Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 3 in Taiwan

This is our third week of this adventure here in Taiwan. The festival has started and we had our first show on Saturday.

It was great to get the show finished and present it to the public. A huge relief off everyone's shoulders. The first presentation was a little challenging because there was a typhoon and the stage had to be mopped and dried before we went on. Luckily the stage was covered so we didn't get drenched while performing. The audience however stood loyally under their umbrella's eager to see our show. It was exciting to perform for hundreds of people despite such a storm! The fire performing has been the highlight for most as I don't think they see that very often here.

We continue to work with the community tea
ms for their performance in the upcoming parade August 21st. My favorite experience was working with the professional dance team. It was a groupe of 30 girls between the ages of 9 and 12 years old. They are trained in traditional chinese dance so they were very easy to work with. They presented their choreography to me and then we took bits of a
nd pieces of it and transformed it into something that could be done while moving. They are trained to use ribbons (similar to rhythmic gymnastics). It was a new experience for me to work with such a large group of well trained dancers. This is something I would like to do again...even if communication was difficult at times (my chinese is still....ahh.....err in progress ;)

Now I am working with employees of city hall to create a choreography for the parade. There are 12 men and 12 women. Jeff has been working with the men to teach them very complexe staff moves, and I have been working on movement configurations with the 12 women using fire torches. Tomorrow we will integrate the two choreographies to make one.

At night time we perform one of four shows. On the weekends we perform our hour long 'main show' on the main stage, and throughout the week we do a more improvised street show on 'monkey street'. Lots of fire!!!!

On Monday we went to a beach 1 hour north of here to go surfing. I got stung by a jelly fish and am still recovering! The beach was beautiful though and it was great to get in the water. I am looking forward to coming back to Taiwan someday to explore.

Every day seems to be a new unpredictable day. The scenery is amazing and the people are so kind. It feels very safe here. I will have 1 or 2 days to travel before I go home so I am looking forward to exploring the North west coast of the island and also visiting Taipei. Through working with the community teams my chinese gets a little better every day.

Just learning people's names in challenging because of the tones, however I enjoy this challenge and hope to come back to Taiwan again someday for another project.

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