Taiwan has a long tradition of traveling performance troupes called yizhen (藝陣), a combination of zhentou (陣頭-performance troupes) and yige(藝閣-large artistic parade floats.)
Some entertain, dance, sing, play instruments, tell stories and perform dramas to create a festive atmosphere.
Some perform religious rites, perpetuate traditional customs, pay respect to the gods.
These troupes can be found performing in temple festivals, gatherings and processions throughout Taiwan. These portraits are part of an ongoing personal project where I am trying to create interesting environmental portraits of Taiwanese yizhen performers or modern performance troupes with roots in yizhen.
Ten Drum Art Percussion Troupe
Ten Drum Art Percussion Group (十鼓擊樂團) was established in 2000 by troupe leader Hsieh Shi to advance Taiwan’s drum culture and was nominated for a Grammy Award for best traditional world music in 2009. They continue to innovate and spread Taiwan drum culture from their Tainan base; The Ten Drum Art and Culture Park -- a five-hectare drumming facility built in a Japanese colonial era (1895-1945) sugar refinery. These portraits were created for Taiwan Review magazine.
Zhen Zong Art Troupe (振宗藝術團)
Zhen Zong Art Troupe (振宗藝術團) was founded in 1995 by Fang Tsung Yin (方宗寅). Chief Fang has his roots in Song Jiang Battle Array and Martial arts and has passed his skills on to create an innovative troupe that strives to revitalize traditional folk arts without losing their traditional essence.
They perform Techno Santaitz (電音三太子), Bajiajiang (both male and female troupes (八家將(男女)). Eighteen Lohan (羅漢十八銅人), Dragon Dance (舞龍), Lion Dance (舞獅) Drumming(鼓藝), Tiaogu (跳鼓陣), Martial Art and Acrobatic Performance (武術), Dance(舞蹈), Zhong Kui Troupe (鍾馗), Song Jiang Battle Array (宋江陣) and more.
Eastern Art Troupe
This troupe combines traditional Taiwanese performance with Western dance to form a sophisticated modern performance popular in Taiwan and overseas.
Jiazi Dance Company
Founded in 1995, the Eastern Art Troupe combines traditional Taiwanese yizhen and Western dance
to form a sophisticated, modern form of performance art that has proven popular both at home and overseas.