Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
How many times any given year do we residents of Nippertown get a chance to see and hear the traditional and contemporary music, dance, opera or theater from any Asian country? Well, if you were at The Egg recently to see the Takao Run Folk Song & Arts Group’s performance in celebration of Taiwanese-American Heritage Week, you got a real treat with a little bit of all the arts in that one two-hour-plus presentation.
This fun-for-the-whole-family affair was the Taiwanese equivalent to a cultural U.S. State Department tour abroad. As is the norm at those functions, the lobby outside the theater was filled with tables featuring informational posters, brochures and maps, as volunteer or official “ambassadors” stood nearby ready to answer any inquiries about the lovely island country of Taiwan.
Inside, the theater was an ongoing presentation of colorful dance, music and costumed theater capturing, not only the historical and contemporary arts evolution of Taiwan, but the multi-cultural and ethnic diversity of the people who live in that modern island nation. The three principals leading this event from the stage, dynamic folksinger-songwriter Yen Yung-Neng (of Chinese extraction), the lovely and lyrical singer-acoustic guitarist Tai Siao-Chun (a representative of the indigenous native tribes) and percussionist-musician-translator, George Samuel Okoth (an African-born, now Taiwanese citizen, represented the international flavor of the country), kept the pace rolling along and provided a few laughs in the process.
Admission was free to the performance, which was sponsored by the Taiwanese American Cultural Society of the Capital District.