News & Activities
Contemporary Legend Theatre - Legend of 30th
The Contemporary Legend Theatre (CLT) was established 30 years ago by Wu Hsing-Kuo, a performance artist who had won National Award for Arts and was encouraged by Lin Hwai-Min to set up the organization with full determination. Blending traditional Chinese opera with Western's theatre arts, CLT isn’t only acknowledged for passing down the traditional opera but sparking dialogue between East and West. As CLT marking its 30th anniversary, the Department of Cultural Affairs under Taipei City Government awarded it a medal and produced the documentary “Contemporary Legend Theatre - Legend of 30th” to record and honor CLT’s incredible journey from the viewpoints of theatre artists and professional researchers.
Through interviewing some of the theatre’s members such as Wu Hsing-Kuo, Lin Hsiu-wei, and Wei Hai-min, the documentary portrays CLT’s bumpy road from prosperity to decline, and how it strived to start over. In the film, CLT’s artistic director Wu Hsing-Kuo sentimentally recalls how he was worried in his youth about the decline of traditional opera, and how he resolved to bring back its glory. Encouraged by Lin Hwai-Min, who told him that everything is made possible through endeavor, Wu decided to innovate on the traditional Chinese opera. Under his direction and with the efforts of other equally passionate young opera players, the Contemporary Legend Theatre was thereby founded.
The founders of CLT integrate the techniques of Peking Opera they have hardly learned since childhood with modern performance skills in theatre, dance, film, and television, instilling a whole new perspective of art into traditional opera. They have been writing the history by developing their own styles, bridging traditional form with contemporary theatre, and elevating the art of traditional opera to a higher level. Their achievement played an essential part in the Taiwanese performing arts industry during the 80’s.
The documentary is now available on YouTube; It can also be found in art-related departments and libraries of colleges/universities, junior high schools and elementary schools in Taipei, all public libraries of Taipei city, and the main public library of every city/county. Besides, starting next March, a condensed version will be released on Taipei Metro platforms’ television screens. With this documentary, the government hopes to arouse public interest in traditional Chinese opera, blessing the contemporary art a brighter future.