Date: Mar 27, 2015
By: Diane Baker / Staff reporter
The dance department at Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學)
should be feeling very pleased today, as its Focus Dance Company (焦點舞團) opens a sold out four-show run at the school’s dance theater tonight — something professional companies ofttimes only dream about.
While the Taipei run may be sold out, it is just the second stop in a seven-city nationwide tour that began in Yilan last week and will take the student dancers to Taichung, Jhongli, Kaohsiung, Tainan and Taitung over the course of several weekends next month and in May, so there are several chances to catch the nation’s up-and-coming stars if you are willing to travel.
The troupe’s artistic director, associate professor Zhang Xiao-xiong (張曉雄), has said there was a special reason for starting the tour in Yilan — it was the hometown of dancer/choreographer/TNUA professor Lo Man-fei (羅曼菲) who died nine years ago at 51.
n addition to being a terrific performer in her own right, Lo encouraged and mentored scores of young Taiwanese dancers and choreographers, both at the school and through her work with Cloud Gate 2 (雲門２). She created the school’s unique seven-year dance program that brings students through three years of senior-high school and straight into the university for a bachelor’s degree. [FULL STORY]