Book Launched of The Storm Petrel’s Dance – The Story of Tsai Jui-Yueh

(Photo / Lin Yi-ying)

Taiwan Church News

3752 Edition

Jan 22~28, 2024

Weekly Topical

Book Launched of The Storm Petrel’s Dance – The Story of Tsai Jui-Yueh

Reported by Lin Yi-ying from Taipei

To let more people know about those who have sacrificed for the Formosa Taiwan in the history, Taiwan Church Press officially published The Storm Petrel’s Dance – The Story of Tsai Jui-Yueh, the 32nd volume of the “The Beautiful Footprints Series”, at the Rose Historic Site of Tsai Jui-Yueh Dance Research Institute on Jan 21.

Mrs Ondine Hsiao, chairwoman of Tsai Jui-Yueh Cultural Foundation and Tsai Jui-Yueh’s daughter-in-law, expressed that although Tsai Jui-Yueh’s dance brought joy and happiness to people, her personal life was always under oppression and difficulty in a tumultuous white-terror era. Mrs Hsiao invited parents and children to read this picture book together, so that the children could understand how Tsai Jui-Yueh stick to faith to overcome hardships with hope and love.

She further pointed out that Tsai Jui-Yueh’s dances mainly convey the joy, pursuit of freedom and praise of life, including dances like “Song of India”, “Puppet’s Showtime” and “Death and the Girl”, and etc., which were important classic works of modern dance in Taiwan from the 1940s to the 1970s.

“Jesus is Tsai Jui-Yueh’s rock-solid fortress throughout her life,” Mrs Hsiao recalled,  especially when Tsai Jui-Yueh often sang hymns in the small garden in front of her dance studio. “Christian faith protects her from many attacks, gives her strength to overcome challenges, and provides the spiritual power for her innovative artworks,” she remarked.

Rev Fang Lan-ting, president of Taiwan Church Press, said in his speech that Tsai Jui-Yueh showcased the true dynamics of Taiwanese people through the art of dance. Alluding a Taiwanese saying, that the true cultural treasure might need a stringent test of three generations, but it might be casually destroyed overnight,  Rev Fang encouraged the audience to treasure Tsai Jui-Yueh’s beautiful footprints, and also care for her Rose Historic Site – Dance Research Institute to avoid its being tarnished by any policy mistakes in the future.

At the book launch event, poet Huang Ming-feng recited a poem, “Here I Stand – written to ‘Rose Historic Site ‘ and Teacher Tsai Jui-Yueh “. Dancer Chang Tian-chen performed a dance of “A Dancing Life”. Poet Fong Ching delivered her observations of the dancer and teacher Tsai Jui-Yueh in her eyes.

Ms Liu Luh-nah, CEO of Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation, connected the audacious pursuit of Nylon Cheng for 100% speech freedom, who set himself on fire in 1989 to protest KMT’s arbitrary clampdown, and the absolutely unreasonable flame-up of Tsai Jui-Yueh Dance Studio, which was burned down by a highly suspicious arson attack in 1999.

Rev Lu Jun-yi, the editor-in-chief of the Beautiful Footprints Series of Children’s Picture Books, recommended the parents use the picture books to replace red envelope bonus during the Lunar New Year and read out the texts with their children. Whey they traveled together, parents can also take their children to Tsai Jui-Yueh Dance Studio to learn the people who dedicated their lives for Taiwan, he said.

Ms Jiang Shu-wen, editor of the picture book, pointed out that the title of this picture book was quoted from the poem, “If I Were a Storm Petrel”, written by Tsai Jui-Yueh’s husband Lei Shih-yu relating to his beloved wife. Ms Lin Yi-Hsiang, illustrator of the picture book, shared joyful episodes of the creative painting and reminded the audience her daughter’s lovely image was embedded into the book.

Rev Cheng Yang-en, a special researcher of the PCT Research and Development Center, reported Tsai Rui-Yueh’s life story with a title of “An Unforgettable History in Taiwan”. Finally, to conclude the book launch event, Mr Lei Serh, Tsai Rui-Yueh’s grandson, sang the famous Taiwanese lyrics, “If We Opened the Doors and Windows of our Heart”, which was Tsai Rui-Yueh’s favorite in her lifetime.

Translated by Peter Wolfe