TRIASPORA: artistic telling of Chinese Canadian history through music, dance and multimedia

TRIASPORA: artistic telling of Chinese Canadian history through music, dance and multimedia


Triaspora (with Orchid Ensemble, Moving Dragon Dance)
September 21 and 22, 7:30pm
Telus Studio Theatre, Chan Centre at UBC

I am really looking forward to this exploration of Chinese Canadian history.  Lan Tung and the Orchid Ensemble are incredible musicians and I have enjoyed their performances this past year, especially performing flamenco music with Mozaico Flamenco.  Lan first told me about this project last year, as she was actively engaged in searching out images of old Canadian Chinatowns – particularly Nanaimo.

This production has been previewed recently by both the Vancouver Sun East meets West in three ways in mixing Triaspora and twice in the Georgia Straight with Janet Smith's Dance | Critics' Picks: Dancers spin visions of angst and beauty and Alex Varty's Arts Features | A whole new breed

I am particularly excited becasue Lan Tung the leader of Orchid Ensemble, Moving Dragon's Chengxin Wei and composer Jin Zhang, are all immigrants to Canada.  I have heard many immigration stories about the Chinese coming to Canada from  many Chinese-Canadian pioneer descendants (and have also been telling them in the CBC documentary Generations: The Chan Legacy), so it will be refreshing to witness the production with fresh eyes and ears of these newcomers.

Telus Studio Theatre, Chan Centre at UBC

Telus Studio Theatre, Chan Centre at UBC
 
Stories of Chinese Canadians come to life in Triaspora, featuring music by the Orchid Ensemble, dance by Moving Dragon and multimedia performance by Aleksandra Dulic and Kenneth Newby

Inspired by real life stories collected from personal interviews and archives, Triaspora explores
the Chinese Canadian experience, incorporating Asian traditions with
contemporary expression, filling the Chan Centre with an exhilarating
mix of style, movement and sound.
  Triaspora
draws on numerous insightful interviews from different generations of
Chinese Canadians, while examining the search for cultural identity and
social acceptance.
 
The collaborative ensemble injects the work with their various
artistic talents.
Moving Dragon, founded by Chengxin Wei and Jessica Jone, punctuates Chinese dance tradition with contemporary
thought and movement; The Orchid Ensemble combines Chinese traditional
musical instruments with western percussion, performing original scores
by Canadian composers Michael Vincent,
Jin Zhang, Mark Armanini and Ya-wen Wang; and leading media artists Kenneth Newby and Aleksandra Dulic punctuate the space with their interactive multimedia exhibit.
 
Triaspora not only reflects
the crossing of three disciplines (music, dance and multimedia), but
also incorporates the three themes (fire, water and travel).
These themes inspire many layers of meaning to the overall collaborative work. In Triaspora, water, which at one time used to cover Vancouver¡¦s Chinatown and was
also the only medium to carry immigrants to the new country, symbolizes
their emergence from a repressed world to a new frontier. Like water,
which changes its form in natural cycles, the Chinese community
continues to transform and renew with each generation. The theme of
fire takes inspiration from a major fire that burned Nanaimo Chinatown
to the ground in 1960.  Fire also represents struggle, hardship and the
opportunity for regeneration and rebirth. Traveling

is a familiar reality for the immigrant generation. Canada¡¦s economic
lifeline – highway 401 and Steve Reich¡¦s famous composition Different Trains inspired the music for the final theme in the piece.
 
Triaspora will
be performed on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22 (with
Reception to follow) at the Chan Centre at UBC Telus Studio Theatre. 

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