A Rakugo Dialogue – Interpretation ○

(○ sounds ‘spirit’.)

Performers: Tseng Po-Hao+Dai Kai-Cheng
Performance A: A Broken Stick of Joss and The Open Canal
June 29th (Sat.), 19:00-21:00, Dormitory A

Performance B: The Peony Lantern and Honesty
September 7th (Sat.), 19:00-21:00, 1F of Art Space II

○ , translated by ○, and delivered in a dynamic stage performance. Every effort, product, technology, country, bank, and currency has been invested in fully realizing ○.
What interpretation hasn’t been ridiculed as a crass misinterpretation by one’s contemporary political enemies? Also, who so ridiculed hasn’t responded to those enemies and other reactionaries with further justifications of her (or his) position?
Dai Kai-Cheng’s Japanese ghost and monster rakugo performance and Tseng Po-Hao ’s one-man dramatic reinterpretation of historical stories respectively use traditional rakugo stylings and reinterpreted and innovatively new retellings of history to compare and contrast the two performance presentations in order to shed edifying light on the underlying social structures and contemporary issues.

Tseng Po-Hao

Born in 1991 in Kaohsiung City’s Gangshang District and raised in Tainan, Tseng nurtured an avid interest in traditional Chinese music as a child and immersed himself in Western rock music during high school before beginning his study of Taiwanese folk ballads (liām kua). In 2014, he created Guijiangtang (Ghost Lecture Hall) as a platform for developing cooperative projects with stage performers Wu Chung-An and Dai Kai-Cheng. Their stage play centering on the 1915 Tapani Incident enjoyed a long and critically acclaimed run. Tseng spends much of his time on theater sound production, although he has taken explorative detours into various genres of music and pondered mindfulness in the performance process. Apart from exploring the various narrative potentials in Taiwan’s anti-colonial uprisings and half century of colonial occupation, Guijiangtang generates music content that frequently takes on social and emotional issues.

Dai Kai-Cheng

Dai was born in Tianjin, China and grew up in Tokyo and Taipei. He is an avid performer and got hooked on the traditional xiangsheng (‘cross-talk’) art form at a very early age. It was while living in Japan that Dai added rakugo (comic storytelling) to his growing stable of performance interests. He studied architectural design in university and currently does freelance work as a Chinese-Japanese simultaneous interpreter, cultural tour guide, and xiangsheng and rakugo performance artist. He also dabbles occasionally in community development work, where he puts his verbal and performance talents to use breathing new life into stories old and new. All of Dai’s work draws on his unique and well-honed talents and gives vivid new interpretations to our world. Dai regularly travels between Taiwan and Japan and enjoys nothing more than exploring city byways in search of new acquaintances and experiences that bring inspiration and smiles.

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