Heart-pounding drums depict the majestic momentum of the nature’s changes and renovations with thunderous, earth-shaking energy, beating out a vigorous spirit and new expectations towards the future in a proud and dominating posture.
The Kuan-tsiòng Siú are the two defenders of Kṣitigarbha (the Earth Treasury bodhisattva, who watches for hell-beings). The two were originally nature spirits but, moved by the bodhisattva’s strong will, joined his cause as the leads of his officers, hence the name that means “Chief Infernal Officers”. In folklore, divine officers are too sacred for mortals to approach, as they hold the power to inspect good and evil deeds and arrest maleficent spirits. Such prohibition, however, does not exist in theatrical performances. This dance, originating from temple fair parades, is a solemn and mystical rendering of the traditional Kuan-tsiòng Siú ritual dance. The vivid colors and fierce expressions of the facial makeup bring the officers’ intimidating aura to life, while the dizzying formation changes of the five performers make for a culturally and visually rich presentation of the beauty of the Kuan-tsiòng Siú.
A solemn and mystical rendering of the traditional ka-tsiòng (infernal officers) ritual dance. The rhythm varies from gallant to serene, and the visual impact comes with religious symbolism, with fierce facial makeup and vivid costumes fully conveying the beauty of this traditional performace art.
Li Nezha, also known as the “Third Lotus Prince” and the “Marshal of the Central Altar”, is the youngest and naughtiest deity in folklore, his story well known and his vivacious personality a highlight in temple fairs. Originating in Taiwan, the “Techno Prince Nezha” performance combines the traditional parade dance by Nezha-costumed dancers with electronic music, depicting the Prince’s lively and humane personality. Accompanied with two cute “child gods of wealth” dancers, it is one of the most creative arrangements in temple fair shows. In 2020, Chio-Tian even composed brand new music for this number: a modern EDM track that heavily employs traditional instruments and theatrical music elements gradually stacking upon the groove to create a catchy, youthful tune. Slick new street dance moves have also been added to the repertoire, bringing a fresh “superstar” feel to the Prince.
Nothing beats the battles between parade teams in a traditional temple fair parade. The composer captured the spirit of such scenes in this drum number where three sections confront each other through rhythm and body language. The tension between them is depicted in a yin-yang contrast that breaks into a competition of drum skills done with Taiwan-style sportsmanship.
Inspired by the famous Donggang Royal Lord Festival in southern Taiwan, this piece is a richly layered sound experience comprising solos, unisons and rounds. The overwhelming drumbeats push the event to its climax and deliver a heart-warming prayer to the heaven. The raging momentum mustered from the performers’ very soul creates not just rumbling drumbeats but also a heartfelt prayer, with large, rhythmic body movements resembling the joyous dances in festivals. All in all, a distinctive drum piece that portrays Taiwan’s temple fair scenes!
Taiwanese people believe in the old saying that anything can only be achieved with the timing of heaven (timeliness), the advantage of the earth (environment) and the harmony of people (teamwork), and that we need to have gratitude for everything. This show represents respect and thanks to heaven, earth and people with blessing drums, flags, dances and music that weave into a flowing and pounding paean to nature, expressing the power of art and the energy of nature.
Drum theme of the Taiwanese film Din Tao: Leader of the Parade. Inspired by the sound of ocean waves, the drumbeats rise and fall with the drummers moving along with the rhythm, conveying at the same time the persistence and defiance of the Taiwanese people. A fusion of scenery and emotion, it is a milestone piece of Taiwanese war drum performances.
Since the ancient times, drums and flags have been symbols of victory, and this composition is a perfect mixture of the two, added withpowerful martial arts and mellow dance moves, and many stunning acrobatic acts. Multi-layered arrangement and stupefying visual and sound effects brings the event to its climax.
An epic drum number played in a mixure of solos and unisons. The drums start slow and speed up in steady and powerful beats, accompanied with a great variety of drumming tricks. Not only do all of these elements create complex and rich sounds and visual effect more stunning than traditional drum parades, but they also symbolize the overwhelming magnitude of the king’s march and warm up the audience for a smooth and successful event.
A 20-year old classic and the epitome of the spirit of Chio-Tian. Superb drum skills and perfect timing of the whole cast create a magnificent sound as though engulfing mountains and rivers with the momentum of thousands of soldiers and horses. Heroic grandeur resounds throughout the performance as intense, wholeheartedly played drumbeats take the audience into the atmosphere.