The Lan Yang Dancers

“Life creates art, and art enriches life.” Taiwan possesses a multifaceted culture, as well as a plethora of themes and topics which originated from a loving study of traditional art. In 1966 the Reverend Father Michelini established and founded “The Lan Yang Dancers”, in order not only to preserve but also propagate the living spirit and essence of the folk dance. By making life and culture in Taiwan the subject matter, an overall creation and amalgamation of dances were fashioned in a widely diverse range, which endowed the folk dance with a new lease of life. A positive step not only in the continued propagation of tradition, but a new creative revival of culture and the arts, so that aesthetic education could become widespread and serve as the roots of human culture.

Not only every corner of Taiwan, but every stage and platform of the entire world, held the wrapt attention of its audiences, riveted as they were by the spellbinding beauty of movement, action, and posture. During more than thirty public performances abroad, they left their footsteps behind in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa. They continued to regale their onlookers, with no spot in the entire globe regarded as too distant or remote.

 

Special Features

Members of the Troupe are all of them without exception school students who are still continuing their academic studies ranging in age from nine to eighteen years of age, from the beginners' class to fully fledged "professionals". All pupils spend only their free time to practice their steps, for they cultivate their spirit of independence through unremitting perseverance and hard work, thus broadening their outlook through countless numbers of performances.

The gradual stage of their evolution, not only have they improved their skills as dancers, but also at the same time their social graces, polishing their refinement and day by day courtesies. With consummate art, and vital enthusiasm they have enhanced the dance with a super abundance of emotion and life. Not only have they earned the warm applause of the onlookers through their performance on stage, but even off stage they have gained the wholehearted approval of those who came to see them through their graciousness and savoir faire.

Tradition

The outstanding talented dancers which Lan Yang has carefully nurtured, have returned en masse in order to offer up what they have learned to their future successors, and no effort has been spared in order to cultivate an even greater number of artists and performers. Tireless tenacity and continued dynamism in the pursuit and study of the traditions of the ancient folk dance as well as those of the minority tribes, in order to raise the standards of these dance troupes, Lan Yang has hired and employed many distinguished choreographers, to study and develop the traditional dance as such.

 

 
 
 

Creation and Re-Creation

Ever since 1993, an elaborate study has been undertaken of subjects originating from Taiwan's folk culture and bucolic locations, through the idiom of the dance to interpret and expound the rustic lore of the land. Starting from I-lan, the native harbinger of Lan Yang Dancers, it was hoped that through the maturation of the dance as an art, that the native sons of our locality would comprehend in depth the cultural beauty of their indigenous environment, thus giving rebirth to the traditional dance. In 1999,the Lan Yang Dancers presented a whole new Taiwanese Ballet named “Princess Kavalan”.

  

Plurality

Apart from the development of the traditional dance, Lan Yang has also devoted time and attention to the evolution of the traditional ballet, and ever since 1992, collaboration has been launched with the Hungarian National Ballet Academy, thus the gateway has been opened for the entry of instruction in the traditional art of the ballet, and as of now using as one of its bases, the traditional Russian ballet, and from the far away renowned Russian Ballet Dance School, Vaganova , well-known teachers of the ballet from this school have been invited to come to Taiwan to teach, accompanied by a pianist accompanist. Good teachers from Lan Yang have also been appointed to go to this school for advanced practice. It is hoped that in the future the ballet dancers of Lan Yang will be able to display their art on the stages of the world, and to foster and encourage a teaching staff in Taiwan which can fully match the exacting standards of world competition.

Multinational Collaboration and Competition

In 1991, by a lucky coincidence, the Lan Yang joined the C.I.O.F.F., (or the Association for International Folk Arts Festival-which belongs to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and this association was set up especially to protect the world's popular arts and crafts. On an average, every year it helps to organize approximately two hundred activities commemorating the folk. arts festivals. Thereafter, in her capacity as representative of Taiwan, and after untiring efforts and hard lobbying, in 1994, Taiwan was finally was enabled to join this organization officially as a formal member country. It began to promote in every corner of Taiwan the continued development and expansion of her arts and crafts. For example the International Children's Toys Arts Festival, Nan Ying Arts Festival, Miao Li Festival of Masks, the Keelung Ghost Festival, the fifteenth of the seventh lunar month, etc, etc. And each year more than ten troupes are despatched to the local arts festivals of every country. Amongst Taiwan's activities during these arts festivals, Lan Yang is responsible for inviting the teams of foreign countries to come and participate, and so teachers behind the children's toys department, have as their prime goal, the task of assisting small children to exchange ideas and interests through the medium of toys, and to give the children more time to understand them, to enhance the peace and harmony of a family atmosphere, so that life is more mutually beneficial. It promotes aesthetic education so that Taiwan can acquire a perspective which is worldwide in scope, and the children can also acquire a sense of cosmopolitan brotherhood.