Forest lands itself at the transiting time from dusk to night, the moment when everything's appearance is obscured and the fear of the unknown takes root in the human mind. This work unfolds in the deepest recesses of the woods, where mythical creatures and other beings awaken, their eyes glowing fluorescently. Forest visits the corporeal and metaphysical existence of both humans and nature.
Covered in red fabrics on their faces and walking along a river of foil on stage, the dancers in Forest sway their bodies, reflecting the euphoria and trembling of human beings. The transition from dusk to night in the forest serves as a metaphor for the delicate relationship between nature and humans. As they walk, step by step, they seek to find ways to coexist with the surrounding environment. As human beings wander through the woods, searching for a way to live with other beings, what kind of image does Forest reflect upon mankind?
As a Truku descendant from Swasal village in Hualien, choreographer Watan Tusi founded TAI Body Theatre in 2012. The company is comprised of members from various indigenous tribes in Taiwan.
“Tai”, originating from the Truku language, means “to see” or “to observe”. This selected term signifies Watan's gaze and contemplation of traditional indigenous culture. The company seeks alternative practices in addition to both the form of traditional ceremonies and touristic performances.
Since 2013, he started researching the relationship between the earth and feet in fields, Watan archived over 80 types of stepping sequences, known as the “foot scripts”. In each creation, the company's new physical forms and dance languages evolve from the process of deconstructing and reconstructing archival sequences. Apart from the method of food scripts, the works of TAI Body Theatre are inspired by indigenous literature, the human body, music, as well as the situatedness of indigenous people, environmental conflicts, and other related issues.
TAI Body Theater
TAI Body Theatre was founded by the indigenous Truku artist Watan Tusi in 2012. Having members from indigenous tribes in Taiwan.
TAI means “look” and “see” in the Truku language. In the hope of promoting different aspects and modern issues of Taiwan indigenous people, TAI has been so innovative and productive developing new forms and aesthetics through combining and transmitting traditional percussion into “foot scripts”. Watan has conducted field studies to explore the connections between the feet and the land and recorded more than 80 “foot scripts.”
The theater has touched on issues such as indigenous literatures and the relationship between the body and environmental conflicts. Since founded, TAI Body Theatre has built up its reputation and has been invited for international tours such as Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the UK and the Jogja International Performance Art Festival in Indonesia. Its work Dancing Under the Bridge has been nominated for the 2016 Taishin Arts Awards , in 2018 its work Terrace on the Hill won the First Prize on Pulima Art Award in Taiwan.
Artistic Director: Watan．Tusi
Co-creator: Ising Suaiyung
Set Design: Liao, Huei-Li
Lighting Design: Hsu, Chia-Yin
Rehearsal Guide: Piya．Talaliman
Performer: Piya．Talaliman, Qaulai．Tjivuljavus, Lrimilrimi．Kupangasane, Ansyang．Makakazuwan, Temu．Masin, Ma Chin Lung
Executive Producer: Lin Chihyu, apu’u yakumangana
Calligraphy Design: Fang, Yu-Ju
Photography: Ken Wang
Presenter: Taipei Performing Arts Center
In Partnership with CN D
Supported by CHANEL
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