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Taipei’s Most Exquisite Dance Locale<br>Rose Monument<br>Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute

1. Each year the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute Dance Festival is held, promoting artistic interchange with renowned dance masters from around the globe. 2-7. The Rose Monument is from the Japanese colonial period of the early 20th century; a precious oasis of tranquility from the parade of cars on Zhongshan N. Rd. outside; the Dance Cafe is a favorite gathering spot for the local art crowd.The “Rose Monument”--what a lovely, elegant name. Its origins lie with Taiwan dance pioneer Tsai Jui-yueh, who in 1953 composed the classic dance study “The Prison and the Rose” after serving time as a political prisoner on the infamous Green Island. The masterful composition has been eulogized ever since. The Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute is where modern dance took root and flourished in Taiwan. In 1999 the Taipei City Government made it the first dancer related venue in Taiwan to be declared a heritage site.

Unfortunately, in this same year the institute suffered severe damage due to a raging fire. In 2003 rebuilding began, and the formal name Rose Monument — Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute was adopted. Plans were mapped out to provide a gathering space for artists of all stripes, and the Last Waltz Cafe was the first multifunctional cafe in Taipei specifically designed to accommodate performing arts. The doors to the complex were once again open to all, appropriately enough, on Mother’s day 2007. The name of the cafe officially changed to Dance Cafe, to clearly signify that here you will be relaxing in the very cradle of modern Taiwan dance.

The chairwoman of the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute Foundation, Xiao Wo-ting , says that there is no other exquisitely beautiful place to watch dance performances: “Each time I see the audience spread out on the lawns to watch, dancers absorbed in their acrobatics, light streaming in and gentle breezes wafting from afternoon through dusk, birds flitting about and singing along, I am overwhelmed with the feeling there cannot be a more heavenly place to enjoy the beauty of dance!” She also mentions that it seems word has gotten out amongst the foreign community about the loveliness there, and foreign guests are often on-site, cameras snapping away merrily.

The facility is located smack in the center of the metropolis, on Sec 2, Zhongshan North Road, surrounded by the Financial Holding Buildings. Xiao says it is like an oasis hidden away from the serpentine lines of vehicles in front and the towering walls of steel and glass on all other sides, capturing the memories of the architecture built by the Japanese in the colonial Taiwan of the 1920s. There is little surprise that young mothers of Japanese nationality come to this cool oasis in the afternoons with their young ones to relax and play. When activities are scheduled the bubble-making machines mounted on the enclosure walls send forth a brilliant cascade of rainbow-colored floating balls, delighting kids...and the kids at heart too.

The Rose Monument — Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute currently offers such dance classes as children’s aerobics, adult ballet, and jazz, among others. The price of each program runs from NT$3,000 to NT$4,000. All members of the public are welcome. In addition, to commemorate Tsai Jui-yueh, since 2006 the annual Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute Dance festival has been held, with special performances given by renowned dance masters from Australia, Japan, the US, and other lands.