Made in Asia?!
As an independent initiative of National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), Taiwan Dance Platform aims to create a space for cross-border exchange. The 2016 program, entitled “Whose Steps are we Following?” explored the complicated relationship between influence, originality, and the search for cultural identity. After a two-year hiatus, the Platform returns this November with a bold statement “Made in Asia?!” and shines a spotlight on the clash and the merging of the East and the West. From November 4th to 11th, performances, workshops, film screenings, and talks will take place in Weiwuying’s brand new performing arts complex.
Beyond geography, what does Asia represent in the 21st century? What does it mean to be “made in Asia”? As the continent has become the land of opportunities in recent decades, Asian arts and popular culture have also made their marks in the West. Yet there remains a gap between Asian artists’ self-perception and Asia in the eyes of the West. By navigating this intricate web of history, geography, and culture, Taiwan Dance Platform’s 2018 program examines the many aspects of the Asian identity and pieces together a new definition of Asia.
As dancers make sense of the contemporary society through their senses, movements, and the body’s relationship with space, they must find a way to engage with traditions and subvert them at the same time. In the modern age, information flows in lightning speed and memories are short-lived, and our mind and bodies are constantly charging forward. Dancers, by drawing our attention to the body and its movement, help the rest of us achieve clarity and keep our footing among the enormous, unforgiving tidal wave that is time. They peel away the familiar and reveal the foreign, and vice versa; they prove that the “self” is infinitely fluid and differences generate new energy.
For eleven days, dancers, choreographers, and critics from near and far gather at Weiwuying to present a wide-array of exciting events. They come from Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Israel, Hungary, France, England, and Spain. Some of their works test boundaries of conventions, some are contemporary classics that have captivated audiences worldwide, some are interactive pieces that accentuate Weiwuying’s unique performance spaces, and some are works by emerging artists making their debut.
We aim to create a comprehensive support system for Taiwanese artists and offer resources through all stages of their creative process, from research, development, production, to marketing and promotion. Since its inception, Taiwan Dance Platform has formed many lasting international partnerships, through whom we reached new audience and facilitated artists’ exchanges, as well as shared our resources. Aerowaves, an online hub that promotes emerging European choreographers, has been one of our closest collaborators. The organization has provided a platform for Taiwanese artists in Europe, and Weiwuying regularly introduce new European talent to the Taiwan audience. Other partners include Hong Kong-based Asia Network for Dance (AND+), Bora Bora Residency Center in Denmark, France’s Centre de développement chorégraphique national du Val-de-Marne - La Briqueterie, and Italy’s Centro per la Scena Contemporanea Bassano del Grappa.
Taiwan has always defied preconceived notions. Our island nation’s vibrant, multifaceted culture underscores not only our tenacity for survival but also our passion for beauty, joy, and life. Weiwuying aspires to be a point of debarkation as Taiwan continues to make its mark on the world’s cultural stage. With a broad mind and a vision as wide as the ocean surrounding us, we look forward to discovering a new cultural frontier.
About National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying)
The people’s arts center where dreams are made
The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) is a dream – and now a reality – long in the making. Located in Kaohsiung’s historical Fengshan District, Weiwuying was a military training camp for more than half a century. As Kaohsiung grew from a port city to a metropolis and Taiwan transitioned from a one-party state to a working democracy, the site was demilitarized and became open to the wider community. After decades of planning and the subsequent construction, the National Kaohsiung Center for the Art is finally ready for its grand opening, the beginning of what is sure to be a spectacular journey.
Embracing the hopes and dreams of artists and art enthusiasts alike, our operation is centered on the three S’s: standard, service, and style. We consider it our foremost responsibility to advocate for a thriving performing arts industry, by nurturing artists and art administrators, bringing performing arts to all corners of the society, and promoting international cultural exchange. Through international collaborations, we bring new energy to Taiwan’s cultural landscape and prepare local artists for a globalized future.
Underlying our work is a human-centered artistic vision. We believe in art’s transformative power and its impact on the civil society. In keeping with Taiwan’s inclusive, broad-minded spirit, we hope to incorporate diverse voices from near and far and provide an open space for all to exercise their imagination. As we embark on this adventure, we are confident that the entire community will be on board.
Weiwuying’s dream began with a wide, open space; banyan trees rooted in the depth of the earth; and an unceasing pursuit of beauty and integrity. As the dream is coming into being, we will continue to foster our community’s aspiration. Everyone is welcome, and we look forward to creating art with each of you.