Four Taiwanese groups to perform in French arts festival

Four Taiwanese groups are set to perform in the Festival Off d'Avignon (Avignon Off) in southern France this month, bringing drama and dance performances to audiences there.

From July 7-30, Flying-group Theatre, Theatre des Enfants Terribles, M.O.V.E. Theatre and B.DANCE will stage shows at the Avignon Off, a fringe event that parallels the prestigious annual Avignon Festival, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Culture.

Flying-group Theatre, known for its modern puppetry productions, will perform a piece called "La Naissance", which deals with the topic of life and death. The production is a collaboration between the group and French illustrator Ghislaine Herbera.

Theatre des Enfants Terribles, which uses mime, clown acts, masks and installation art in its shows, will perform "Mamma Luna." The production uses the moon as a symbol to discuss life and death and how to face an aging loved one and their eventual death.

M.O.V.E. Theatre's dance production "Play Me," meanwhile, discusses the power structure between people, while B.DANCE's dance piece "Floating Flowers" is inspired by the Taiwanese folk ritual of releasing water lanterns.

B.DANCE will stage its production at the CDC-Les Hivernales from July 10-20, while the three other groups will perform at the Theatre La Condition des Soies from July 7-30.

It will be the 10th consecutive year that Taiwanese performing arts groups have participated in Avignon Off. Since 2007, a total of 34 groups from Taiwan have staged 47 productions at the French festival, according to the ministry.

Tsai Hsiao-ying, director of the Cultural Center of Taiwan in Paris, said Avignon Off is an important platform for Taiwanese performing arts groups and art administrators, as it gives them more opportunities to showcase their work, and allows art administrators to build relationships with their international peers.