Varhung~(Heart to Heart) is a creative work based on the traditional Paiwan dance, transforming the form of one unity of the Paiwan dance and music into a contemporary body language. The dance movements were designed based on the songs, and the songs were written based on the dance movements, enriching the physical performances of the dancers on stage. Baru, the choreographer, designed the movement elements for this dance work with shell gingers, which are very important in community lives, in mind. The community people brought the dancers to the mountains to pick shell gingers. “All the detailed movements during this process, such as picking, drying, and peeling layer by layer became the movement elements in this work.” The dancers presented their performances at one go on stage. During the performance, every once in a while, the rhythms of the four-step dance and the chanting and singing to go with the dance steps could be found. Everything, from steps, to dances, to singing, and to drama, was presented in such an intense way with strong impacts on the audience’s hearts.
Tjimur Dance Theatre -First Dance Company in Taiwan Dedicated to Contemporary Paiwan Cultural Aesthetics.
It was founded in 2006 by the head of company and artistic director, Ljuzem Madiljin, with Baru Madiljin as the dance director and choreographer. Based on the roots of Tjimur Tribe of the Paiwan people, it attempts to transform the integrated Paiwan melodies and dances into modern body aesthetics through the learning process of traditional Paiwan music and dance. Tjimur Dance Theatre is committed to retaining the traditional cultural foundation while seeking out the core essence of the Paiwan culture, where songs are infused to dance and dance inspires music, to showcase one of the most unique and distinctive contemporary dance companies in Taiwan.
Since 2015, Tjimur Dance Theatre has been to dozens of cities around the world. It is keeping connecting with more cities in London, UK, San Francisco, US, and Europe in 2021 and 2022.
In 2018, it was selected to represent Taiwan in the Festival d'Avignon, France and Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Taiwan Season, UK for the first time in the same year. The 42 performances over 56 days received outstanding reviews and recognition in 22 reports by the French and British media. The Scotsman, The Herald, The Broadway Baby, and Théâtrorama (France) gave the superlative ratings of five-star for three reviews and four-star for three reviews. Dorothy Max Prior from the Total Theatre Award, UK, said: “Its gentle but strong energy is appealing, and I feel a window has been opened to invite me to look in on a culture I know very little about.” Tjimur Dance Theatre was also nominated for the “Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance” and was the only Asian troupe to made it on the nomination list.