Thanks to the souls of ancestors, I am very thankful that I can still be brave enough to fulfill a dream in my 40s and started a dance company in my hometown, Taitung. At the beginning of the establishment of the Bulareyaung Dance Company in 2015, although I am from Taitung, I was also as curious as many people who loved this place and later even came to settle and started their own businesses here. What I was curious about was how to start creating in Taitung. And, at that time, I only had one simple thought: I want to go home.
According to my dance career, experience, and operating mode, I found that returning to Taitung does not necessarily mean that I will be successful or I will make something better. As a creator, I am used to creating in a confined space, and relying on my own imagination. But when I returned to Taitung, I found a new way of creating that fits this place. I was very lucky that the participation of new members made me find a way to start from the aspect of life. We immersed ourselves in the life of Taitung and got to know its appearance, whether in the mountains or at the seaside. This enables us to find inspiration from life. For five years since the establishment, we have been living our lives earnestly, and life has become a very important source of my creativity. If the company was not in Taitung and we did not live here, I don't think we would have produced the works in these five years.
Bulareyaung Dance Company’s Not Afraid of the Sun and Rain / photography by Pungiya Pakaruku
After I returned to Taitung, I went back to the tribe frequently to participate in the festivals. These festivals have really influenced me. I started to sing tribal songs, not only in Pinayuanan, but also in Amis and Bunun. These songs are great inspirations for the dance group to create. Taitung is a very special place with six indigenous ethnic groups. I was able to see many festivals and get to know the tribes through visits.
Bulareyaung Pagarlava / photography by Lafun Photography
Bulareyaung Dance Company starts from traditional aboriginal songs and dances, develops them from life, and creates with contemporary language. I think it would be a good inheritance if the company has a song or a dance that can continue for ten years. There are 16 indigenous ethnic groups with rich culture in Taiwan. The songs of the natives can be shared to many places with a guitar. However, the dances can only be seen through rituals. As a dance company, can we be shared and better known through our dance? The company is only five years old, we still have a long way to go. I hope that in the future Taitung, there will be more young people who want to dance. And they can say “I want to dance too!” bravely because of knowing of Bulareyaung Dance Company. They can be more fearless to learn how to dance. Even if they have to leave Taitung, it doesn't matter. The company will grow up slowly and continue to create in Taitung, and become one of the options for these young dancers to achieve their dreams.
Bulareyaung Dance Company “Colors” /photography by Bernie Ng. Courtesy of Esplanade –Theatres on the Bay
Speaking of cultural industries, I don't really understand what they mean. In Taitung, I know a lot of young people in these industries. They have a good network with each other and often share their thoughts in chat groups. They also discuss through unscheduled gatherings, and sometimes I am invited to join them. Because I know these young people, I feel that the cultural industries provide a new possibility, an ambition to change something. However, most of these young people in Taitung work very hard to create and explore possibilities independently. These young people live in Taitung, relying on the mountains and the sea for their creations, and what can "cultural industries" lead them to? These questions are hard to answer for me too
Most people in the cultural industries are younger than me, and they are very enthusiastic and full of ideas. This makes me feel that Taitung is great. These young people are working very hard not only to create for themselves, but also to create an atmosphere that sets Taitung apart from other cities. I have a lot of expectations for these young people. As creators, doing their best is actually a great way to share and contribute.
文/布拉瑞揚・帕格勒法 Bulareyaung Pagarlava