Taiwan Fun Magazine, March 2003

Culture Bites :

By Selena Huang
Translated by Yvonne Chen (³¯¨|ªÚ)

Xi Xia Vibes ¡V NingXia Dance Group

Date: March 31, 7:30pm
Location: Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Prices: NT$300, NT$400, NT$600, NT$800

       Founded in 1958, the NingXia Dance Group has undergone profound changes over the years in its effort to choreograph dances with a heavy Muslim influence. Performed by veteran artists from the Hui, Han, Mongolian, Manchu, Korean, and Zang ethnic groups, the dances have received great reviews. These exceptional artistic achievements have garnered many awards. In ¡§Xi Xia Dyansty,¡¨ the group has brought to stage the dance of 12th-century Northwestern China. Sensual Xi Xia women playing ancient flutes while engaged in a small-step dance paint quite a mesmerizing picture.

New Taipei Theatre Group ¡VThe Bachuan Scholar

Date: March 28~29, 7:30pm; March 30, 2:30pm
Location: National Theater Concert Hall
Prices: NT$300, NT$600, NT$900, NT$1200, NT$1500
Telephone: (02) 2343-1647

       This opera is an adaptation of the awarding winning Szechwan opera ¡§The Bashan Scholar¡¨ written by Wei Ming-Luen in 1983. The story takes place during GuangXu period in Bashan County, Szechwan Province. The scholar Meng Deng-ke sues local official Sun Yu-tien, who is protected by the corrupt system. A conspiracy leads the scholar to drink poison, so ending his life. This beautifully written script by the ¡§unorthodox genius¡¨ playwright Wei Ming-Luen has a solid structure with humor and suspense. The story explores the degradation caused by power and money and the hardship caused by greedy corrupt officials. Lead Lee Bao-chun gives a superb performance and is a perfect choice as the scholar.

Islamic Calligraphy Educational Exhibition
Date: March 6-April 6
Location: Museum of World Religions
Price: ??
Telephone: (02) 8231-6699

       The Islamic calligraphy collection at the Museum of World Religions is highly valued in terms of religious studies and artistic appreciation. The collection includes a 10th-century blue Koran written on parchment, portable hand-written prayers, an oil painting of the Koran text, floral print text decorations, delicate and complete copies of the Koran, and drapes considered to be holy relics. This exhibition will detail the rise of Islamic calligraphy, font introduction, secular and regional calligraphy styles, and the modern-day extension of Islamic calligraphy in the lives of followers. A lecture, ¡§Islamic Calligraphy Styles,¡¨ will be given by Jin Yu-chuan, a National Chengchi University professor of Arabic, on March 15, from 2pm to 3:30pm. The ¡§Let's Write Arabic¡¨ learning camp welcomes group reservations at ext. 303.