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FOCA Circus Art shows Taipei’s artistic energy at Riga City Festival

By Dory Chung
For 18 years, the city of Riga in Latvia has been a sister city of Taipei. This year, Taipei sent the FOCA Circus Art to take part in the Riga Festival from August 16th to 18th. FOCA gave two performances at the festival. Their show was very successful and popular.
Members of the FOCA Circus Art in front of the Pałac Kultury i Nauki where they had two performances.
Photo by Taipei City Government
Members of the FOCA Circus Art in front of the Pałac Kultury i Nauki
where they had two performances.

Riga plays an important role in Eastern European art. In 2016, Riga invited Taipei to join their city celebration and since then, it has done so every year. Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs sent the Taipei Percussion Group in 2016 and the Puppet Beings Theater in 2017. 2018 was the 100th anniversary of Latvia’s independence and Riga invited Taipei to join the Light Festival “Staro Riga.” The Riga City Government hosted the festival to celebrate the city’s birth. The city government also frequently hosts activities of art, physics, and culture. For the festival, the city government invites performance groups from Latvia and from overseas. It is an important cultural event for the entire country.
“Songs of the Land”
Photo by Taipei City Government
FOCA performed “Songs of the Land” at the festival. After the show, Li Bingzhen (李秉真), from the special committee of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Jin Xing (金星), Taiwan representative in Latvija and his wife joined the performers for a photo.
FOCA Circus Art is one of the most famous circuses in Taiwan. Founded in 2011, its performances combine traditional, local, and street culture elements in a circus format. Their creative style has caught the attention of many countries. In recent years, they were invited to perform at the Festival d’Avignon in France, the Taiwan Season of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the closing of the XXIX Summer Universiade.
FOCA’s performance of “Songs of the Land” at the Riga City Festival began with a Taiwanese aboriginal song, followed by flags dancing, martial arts, acrobatic hand stands, big ring, diabolo, and human pyramid. With classic Taiwanese songs as background music as well as stage props and images, the performances tell the story of Taiwan and speak of its beauty.
The performances did a good job of promoting intercultural communication and showed the energy of the arts in Taipei.