarly thought-provoking is Co-coism's Ever Never, a fast-paced theatrical performance about passengers on a plane revisiting significant moments in their lives. The interplay between past and present draws the curtains back on the joys, passions and tragedies of the characters.

Also mining the deep vein of emotion is Kuo-shin Chuang Pangcah Dance Theatre's 038. The modern dance piece encapsulates the anxieties and uncertainties faced by indigenous people in the 21st century as they deal with geographic separation from their hometowns and tribal communities. It also sensitively portrays the journeys of these people as they seek out their identities, roots and connections with Mother Nature.

Equally introspective is Puppet Beings Theatre's The Backyard Story. Through the use of traditional and modern techniques, the laundry on the lines in two envious neighbors' backyards comes to life. The eye-opening exchanges evoke memories of childhood while hammering home the message that healthy communities are founded on compassion and respect.

Also containing a strong societal message is Sun Son Theatre's Heart of Darkness. The complex piece about the life of an elderly woman slowly being swallowed by the anonymity of time involves dance, folk customs, instrumental performances, rituals and theater. It is the brainchild of renowned Taiwan choreographer Low Pei-fen, and was inspired by her grandmother.

The 2017 edition of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which runs Aug. 4-28, is special in that it marks the 70th anniversary of the event. Organizers anticipate an increase on last year's 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows, making it one of the highest-profile international platforms for artistic exposure.

Source: Taiwan Today