The Taipei Cultural Center in New York participated in the virtual annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) from Jan. 8 to 12.
At the conference's Virtual EXPO Hall, a global engagement venue set up for touring artists and companies, the Taipei Cultural Center introduces the 13 Taiwanese groups which are scheduled to perform in North America in the next two years.
These groups include the Ju Percussion Group (朱宗慶打擊樂團), Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan (雲門舞集), Huang Yi Studio + (黃翊工作室), Horse Dance Theater (驫舞劇場), Incandescence Dance (告白熾造), B. DANCE (丞舞製作團隊), Hung Dance (翃舞製作), Tjimur Dance Theatre (蒂摩爾古薪舞集), Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band (徐崇育& Soy La Ley古巴爵士樂團), Small Island Big Song (小島大歌), Basiwali (巴西瓦里), Jin Kwei Lo Puppetry Company (真快樂掌中劇團) and Puppet & Its Double Theater (無獨有偶工作室劇團).
Taipei Cultural Center introduced the different groups and their touring information in the Virtual EXPO Hall, in addition, the center has also co-presented a pitch session with Cloud Gate Dance Theater, which not only improves the international visibility of Taiwanese performance groups, but also helps them raise opportunities of overseas performances.
Addressing the virtual conference on Jan. 9, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that some restrictions may be lifted by autumn for theaters with proper air filters and ventilation in place, provided that the vaccine distribution plan succeeds.
He also indicated that the U.S. is currently a highly infected area, which may have led to heavy restrictions imposed on Americans, including artists, from entering other countries, while performances in the U.S. have also decreased, negatively impacting on cultural exchange and development of the arts industry.
Nevertheless, he encouraged the participants to keep persisting, and expressed his hope that the U.S. and theaters would return to normality.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, invited to speak on his thoughts and reactions in the wake of pandemic outbreak, said that he has performed for school children, medical personnel, patients, essential infrastructure service workers, while all invitations to perform were halted during the pandemic, hoping to reach out to different communities through music and forge even closer relationships between people.
Ma also shared his collaboration experiences with Taiwanese Paiwanese singer Abao Aljenljeng Tjaluvie (阿爆) and choreographer Bulareyaung Pagarlava (布拉瑞揚) last November in Taiwan.
He noted that Abao's song "Thank You (感謝)" reflects the creativity and spirit brought about by the fusion of the mother tongue with loanwords. As for Bulareyaung, he observed the cautious attitude of the choreographer applying the elements of traditional Indigenous dance in his creations and came to know the profound link between indigenous Taiwanese and Polynesian cultures.
Headquartered in the Washington, D.C., APAP is the largest performing arts organization, which traditionally would hold its annual conference in January in New York. Due to COVID-19, the conference was moved online this year.