As part of the Ministry's Spotlight Taiwan initiative, Taiwan-based Fairy Step Dance Company (水精靈兒童舞團) has been invited to perform traditional Taiwanese folk dances at the opening of the 2014 Japan Grand Prix International Orchid Festival on Feb. 15.
Founded in 2006, the Fairy Step Dance Company is the children's troupe of the renowned Taiwanese dance group, Water Reflection Dance Ensemble (水影舞集). Water Reflection is headed by choreographer Tan Hui-chen (譚惠貞) and has participated in several high-profile international festivals over the past two years, including the OFF Festival d'Avignon in France, the Adelaide Festival of Arts in Australia, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
This time, Tan will lead 9 middle- and elementary-school dancers in performing Taiwan's exquisite traditional dances, such as the Hakka tea dance and another one that celebrates the four seasons, at the opening of the 9-day orchid show, which runs between Feb. 15 and 23 at Tokyo Dome this year.
The Ministry has partneredwith 19 prestigious universities and cultural institutions, including the Los Angeles and Berkeley branches of the University of California, the University of London, and the University of Heidelberg, in promoting the Spotlight Taiwan project.
The global initiative is sponsored by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin and features a series of art and cultural activities centering on Taiwan culture.
The Ministry will also hold a series of Spotlight Taiwan events later this year in cooperation with Aichi University, the Yomiuri Cultural Center, the National Museum of Ethnology, and the Tokyo University of the Arts.
The Fairy Step Dance Company is the children's troupe of the renowned Taiwanese dance group, Water Reflection Dance Ensemble.
Pictured above is a Taiwan-shaped mascot representing the friendship between Taiwan and Japan. Featuring an orchid flower, a clump of bananas, and a palm tree on its head, "Taiwander" (タイワンダー) is the brainchild of a Japanese association that wanted to express its gratitude for Taiwan's humanitarian aid during the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.