What Happened in Shanghai
What do we inherit from family tragedies in times past? Would we have a different opinion of an austere grandmother had we known her in her youth?
Drawing on her family roots in Shanghai, choreographer Victoria Chiu interrogates how the contemporary body can illuminate different attitudes towards family – and why families make the often difficult decision to move their home across borders.
Four dancers explore the spaces between death and new life, influenced by the resilience passed down from their female ancestors. The dancers weave through vignettes and emotions that cross time and culture, responding to the (dis)connections between their lives and that of their grandmothers. ‘What Happened In Shanghai’ is an intimate multi-disciplinary work told through English and Chinese text, personable projections and the body, with live music by Guzheng player Mindy Meng Wang and Chinese electronic artist MHP (aka Ma Hai Ping).
This evocative collaboration begins like the sharing of a story and unfolds as a contemplation of our connections in the present.
Respecting and acknowledging the Convent’s past
This performance will take place in the North Magdalen Laundry within the heritage-listed Abbotsford Convent precinct. The Convent’s Magdalen Laundry and asylum buildings are recognised as an important physical record for those Australians and their families known as the Forgotten Australians. We recognise and honour the thousands of girls and women placed in care at the Convent, including those who laboured in the Laundry. The harm of institutionalisation and the trauma experienced by many residents is acknowledged as part of the Convent’s heritage. The Magdalen Laundry provides space for artists, audiences and communities to experience new practices, narratives and histories, while respecting the heritage and social history of these spaces.
Victoria Chiu - Choreographer/dancing for Kristina Chan
Alice Dixon - Dancer
Lui Ya Nan - Dancer
Feng Feng Wang - Dancer
Guo JinXin - Video Artist/set designer
Mindy Meng Wang - Musician/ Guzheng
MHP - Electronic musician
Bronwyn Pringle - Lighting designer
Harriet Oxley - Costume designer
Kristina Chan - 2017 Collaborator and Dancer
Gabrielle Nankivell - 2017 Collaborator and Dancer
Yi LingXi - 2017 Collaborator and Dancer
Abbotsford Convent and Victoria Chiu present What Happened in Shanghai as part of Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts 2020.