Taipei, The annual Taipei Fringe Festival (TFF) will stage over 500 performances this year at numerous venues around Taiwan's capital, the organizers said Tuesday.
The festival, now in its 12th year, will be staged between Aug. 24 and Sept. 8 at 36 venues across the city to showcase theater, music, comedy, dance, musical drama and crossboundary performances by 131 local and international groups, said Austin Wang director of Taipei Performing Arts Center.
The 537 performances will be staged throughout the city, including at unorthodox venues, such as temples and yachts, Wang said.
Wang also commended the spirit of the TFF because it has held onto the initial meaning of why fringe festivals were formed in comparison to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which has now become more commercial, Wang said.
"Especially in places where they are slowly losing their freedom, Taipei still provides artistic freedom and a platform where applications are neither judged nor rejected," he said.
The concept of a "fringe festival" originated in 1947, when eight theater groups who were not invited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival decided to create their own event to rival the festival, according to the TFF website. To that end, more and more performers followed their example in the ensuing years to celebrate independent spirit and veer away from the mainstream, the TFF website says.
This year's TFF, for the second time, follows on from last year to feature a twohour timeslot venue, which will challenge performing groups to set up, perform and pack up within two hours.
This year's twohour timeslot venue will be at the Bopiliao Historic Block and will feature a total of six performers and performing groups, including Gabby So from Hong Kong, who will be showcasing the theater performance "In Search of Last Name." Domestic performances include TwentyTwo Production, who will perform the dance piece "Daydreamer" to remind people to be brave to dream in a busy fastpaced world.
Richard Huang , a instrumentalist in the group, said the dance "wants to express that people are too busy living their modern lives but actually we are all dreamers because we dream in our sleep."
Another dance performance titled "Wiishhh" by Jessie Chiang will perform a dance about selfseeking during one's personal growth.
"I would like viewers to see through this performance that no matter how disorderly the world or information is, we shouldn't forget to seek and find ourselves," she said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel