Credit: Image provided by Bolton & Quinn

London’s First ‘Taiwan Festival’ to Open at The Coronet Theatre in Notting Hill

World and UK premieres across visual art, design, dance, music, physical theatre, virtual reality (VR) and immersive experiences.

In what promises to be one of the most topical cultural happenings of London this spring, The Coronet Theatre today announces Taiwan Festival, London’s first ever major celebration of contemporary arts and culture from Taiwan.

Spanning 15 days, the unprecedented Festival will bring to London more than 30 contemporary visual artists, theatre-makers, dancers and musicians from Taiwan, most of whom never before seen in the UK.  The astonishing variety of the programme draws on Taiwan’s complex cultural identity shaped by its colonial past and vibrant present, reflecting the island’s most recent claim to fame as the purveyor of the world’s most sought-after semiconductor technology, and as Asia’s first and only liberal democracy to legalise same sex marriage, in 2019.

Anda Winters, Artistic Director & CEO of The Coronet Theatre, said, ‘Upon visiting Taiwan, I was immediately inspired by the diversity and innovation driving its arts scene.  Having fallen in love with the bold creativity of Taiwanese arts, I am thrilled to share this adventurous and varied programme with our audiences.’

For the duration of the Taiwan Festival, artist Cheng Tsung FENG will create a major site-specific installation for the historic façade of The Coronet Theatre.  Winner of Red Dot, IDEA and iF Awards with international commissions from Hermès, Cartier, Loewe, Bottega Veneta, Apple, Nike and HBO, Feng’s in-demand creations encompass large-scale pavilions and objet d’art made from bamboo, reflecting the artist’s deep fascination with handmade objects by traditional craftsmen from different parts of Taiwan.  An exhibition of his works will be held throughout the theatre in addition to traditional fish trap making workshops.

A highlight of the Festival’s theatre programme will be the World Premiere of taking it down and putting it up by the award-winning Taipei-based Riverbed Theatre.  The company’s image-based productions blur the boundaries between visual and performing arts and have been compared to works by Samuel Beckett and David Lynch.  Riverbed’s latest creation is a poetic meditation on the work of Marcel Duchamp.  Alongside the new work, the Festival will also present the UK Premiere of Riverbed’s ground-breaking VR experience All That Remains, first seen at the 2022 Venice Film Festival and winner of the Best Immersive Experience Award at the 2023 Luxembourg City Film Festival.

Taiwan’s rich tradition of contemporary dance will be represented by Anarchy Dance Theatre, Hung Dance and dancer-choreographer CHOU Kuan-Jou.  Anarchy Dance Theatre makes its UK debut with Second Body, an immersive audio-visual spectacular blending dance and 360º full body-length projection.  Hung Dance presents the UK Premiere of Birdy, a delicate duet which blends the movement of the human body, the flutter of birds, traditional Chinese opera and contemporary dance.  Chou Kuan-Jou brings her sensation from the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival to London.  In TOMATO, lust and desire take centre stage in a canny, capricious combination of live performance and live-camera documentation.

Acclaimed multidisciplinary singer-songwriter Yujun WANG will launch her new album  Dawn to Dawn in two intimate concerts as part of the Taiwan Festival.  Wang’s concert performances are interdisciplinary explorations blending music and visual elements.

The Coronet Theatre’s Taiwan Festival follows the theatre’s acclaimed Japanese Festival: Electric Japan and Korean Festival: Tiger Is Coming in 2022.  Founded in 2009 by the Artistic Director and CEO Anda Winters, The Coronet Theatre is London’s international theatre, offering a year-round multi-disciplinary programme of world-class drama, dance, music, poetry and visual arts in a uniquely intimate 195-seat auditorium and 90-seat studio space.  The 2024 season marks the company’s 10th anniversary in residence at the historic 1898 building.  The special anniversary programme reflects The Coronet Theatre’s core mission to engage, educate and empower audiences with the arts and cultures beyond borders.