Jump to the content zone at the center

Young Artists bling their style during Fringe Festival opening

Art editor Img
Photo by LRM
Participating groups “bling their style” during the short parade that starts in the old tobacco factory and ends at the park’s Baroque Garden.

By Ariston Ramos
On Saturday, August 15 at 2:30 pm, the 13th Taipei Fringe Festival opening event took place at the Baroque Garden of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. The festival that will run to September 6, has 125 participating teams. Their 568 performances in 25 special venues in Taipei include drama, music, dance, street art, and comedy.
“Flash Fun” was the theme of this year’s opening ceremony. Participating groups said that they were planning to “bling their style” during the short parade that started in the old tobacco factory and ended at the park’s Baroque Garden. Twenty-five of the 125 participating teams formed the parade, including: Hanghang Creations (行行製作), Products Theater (品劇場), Ruan Theater Group (阮劇團), House Peace, In-Laws Orchestra (兩公婆樂團), Renyin Cooperative (人尹合作社), Liao Siwei (廖思瑋), and Koukou Lab (口口實驗室).
“The Baroque Garden is a spot where lovers meet,” said Gao Yikai, chief planner of the opening. “It’s the venue that expresses this year’s Fringe Festival theme of ‘Shine together, Fun together,’ an exuberant cry of youthful joy.”

Art editor Img
Photo by Cai Yaozheng 蔡耀徵DOCA
Twenty-five of this year’s 125 participating teams march in the parade.

The opening ceremony that lasted until 5 pm included performances expressing the unrestrained creativity of the festival. “We tell young artists who participate in this festival to ‘be yourself,’” said Austin Wang (王孟超), director of the Taipei Performing Arts Center, during the July 1 press conference when he announced the start of the festival.
“We want creators to give full play to their creativity and express it in unlimited ways in different venues in Taipei. The zaniest and most experimental ideas push artistic ingenuity to its limits and give audiences performances they wouldn’t otherwise see in ordinary theaters,” he said.
“The main driving force of the Fringe Festival is adventure. The festival is like a springboard that flings young artists into space, where they scream out their creativity.”
Dating Dances and Teams

Art editor Img

Photo by LRM
Members of the On Stage Performing Arts Workshop.
In the Baroque Square, Austin Wang and Chen Yuxiu, director of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park danced the “dating dance,” created by Wang Heng and Zhang Keyang. Those who had gathered in the square joined in, and close to a hundred people danced to the music.
Apart from the dance, eight groups performed during the opening event, one of which was Gentlewomen. The four women who founded this singing group in the 1980s accompany themselves on traditional Chinese and Taiwanese musical instruments. But as well as traditional Chinese music, they also play jazz, Latin, rock and hip hop on the same traditional instruments. During the performance, they asked more adventurous members of the audience to play percussion while they sang.
The two young members of Tiger Opera Troupe (虎劇團) did their Diabolo (扯鈴) Juggling duet, entitled “18 Years Old under the Skies.” Lin Lujie’s (林陸傑) dance called “Birthday Queue” was an invitation for everyone to relive past birthday wishes. The In-Laws Orchestra staged a short musical entitled “Cowboy 101: Ways to become a Hakka Happy Guy.” The piece represents a new generation of Hakka music, a musical narrative that goes beyond traditional and popular styles.
Baroque Dating reveals secrets of Fringe teams

Art editor Img

Photo by LRM
0.01 Group asked their Baroque Dating followers to write down what they thought was a good life, and to express through short poems what they believed were the best ways to confront life’s uncertainties.
Seventeen Fringe teams participated in the Baroque dating activity that was held both indoors and outdoors. Members of the public could choose the venue and team they wanted to join for small-group conversations about the team’s fringe art and the motivations behind their performances, or to briefly work together. Through the activity, the teams received suggestions on how to improve their fringe art.

Art editor Img
Photo by Cai Yaozheng 蔡耀徵DOCA
Austin Wang (left) and Chen Yuxiu, director of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park,
dance the “dating dance.”

Seven teams took part in the outdoor dating. The members of the 1998 Team (壹玖玖捌) wore oversized clothing as they explained to their small group of followers the inspiration behind their act entitled “Fat Woman,” which portrays some young people’s feelings of inferiority and lack of self-confidence owing to their physical attributes, such as obesity. Ruan Theater Group’s “Family Ranking” act invited everyone to imagine it was the last day of their lives and say something to their present self. It was like asking someone to personally put a puzzle piece (one’s self) into place within the bigger context of a jigsaw puzzle, symbolizing self-acceptance. “Today’s Art Class” by The Brick Carriers (扛磚頭) was a collaborative painting activity using a giant canvas. They gave their painting the title “2020 Fringe Art Festival Opening.”
The 10 Fringe groups in the indoor dating event used medical clinics in the south section of the old tobacco factory. 0.01 Group’s “Good Good!” (好好) invited their small audience to write down their personal descriptions of a “good life,” and to use short poems to express the best ways to confront life’s uncertainties. Renyin Cooperative’s (人尹合作社) “Litigation” (奻) had the audience confess their misdeeds to friends while someone stood in judgment on their wrongdoings.
“Touch” was Wang Yongan’s (王永安) interpretation of the relationship between perception and physical experience. His performance explored the sense of touch as the cornerstone of creativity. Zhang Yunzhen’s (張云甄) “Membrane” (膜) sought to express how silence protects our skin, and that soothing live music and gentle language connect us to the core of our membranes, and ultimately to our perceptions.