Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reason #1 to love Taiwan

Taiwanese Opera.

...much more palatable than Chinese (or rather, Beijing) Opera, it's cousin. Less caterwauling, less beating-a-stray-cat-against-a-pole screeching.

More singing and music.

Needless to say, I prefer Ge Tzai Xi (not sure of that second word should be a "c" or "z" so I made up my own Romanization. Hey, everyone's doin' it!). I can't understand what's going on most of the time unless local spectators fill me in, as it's sung mostly in Taiwanese. That doesn't matter, though. I don't speak German and I love The Ring of the Nibelung, Die Meistersinger and Rienzi. I don't speak Italian and I love Aida.

In a way, it's almost better not to understand. Understanding the chanter at the Confucius Temple took all of the mystique out of it.

I'm especially a fan of a local troupe made up entirely of women who perform regularly at Bao'an and Dihua Street - their productions are entirely in Taiwanese. I think this was the same group but I'm not sure.

After watching the rehearsal for Confucius's birthday and before going to Dalong Street Night Market for dinner to have the best octopus of my life, we found this performance going on across the street from Bao'an Temple, in the property owned by Bao'an where the firewalking usually takes place.

I'm hoping to inspire more travelers to come and explore Taiwan and take advantage of the confluence of cultural heritage, friendliness, delicious food and stunning natural beauty here. With that in mind, here are some photos and a video, for those who aren't familiar with it:

And some videos...

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