Walking on the waves, traversing lush mountains and forests, basking in the warm embrace of the sun, dancers and participants revel in their connection with nature. In the Earth Theater, where mountains meet the sea, this production by body awareness artists ensemble guides individuals to explore their inner selves within the natural world, nourishing their spirits through art and physical expression, as they commune with Mother Earth.
"Perhaps such a performance can only find its home in Taitung, nestled amidst the mountains and the sea."
Kuei-Ju Tung, the artistic coordinator of Body awareness artists ensemble Production, previously pursued her studies in contemporary dance art in London, England. Dance serves as her medium to both share and experience life. Her eight-year residency in Eastern Taiwan has granted her the opportunity to rediscover the essence of living, engage in meaningful conversations within daily life, forge connections with nature, and draw wisdom from the elders. Through these daily interactions and collaborative efforts, she has gained profound insights into life and the world at large. Her deep understanding of the island's environment has inspired unique artistic creations and enriched her life through the act of "returning to life."
"Each one of us is akin to an island, possessing our own ecosystem, life, and unique soul narrative."
Body awareness artists ensemble Production serves as a cross-disciplinary artist platform. When asked about the inspiration behind the name “Body awareness artists ensemble”, Kuei-Ju shared insights drawn from her life journey and her observations of the human experience. Recognizing the incomparable uniqueness and richness within each individual, we can delve deeper into self-exploration, whether it be exploring our inner selves, our external surroundings, or embracing diversity. Everyone possesses their own wellspring of beauty and fascination, akin to the serendipitous encounters between islands, fostering a tapestry of diverse exchanges and shared experiences."
"Taitung, in my view, is truly a theater of unparalleled natural beauty! It offers an abundance of raw material and boundless inspiration, allowing our imaginations to soar and our connections to flourish."
Having ventured into the mountains, forests, and along the coastline countless times, Kuei-Ju consistently encounters the profound richness that this environment bestows. She feels an ongoing dialogue with the Earth in each of her experiences, fostering communication through stories, music, the human body, and the natural surroundings. The audience is warmly invited to join in and partake in the shared experience of this dialogue between nature and the environment.
The most impressive is that, during the performance, I feel that I am one with the sky, the earth, and the entire environment. I am not only performing, but also being taken care of by the entire earth environment. Enjoy the present and the throbbing of creation. "You don't need to show yourself in particular, you just need to be very real and the whole environment will work with you to help you achieve the eternal look of that moment."
Over the past eight years, Kuei-Ju reflected on the time she has dedicated to East Taiwan, with the majority of it devoted to raising her children. Through this journey, she had the privilege of connecting with numerous parents who shared similar aspirations. Together, they co-led their children, providing mutual support and nurturing companionship. Collaboratively, they conceptualized various educational activities under the banner of "Earth Classroom." Their aim was to guide children towards a deeper understanding of nature and foster a stronger bond with the natural world. Activities encompassed activities such as planting, natural dyeing, nature exploration, and more, allowing them to view this unique world through the eyes of their children.
These opportunities have also empowered the children to become active sharers. They collaborated on stage at the Taitung Fringe Festival, and this year, they have once again been actively involved in the creative process. "Listening to the children and embracing their genuine expression" has been our guiding principle. Earth Theater remains true to the natural environment, presenting it without any alterations, and delivering performances that are unadorned and sincere. It's through these endeavors that children might find themselves in the closest alignment with nature.
The goal of the "Earth Classroom" is not merely to introduce children to various art classes but to forge a deeper connection with nature through these simple activities. It is also our aspiration that in the future, when children encounter life's difficulties and challenges, they will fearlessly seek solace and wisdom in nature, knowing that it always stands beside them.
Embrace the strength of serenity and tranquility, on that distant island in the outer world.
As she has progressed through various stages of life, Kuei-Ju 's role has evolved from being solely an artist focused on her own creative expression and unique stage presence to becoming a facilitator, actively advocating and imparting her passion and knowledge about the human body in any possible form. She guides an increasingly diverse group, encompassing children, adults, and seniors, on a journey to discover and appreciate the grace of their own physicality.
By fostering a deeper understanding of the body, participants gain the opportunity to explore their own physical and emotional sensations, attune to the body's natural flow, and earnestly heed its inner voice. This newfound awareness bestows upon them the strength to maintain composure and serenity amid the challenges of the wider world.
They cultivate a perpetual connection and interaction with the natural environment, attuning themselves to the rhythmic pulse and boundless energy of nature. Immersed within this environment, they savor the present moment, basking in the nurturing embrace of Mother Nature, and finding solace in the islands of the world.
What Body awareness artists ensemble conveys extends beyond the physical body; it also encompasses the ability to rekindle our connection with nature and discover the healing potential inherent in the natural world.