Thunar Circus, a well respected troupe in Taiwan, will be bringing one of their latest performances to George Town during this years festival. ‘Kaxabu: A Language No Longer Spoken?’ grapples with issues of identity and marginalised cultures in the modern age. The Kaxabu people are an indigenous tribe of Taiwan, living in the central plains of Taiwan. Their language officially became extinct in 2010 with the death of its last native speaker Pan Jin-yu, despite her efforts to teach it in her last years. The experience of aboriginal groups in the modern age is often overlooked, so it is a great opportunity to learn more about the Kaxabu people and how their culture is adapting to modern pressures after so many centuries of enforced assimilation.

The contemporary circus’s take on the story of a lost language should be an fascinating watch, as it is told by exploring the limits of the physicality of the human body. Thunar’s overall mission is to create new styles and languages for circus performances, and in this particular show will be doing so by exploring the continuation of a lost language in the memory of its people. The performance uses the interaction of the human body with space and the simple objects staged around it in order to create a new, and hopefully lasting, impression of the Kaxabu language and existence amongst the audience.

This performance tells an fascinating and often overlooked history, but in a visually impressive and unique way – it should be well worth a watch! There will be two performances, both free to attend, on the 18th and 19th of August. The show will commence at 6:30PM at the Basketball Court on Lebuh Acheh. There is no need to register, but more information can be found on the Festival’s website

By Ella Benson Easton