“Rituals from Old Formosa, With Spins and Clapping” -- New York Times dance review
“Car horns, conversations, excited children and the city's busy skyscape paled before the authority, simplicity and radiant humanity of the company” – New York Times Arts section dance review
“The dances were presented sympathetically and respectfully and, it would seem, scrupulously, without any hint of adventitious show-biz glitz or Moiseyey-style souped-up pizzazz.” – Village Voice
Taiwan’s most notable aboriginal song and dance troupe, winners of the 2006 Golden Melody Award for best singing group, widely acclaimed and recommended domestically and internationally
Field research on the music and dance of the Truku people of Hualian reveals their active life between the mountains and forests. The crossing of young singing voices with ancient cultural footprints results in an important, classic recording of Truku music.
The Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe is a group of aboriginal dancers, and is also a group searching for its original roots. Every dance contains a story and a legend. Every performance bears the expectations of the tribespeople and the exhortations of the ancestors. It’s as if the teller of the story wants to inspire the drive to continue preserving the culture in more young people, and get them to learn the people’s festival ceremonies, music, and dances. The Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe’s public goal is preserving tradition; what it insists on is the original flavor. From personal participation, observation and study, and the recording and organizing of detailed data, to transforming what was learned into original art and putting it on the stage, the members of the troupe are never labored or artificial but rather naturally display their inborn talents, a direct result of their long-term exposure to the sacrificial rites of their peoples.
The Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe was founded in 1991 by 16 aboriginal youth from different Taiwanese aboriginal peoples including Faidaw Fagod of the Amis and Snaiyan of the Puyuma. Through field research, education, study, creation, performance and publication, they pass on and promote Taiwanese aboriginal music and culture. In 1991, they released their first production, Landscape, which got a warm reception. In 1992, they produced and performed Remembering the New Year Festival, winning the Wu San-lien Literature and Arts Award, fully establishing themselves in the Taiwanese performing arts world. Subsequently they have produced The Exhortations of the Little People, Vuvu’s Songs, Holding Ina’s Hand, Who Is Shooting a Gun on the Mountain, The Shell God in the Fog, The Ocean’s Memories, and The Return of the Ancestral Spirits, and been invited to engaging music and dance exchanges in the US, Canada, Hungary, France, Spain, the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Japan, Germany, and South Korea. In 2001, they set up the Formosa Indigenous Dance Foundation of Culture and Arts. In 2005, they were nominated for Best Ethnic Music Album and Best Vocal Performance at the 16th Golden Melody Awards for the album Across the Years. In 2006, their album Holding Ina’s Hand won the Golden Melody Awards for Best Ethnic Music Album and Best Vocal Performance and also garnered a nomination for Best Album Producer. They are Taiwan’s best known and most representative aboriginal music and dance troupe.