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Fun Magazine, February 2003
By Ken Lin, translated by Annie
Chen and Matthew Godsey
Contact Anne at email@example.com
Taipei rapidly finding its place on the international stage,
the city has also seen a huge influx of foreigners. Some
are here to learn Chinese; others teach English. In between
these two groups are others who are neither seen nor heard.
These people just keep their heads down and work earnestly
with their very special talents. They not only contribute
to Taiwan¡¦s cultural development--many seem to have found
their forte here. This place has given them the opportunity
to prove their worth and cultivate their niche. They add
sparkle to otherwise dim and under-nourished art and literary
Daniel Ingi Petursson is a good example. Passionate
about the theatre, Daniel went to the Ecole Jacque
Lecog and Ecole Philippe Gaulier art schools in Paris
to study theatre. He has researched theatre works
as well as acted on stage in both London and Paris.
1993, Daniel founded Thalie Theatre Company in London,
and when he set foot in Taiwan in 1995 and decided
to make his home here, he brought with him Thalie
is the first English theatre company in Taiwan. Since the
production of Chekov's "Bear" in 1997, the company
has put on three or more productions every year. At least
15 productions have been performed in small theatres, cafes,
bars and clubs. Among them are Strindberg's "Miss Julie"
in 1999, Oscar Wilde's "Salom" in 2000, Tennesse
Williams' "A Streetcar named Desire" in 2000,
Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" in 2002 and F.G. Lorca's
"Blood Wedding,¡¨ also last year.
modus operandi is based on a small theatre concept.
All the actors have full-time jobs, but their passion
to perform has brought them to Thalie. The company receives
no support from the government, and is constantly struggling
to stay afloat. Not only do they lack a regular place
for rehearsals, there are also problems with many of
the foreign actors coming and going from Taiwan. The
latter trend does, however, provide the company with
a constant trickle of new talent.
English performance group has, in the last year or so, set
up what they term ¡§performance workshops.¡¨ These have
attracted an increasing number of locals. Each workshop
lasts seven weeks; during the final week, students are required
to put on their own performances based on what they have
learnt. These workshops not only help fund the company,
but also provide opportunities to scout for new blood (the
course costs NT$2000 per person; students are entitled to
is not a barrier," Daniel insists. In his workshops,
students are taught to forget about all things mainstream
and regimental, and let their minds listen to their
bodies. Knowledge is not required to excel in performance
art. Training includes breathing exercises, concentration
training, body development, and mime techniques, as
well as how to incorporate animals and the five elements
(gold, wood, water, fire, and earth) into performances.
Students are taught how to use their bodies to interact
with passive objects and do a dance with "them."
Sounds like a lot of fun? You bet.
will be a Thalie workshop in February, and Martin Crimp's
"Getting Attention" will be performed in June.
All nationalities are welcome to take part. For information,
contact Anne at