「TaipeiEYE」: Home for Authentic Traditional Chinese Performing Arts Where Eye-Opening Cross-Cultural Encounters Continue in Taiwan !
『TaipeiEYE』is situated near the shade of the sweet gum trees at the Zhung Shan N. Rd., Sec.2, a historical and culturally active boulevard since the Japanese Era, and recognized as the distinguished location for the versatile genres of the traditional Chinese and Taiwanese performing arts. The approximately ninety minutes of performances will provide the foreigners in Taiwan with an abundance of visual, sound, touch, smell, and even taste experiences. The show includes the folklores and the local skills, the folk music (South tube, North tube, Eight Sounds etc..), the aboriginal dance and music, the Chu-Yi ( Ping Tan etc. the story telling accompanied by music), and the traditional opera (including Taiwanese folk opera, Peking opera improved by new scenes of dances and martial arts, Kun opera, Li-Yuan opera, Kau-Jia opera, and puppet fun etc. ). Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening this popular must-go in the tourist itinerary has fulfilled the demanding mission of “the cultural diplomacy” in Taiwan by dressing up the stylish Chinese performing arts currently available in the typical Taiwanese presentations.
The story of 「TaipeiEYE」
is a microcosm of the recently traditional performing arts in Taiwan; that is, talking about the arts and the wars among the Japanese, the Americans, the Chinese and one Taiwanese royal family Koo. Let's share this legacy together...
In 1915 Mr.Xian-Rong Koo from one of the Taiwanese royal families bought the Tamsui Theatre」from a Japanese owner, had it renovated and renamed it as 「Taiwan Novel Hall」. During the colonization of Japan he invited the Peking Opera from Shanghai City in China as well as the Taiwanese Opera Troupe from the local area and Fukien Province in China so as to turn 「Taiwan Novel Hall」into the earliest and the most significant performing arts venue for the Chinese traditional arts, values and aesthetics.
The Destruction by Flames
Unfortunately, during World War II「Taiwan Novel Hall」was savagely turned to ashes and ruined by the heartless American bombings. Mr.Xian-Rong Koo lost his fortress and then passed away before the end of this war.
In 1989, a respectable Dr. C.F. Koo, son of Mr. Xian-Rong Koo, established 「Koo's Cultural and Educational Foundation」in Taipei to promote the Peking Opera. This foundation has been joined by Mr. Bao-Chun Li, a well-accomplished Chinese Opera singer/actor/director from a distinguished Peking Opera family. Then Mr. Bao-Chen Li founded a company called 「Taipei Liyuan Chinese Opera」to perform domestically and also to tour around the world at performing arts festivals. Such international achievements in「TaipeiEYE」brought credit to the contemporary Chinese performing arts in Taiwan.
A Phoenix: The Dream Comes True!
In 1997「Novel Hall」was rebuilt and launched in the modern east of Taipei. In this way, the Koo royal family gradually made its dream come true for the cultural development in Taiwan and also became the pioneer in the cultural exchanges between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China.
Phoenix Again: This Time for the World!
In 2002「Taiwan Cement Building」, a grand building of the gray marble facing the culturally busy Zhongshan N. Rd., Sec.2, was completed by Taiwan Cement Company under the marvelous design by Mr. M. L. Kuo, a world-class Taiwanese Japanese architect. In 2004,「Koo's Cultural and Educational Foundation」had it grand opening for TaipeiEYE at「Cement Hall」, entertaining its honorable guests by such a special variety show which gave a view of the traditional performing arts currently available in the modern Taiwan.
For Your Eyes Only: Creating Excellent Tourism in the Spiritual Cultures
What sets the performing artists here apart from others is that when they walk away from the proscenium stage, before and after the show and during intermissions, they interact with the audience in performing and non-performing roles, even in the open make-up rooms and the photo areas. The simultaneous trilingual translations in Chinese, in Japanese , in Korean and in English projected on both sides of the stage make the audience quite comfortable in understanding. By the way, the friendly people in charge of the service all around the hall always try their best to meet the audience's needs by way of their verbal proficiency in Chinese, in Japanese and in English and in Korean as well. If you would like to enjoy a romantic evening with the mystical local colours of the brilliant international standard please kindly do come to「TaipeiEYE 」