Taipei, April 16 (CNA) Seventeen music, dance, modern drama and traditional opera groups will stage free performances in 16 counties and cities around Taiwan from May 4 as part of a project to bring art to the countryside, the organizer said Monday.
The events will be aimed not only at benefiting outstanding art groups in the country but also to give the younger generation a chance to appreciate art, said Chuang San-hsiu, director of the National Hsinchu Living Art Center.
Funded by the Council for Cultural Affairs and now in its 16th year, the event will begin in Yunlin County, southern Taiwan, and end May 26 on the outlying island of Penghu, with one performance to take place in each county or city.
Among the more widely known groups participating are the famed Ju Percussion Group, the contemporary dance troupe Dance Forum Taipei and the Kaohsiung City Ballet, which will give a performance that blends innovative ballet moves with folk dance and Chinese opera.
The Taipei Philharmonic Opera Studio will perform Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" with a 50-strong ensemble, while the Chai Found Music Workshop will fuse classical Chinese music with Western rock music.
Lee Ming-yueh, director of cultural affairs of the Yunlin county government, said the county has finally succeeded in obtaining the right to host a large-scale art performance after two years of trying.
"This year, all of the over 900 tickets for the Ju Percussion Group's performance in Yunlin will be distributed to junior high school students from remote villages around the county," said Lee.
Around 15 buses will be laid on to transport the students from their villages to the venue, and meals will also be provided, said Lee, who said inequalities exist even within rural villages, with some children able to see more art performances than others.
Even if a performance is held as close as the next village, Lee said, many children are still unable to get there because they have nobody to take them.
He said that bridging this gap and reducing the inequality requires cooperation among the central and local governments.
Meanwhile, the Living Art Center also pointed out that some of the performances will be broadcast on TV so that those unable to attend the live performances will still be able to see them.
(By Christie Chen)