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Diabolo Dance Theater amazes Manila, opening eyes to the charms of diabolo

  • Date:2023-11-17
Diabolo Dance Theater amazes Manila

The performance art group Diabolo Dance Theater (舞鈴劇場) was invited to tour Manila on Oct. 10 and 11. Their outstanding diabolo skills combined with music, dance, and contemporary circus elements left the Filipino audience astounded and curious to learn this traditional folk art from the East.

One Filipino audience member expressed that it was his first time witnessing a performance from Taiwan. In the Philippines, most theater productions involve historical or narrative-driven plays. The unique performance style of Diabolo Dance Theater, with its diabolo acts, was a refreshing change and caught his attention. After watching the performance, he and his friends developed an interest in learning diabolo.

Liu Le-chun (劉樂群), the founder of Diabolo Dance Theater, mentioned that they were eagerly anticipating the response from the Filipino audience. He noted that they put a lot of thought into the language of their performance. He said, “The first song is called ‘Island,’ and most people might find the language somewhat familiar, but they can’t understand it because it’s a collection of indigenous languages from various ethnic groups in Taiwan.”


He explained that the visual and design elements of Diabolo Dance Theater’s performance included many impressions of Taiwan. They hoped that after seeing the show, the audience would become more curious and interested in learning about Taiwan. Liu Le-chun stated, “The reactions from the audience here have deeply moved me. I saw the emotions of the audience gradually rising during the performance, and that is my goal. I want the audience to come to this show not just to watch acrobatics but to see the beauty of Taiwanese culture and art.”

Diabolo Dance Theater was founded in 1986, with diabolo as its core, blending traditional Eastern skills with Western performing arts such as music, dance, and contemporary circus. Since its inception, the theater has toured in over 30 countries, performing more than 3,000 shows, including venues like Lincoln Center in New York, the National Theater in Taipei, the Weiwuying National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, and the National Taichung Theater.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines expressed its hope that by introducing Diabolo Dance Theater, a world-class Taiwanese artistic group, to mainstream Filipino society and the overseas Taiwanese community, they can help promote the New Southbound Policy, utilizing soft power to enhance public diplomacy and showcase Taiwan’s positive image.