August 5, 2021
Announcing Center Stage Season 6 Ensembles from Taiwan, Argentina and Armenia
The American Institute in Taiwan is excited and honored to announce that two Taiwan performing art ensembles — Resident Island Dance Theatre from Pingtung County, and Twincussion from Taipei — will participate in the Center Stage Season 6 U.S. Tour during the 2022-2023 performance season. Congratulations to the two Taiwan groups!
This marks the first time Center Stage has included Taiwan for this high-profile exchange opportunity in the United States. Thanks to the promotion of Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and local cultural news channels, Center Stage Season 6 received 123 nominations from Taiwan among the total 198 submitted — a significant number that demonstrates Taiwan’s vibrant performing arts scene.
For its sixth edition, Center Stage (www.CenterStageUS.org), the cultural exchange program initiated by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and produced by New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), will host six contemporary music and dance-theater ensembles from Argentina, Armenia, and Taiwan. Each group will make an independent month-long tour across the country during the 2022-2023 season, promoting global ties and engaging with audiences on stage, off stage, and online.
Through in-person engagements and virtual interactions, these ensembles will meet with communities across the United States via performances, workshops, talk back sessions, artist-to-artist jams, potluck meals, and other activities to bolster mutual understanding. Lisa Booth Management, Inc. (LBMI), which has served as Center Stage’s general manager since the program’s inception in 2012, will craft and organize the community residencies that make up each tour. Residencies are being scheduled now.
Global Touring: New challenges and new opportunities
After a prolonged period of confinement and closed borders, Center Stage offers opportunities to arts presenters and artists intent on strengthening understanding and interpersonal connections between Americans and creative arts makers from countries and cultures which are not often enough directly represented in the United States.
As Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Cultural exchanges are a powerful way for people to connect across borders and for countries to build respect for each other.”
Meet the Center Stage Season 6 Ensembles
Resident Island Dance Theatre (Pingtung County, Taiwan) U.S. debut. Led by choreographer Chung-An Chan, RIDT offers fresh and inventive kinetic explorations of space, time, action, and gesture. RIDT’s outstanding dancers perform emotionally charged and socially engaged works that disrupt limitations of mental, emotional, and physical integration.
Twincussion (Taipei, Taiwan) Charismatic rising stars and Yamaha artists, Jen-Ting and Jen-Yu Chien, the twin brothers that make up this percussion dynamic duo, are engaged advocates for Taiwanese folk music, perceptive arrangers of Western classical showpieces, and champions of contemporary composers.
Cachitas Now! (La Plata, Argentina) U.S. debut. With swooping hooks and party grooves, the cumbia-grounded sound of this identity-inclusive LGBTQIA+ band buoyantly challenges societal norms, celebrates difference, and reclaims the love song for all.
Fémina (Buenos Aires, Argentina) The harmony-soaked vocals and electro-folk charisma of the Trucco sisters propels a new project by this acclaimed female powered band, and carries messages of equality and empowerment.
MVF Band (Yerevan, Armenia) Centering the 11-string long-necked tar, Miqayel Voskanyan’s quintet draws on polyphonic roots, global rhythms, and jazz’s tight grooves and improvisational play. Virtuosic, dynamic, and ultimately uncategorizable work, at home in clubs, concert halls, and folk festivals.
The Naghash Ensemble (Yerevan, Armenia) U.S. debut. A septet of masterful vocalists and instrumentalists gives renewed voice to Armenia’s spiritual lineage in bracing and propulsive work rising on the classical scene. The Naghash Ensemble is led by Armenian-American composer-pianist John Hodian.
About Center Stage
Center Stage is a cultural exchange program that invites performing artists from select regions to the United States to perform, meet, and share their experiences with communities around the country. Since its first edition in 2012, Center Stage has hosted nearly 200 artists in 29 ensembles from nine nations. Hundreds of communities in 35 U.S. states and Washington, DC, have hosted engagements. In addition to the six ensembles from Argentina, Armenia, and Taiwan that will tour during the 2022-2023 season, five ensembles from Colombia and Perú will make their U.S. debut tours from February through June 2022. Center Stage Season 7 is now being planned for the 2023-2024 year.