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Department of Theatre & Dance hosts Taiwanese dance students

Tainan University dancers

They’ve traveled thousands of miles for the opportunity to study with Lamar University faculty, learn with LU students and experience as much local Texas flavor as they can. And now that they’re here at Lamar University, their journey has just begun. For the next two weeks, 16 dance students from Taiwan’s Tainan University of Technology will be on campus to take classes, perform in three dance concerts, present a Taiwanese dance exhibition and perhaps even take in an Astros game.

“These student-performers from Taiwan are amazingly talented, but perhaps most importantly, they are our peers,” said Jeffrey Palis, director of Global Studies and Study Abroad at LU. “College students from another country who face the same life-study challenges and share the same post-graduation dreams as we do. Getting to know them is a great lesson in human geography. Our interactions and friendships makes the world seem a bit smaller. I know the group is excited to meet the LU community, so if you see them on campus, be sure to say hello!”

The Taiwanese group is getting a true U.S college experience. They are staying in Cardinal Village, eating at the Dining Hall, taking classes and performing with LU theatre and dance students. They will perform three routines in the Department of Theatre and Dance’s spring dance concert, “Dance Unleashed,” April 29 - May 1, in the University Theatre. The evening of dance works encompasses many genres, including tap, jazz, musical theatre, modern and contemporary, and is choreographed by LU dance faculty and select students.

TUT dance company

On Tuesday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m., the Tainan University students will perform “Journey of the Mind,” a dance showcase designed to share the art, dance and culture of Taiwan. Based on the natural elements, “Journey of the Mind” portrays freedom of movement with props such as silk and bamboo representing wind, water and stone. The Taiwanese dance showcase will be held in the University Theatre. Admission is free.

In addition to scholarly activities, the group will take part in fun pursuits.

“We're promising them an alligator at Beaumont's beautiful Cattail Marsh, bowling, a trip down the Neches River, an Astros game, shopping in Houston and even a stop (or two!) at Buc-ee's,” said Palis.

TUT students

Palis has worked with the Department of Dance at Tainan University of Technology before, and when he moved to LU, he brought that important relationship with him.

“My colleagues in Taiwan contacted me about the possibility for a visit. I then contacted Golden Wright, interim department chair of theatre and dance, who answered with an enthusiastic ‘yes,’ and things started to fall in place from there. I can't say enough about the support Golden and the department have given this project. Golden is the true engine behind the operation. I really hope we'll be able to get him and his students to Taiwan to return the visit soon!”

“Dance Unleashed” performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1. The University Theatre is located at 4400 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway on the LU campus. Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for senior citizens, students and LU faculty/staff; and $7 for LU students. Reserve tickets by calling (409) 880-2250.

Tainan Univ. of Technology students