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Taiwan to serve as 1st guest of honor country at Festival Off Avignon

05/16/2024 06:26 PM
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Taiwanese performers take part in a street parade in Avignon, France during the Festival Off Avignon on July 8, 2023. CNA file photo
Taiwanese performers take part in a street parade in Avignon, France during the Festival Off Avignon on July 8, 2023. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Taiwan will be the first-ever guest of honor country (Taïwan, pays invité d'honneur) at the renowned Festival Off Avignon to be held in southeastern France in July and will showcase its cultural vitality through performing arts, film, and publishing, the Ministry of Culture said on Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement that the Avignon Festival & Compagnies (AF&C) and the Taiwan Cultural Center in Paris (Centre Culturel de Taiwan à Paris) announced at a press conference held on Wednesday (local time in France) that 1,316 teams will participate in the festival in Avignon between July 3 and July 21, including 147 groups from abroad.

At the event, Hu Ching-fang (胡晴舫), director of the Taiwan Cultural Center, said that the selection of Taiwan as the guest of the first-ever honor country for the festival symbolizes the deep friendship between Taiwan and the Avignon festival.

She added that it was also representative of the festival's compliments on it being 30 years since the Taiwan Cultural Center was established in Paris.

Harold David, co-president of the Avignon festival, said given Taiwan's long-standing close collaboration with the festival and the nation's unique and diverse contemporary art and culture, it was invited to be the guest of honorcountry -- the first-ever in the festival's history.

He also noted several initiatives for this year, including accreditation and sponsorship for participating teams, sustainability and environmental protection, internationalization, audience services, and professional services.

The most significant initiative to boost international participation is the introduction of a guest of honor country from this year's edition, he added.

Since 2007, the Ministry of Culture has been selecting teams each year to participate in the Festival Off Avignon, using a variety of programs and performances to showcase Taiwan's performing arts.

The Taiwanese teams selected to participate in the 2024 festival include Resident Island Dance Theatre, Shinehouse Theatre, Chun Dance, and Eye Catching Circus, the ministry said.

The Festival Off Avignon is a globally renowned cultural event in France, divided into the "In" festival, featuring a curated lineup of shows, and the "Off" festival, known for its open participation and diverse array of performances.

The festival aims to promote contemporary performing arts, enhance awareness of international emerging dance and theater troupes, and facilitate international co-productions and touring opportunities.

(By Chao Ching-yu and Evelyn Yang)


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