Jhou Shu-yi is currently touring his dance performance "Bolero in Kaohsiung." The 35 dancers in the show will do 28 performances in 14 administrative districts and at 18 landmarks around Kaohsiung. Jhou Shu-yi selected the various locations, including cultural spots, landmarks, scenic areas, small towns, temples, etc., to serve as various backdrops for the performance.
In 2009, dancer Jhou Shu-yi returned to Taiwan to perform "1875 Ravel and Bolero." Britain's Sadler's Wells Theatre had recognized the production; however, as an unknown dancer at that time, it wasn't easy to get booked by a theater. Yet, he still believed people would enjoy his production and began performing on the street!
In 2011, Jhou Shu-yi produced the "Dance-Travel Project." He toured it in 14 cities, where he performed 60 free shows in outdoor spaces. He does not perform on a stage, uses no lighting or special effects, and adheres to local conditions and culture.
In June 2020, Jhou Shu-yi became the first resident artist at National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying). "Many people have never seen modern dance," he explains. To make modern dance more visible, he feels it can be utilized to bridge the gap between the arts and the public. For his "Bolero in Kaohsiung," he sought out 18 locations to become performance venues, including downtown areas and surrounding townships. He chose Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Lotus Pond Scenic Area, Cishan Tianhou Temple, and Dashu Old Railroad Bridge as performance venues. "I want to connect the dots of the city and use dance to bring back the audiences' life memories." During the post-epidemic era, he hopes his performances will eliminate the wariness and distance people have become accustomed to and help them return to a harmonious state.
After the interview, Jhou Shu-yi and the dancers rehearsed at Banyan Plaza in Weiwuying. Although there was no stage, spotlight, or glitzy set, many passersby still stopped to watch. "Even when people don't know what the performance is all about, they still become mesmerized by it." He hopes everyone in Kaohsiung will come out to see the show. Whether you enjoy the arts or are just a passerby, it is a fantastic performance that everyone will find entertaining.
• Bolero in Kaohsiung Information:
Venues: 14 administrative districts of Kaohsiung
(See National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) website for more information)
Performance times: 28 performances during the weekends from 4/23 to 6/26(no performances on 6/4~6/5)
Website: National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying)