Where are you KC? On the Road Pt 1

November 13, 2012

Where are you right now?

By invitation from the Minister of Culture, l am in Taipei, Taiwan, to visit artists and view their work. On my first day, l met international presenters from France, Belgium and Portland, USA. We
traveled together visiting artists in various environments starting with one of the jewels of Taiwan, the U Theatre. Their studio is high in the mountains so we drove most of the way up a long windy
road and then walked the remainder of the way to their outdoor mountain theatre. The rain was falling softly as we headed up the mountain path with the wonderful smell of tropical rain and the sounds
of nature coming to life. We were welcomed in true Taiwanese style with tea and treats while watching U Theatre?s rehearsal (see drummers in the photo collage above). The drumming and dance mixed
with being in the mountains, so connected to nature, felt magical and transformative.   Our days were long and interesting as we drove all over Taipei visiting various artists in many different
locations. We spent a few days atHuashan Creative Park an old abandoned factory that local artists were instrumental in transforming into a cultural centre: 
  The Huashan Living Arts Festival was playing in Huashan so we attended a number of performances including dance, puppetry, music and family shows. Here l met the new generation of dancers from
Cloudgate, another jewel of Taiwan. Their work is fresh, exciting and energetic.
What was your number one highlight? One of the most exciting works l saw was Mix, created and performed by emerging artists who are recent graduates from dance, gymnastics and circus school. They
created a show that was exciting, creative, highly energetic, funky and fun. 
What lessons were learned from this trip? The Taiwanese people incredibly hospitable l was so well taken care of by Shin Yi who organized the itinerary and escorted us everywhere along with her
* Hospitality includes delicious tea and excellent food from exquisite fish dishes at the Traditional Japanese Teahouse to the traditional food in a local restaurant in Yi-Lang.
* The flowers in Taipei are stunning everywhere l went l found a variety of beautiful flowers, in particular orchids.
* The Temples are works of art and the Taiwanese have a God of Culture and a God of Theatre. Read Part 2 of Katharine’s trip to Taiwan.