Acclaimed Taiwanese Dance Troupe To Perform At Dowling College
Former Ambassador Will Introduce Yearlong Celebration of Asian Culture
Dowling College provides a unique opportunity to enjoy a variety of traditional dances from Taiwan as it welcomes the Taipei Folk Dance Theatre for a special performance on Monday, September 13 at 4 p.m. in the Fortunoff Hall Ballroom at its Rudolph Campus in Oakdale. The event kicks off Dowling's yearlong celebration of Asian culture, and is free and open to the public.
The performance will be preceded by a special presentation by I-cheng Loh, a former Taiwanese ambassador, university professor and still one of his country's most respected authors and columnists.
At the time of its founding in 1988 by Professor Tsai Li-hua, the Taipei Folk Dance Theatre was the only dance company in the Republic of China specializing in the ethnic dances of both Taiwan and mainland China. It is now widely considered one of the premiere companies in this genre performing in Asia.
Since its inception, the troupe has been invited to tour overseas in Europe, Africa, America, and the Asia Pacific. It has become a regular participant in international festivals and won several coveted awards. The Taipei Folk Dance Theatre has also had an immeasurable role in recent years in preserving Taiwan's aboriginal dance traditions through a commitment to community outreach programs designed to educate as well as entertain.
The group's success is largely due to the more than three decades of choreographic and performing experience of Ms. Tsai. Since 1983, she has studied the dances of Taiwan's aboriginal tribes. Her own works, including Obsession of Formosa, Homage to the Gods, and Portrait of Court Ladies, incorporate influences from Yami, Ami, Paiwan, and Atayal ritual dances.
Customarily these folk dances consist of highly physical walking and stamping movements enacted in unison and accompanied by melodic, polyphonic choruses. Additionally, the vibrant costumes worn by the dancers are often bedizened with small bells and other metal ornaments which clink and jingle, adding to the festive feel of the performances. Other dances present the beauty of Chinese martial arts movement and feature dancers wielding knives, sticks, swords, and fans.
Mr. Loh served the Taiwanese government for 43 years, in numerous key positions, including minister-counselor in Washington and concurrently as head of the Chinese Information Service in New York from 1963 to 1978. He was representative in Austria from 1979 to 1981, before serving as ambassador to Guatemala until 1990, and ambassador to South Africa from 1990 to 1997.
Mr. Loh has written four books in Chinese, contributed chapters to two English books on Sino-American relations published in the U.S., and edited an English-Chinese dictionary in the years since his retirement in 2000. He contributes frequently to the Op-Ed pages of the United Daily News and The China Times, Taiwan's leading Chinese language newspapers. He appears also on radio and TV discussion programs on a variety of subjects.
About Dowling College
Dowling College is an independent, coeducational college that serves more than 6,500 students at
its historic Rudolph Campus on the banks of the Connetquot River in Oakdale, NY, and the 105-acre
Brookhaven Campus in eastern Long Island and a business center located near the Nassau-Suffolk
border in Melville. Dowling offers Bachelor′s, Master′s, and Doctoral degrees in several
disciplines through its four schools: Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Education.