The Chio-Tian Folk Drums & Arts Troupe (Chio-Tian) gave an unforgettable, entertaining, engaging and culturally immersive performance to an audience of CPS students, administration and community guests who represented the Overseas Community Affairs Council of Taiwan and the Taiwanese Association of Cincinnati at Hughes STEM High School on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.
A group of talented musicians, actors, dancers and storytellers of ancient folklore, Chio-Tian visited Cincinnati as part of the active sister-city relationship and successful student exchange program between Cincinnati and New Taipei City.
“This is the only city—let alone, school—in the Midwest that the Chio-Tian Folk Drums & Arts Troupe is visiting while on their world tour,” said Laura Mitchell, superintendent of CPS when she addressed students, guests and dignitaries before the performance. “We are so honored and proud to open the doors to our city and our schools for this amazing experience.”
Chio-Tian was initially a traditional Taiwanese temple fair parade team, and now travels the world performing as one of the largest and most professional performance art groups from Taiwan. The performers are trained across all performance disciplines. Each act is introduced by troupe leader Chen-Jung Hsu and his interpreter, Tsai-Hsuan Lin, to help provide an educational background and cultural context for the performance.
Several drum acts shook the auditorium and prompted applause. Expressive dances conveyed ancient stories and kept many in suspense. Towards the end of the performance, volunteers from the crowd were selected to try on costumes and play the drums. Even Hughes STEM principal Kathy Wright had her chance on the drums, with students cheering her on.
“In CPS, the arts are alive and well,” said Dr. Isidore Rudnick, CPS arts curriculum manager. “Bringing the troupe from Taiwan is part of our effort to bring artists from all over the world for our students to meet and learn from. We feel it’s important to give our students this opportunity.”
As students snapped pictures with the performers and special guests from the Overseas Community Affairs Council of Taiwan and the Taiwanese Association of Cincinnati, the appreciation and admiration for the performance was evident.