Moth to flame? Is it suffering or love? Is it a cocoon to bind oneself, or is it a cocoon for self-protection?

In Paiwan language, the word Uqaljai means man/male. Born and raised in the Timur tribal community in Pingtung, Baru Madiljin has been researching the awareness and cultural conflict of gender identity in contemporary indigenous communities since the beginning of his career as choreographer and dance artist. The 2-week residency at O Espaço do Tempo is Baru’s first residency in life as well as his first time visiting Portugal.

During his stay in Montemor-o-Novo, Baru immerses himself in an unfamiliar environment, where he is unfamiliar with local spoken language. While attempting to find a connection between the body and the Paiwan nose flute that he is unfamiliar with, he will listen attentively to how the body and sound are connected. The nose flute that he has been researching is a typical Paiwan music instrument since ancient times. In the context of Paiwan traditional music compositions, the sound of the nose flute can be interpreted as male role or female role. Baru extends it as a metaphor for having female and male identities at the same time in one body.

At the end of his residency, Baru strongly feels, here at O Espaco do Tempo, is a safe space and right place for creation to share his research about the complexity of the reality of indigenous LGBTQI+ community in current tribal communities in Taiwan. He invites participants to be his guests visiting his temporary apartment in Magina, where he presents his short film,《Uqaljai • 蛾 • Moth》in the living room, a cozy and intimate space for dialogue and getting a close understanding about contemporary indigenous identity in the Paiwan community.


Concept, choreography, film director
Baru Madiljin

Advisor of indigenous LGBTQI+ community
Remaljiz mavaliv

Ljavuras livanlaus, Teluz Tjucenglav

Film making
Remaljiz mavaliv

Film editing
Anuwai Hamawaki

‘The Crumbling · Valgeir Sigurðsson’

Nose Flute
Ljaucu Tapurakac

Outside eye
Ljuzem Madiljin

Dramaturgy, production
Gwen Hsin-Yi Chang

Larissa Lewandoski

Carolina Lecoq

Technical operation
O Espaço do Tempo

Co-production in residency
O Espaço do Tempo

Special thanks
Cavalo de Pau Decoração, Luísa Serôdio

Choreographer and Dance Director at Tjimur Dance Theatre.

Baru is from the Paiwan community of Timur in Sandimen Township, Pingtung. He graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts School of Dance, after which he moved to the city for twelve years. In 2009, he returned to Timur and started working with his sister, Ljuzem, in learning about their traditional culture and sharing art. He also took the role of Tjimur Dance Theatre’s dance director and one of its main creative forces.

For the past 14 years back in Timur, he kept trying to find balance between his contemporary dance training and his mother culture. He’s now learning to listen more humbly to the community elders and their language and songs. In this way, he has truly come home and is living in the moment. As the traditional songs and body of the Paiwan gradually returned to him, he finally became his true self.

Excelling at restructuring dance forms and quite imaginative when it comes to musical aesthetic, he integrates and interweaves art in a way that fully manifests vitality and creativity. He is also proficient at interpreting the differing perspectives and richly diverse layers of Indigenous art. It should come as no surprise that he has won much international recognition.

Baru Madiljin (Tjimur Dance Theatre)