Music for dance
for Erhu (Chinese Violin), Zheng (Chinese Zither), Percussion, pre-recorded soundtracks, single-chanel projected digital video, and dance. 2007-09
Performed at the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), & Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (Vancouver)
Commissioned by the Orchid Ensemble, with dance choreography by Moving Dragon: Jessica Jone and Chengxin Wei and video images by multimedia artists Kenneth Newby and Aleksandra Dulic. Triaspora, also features music by Jin Zhang, Mark Armanini and Ta-wen Wang.
Triaspora is a cultural exploration of the Chinese Canadian experience through music, dance and interactive multimedia. The multi-media production incorporates Asian traditions with contemporary expression, which results in an elating mix of style, movement and sound. Triaspora draws on numerous interviews from different generations of Chinese Canadians, while examining the search for cultural identity and social acceptance.
Overture, the opening movement of this project, reflects the crossing of three disciplines – music, dance and multimedia. It also has a structure built upon three themes: fire, water and travel. Water, which at one time covered Vancouver’s Chinatown and carried the immigrants to this “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 fire that burned down Nanaimo’s Chinatown in 1960 is also a symbol of rebirth. Traveling is a familiar reality for the immigrant generation. Overture includes original interview material from a cross-section of Chinese Canadian individuals.
Creatively, this work utilizes a mixture of improvisatory and set instrumental material, which is overlapped with pre-recorded text and instrumentation. The balance between these three elements is achieved via the live performance, where each element is amalgamated into the overall texture of the movement. Though traditionally not a true “overture”, the work is titled as such, as it represents an introduction of materials, voice characters, and instrumentation, which is dealt with in detail later in the show: surrounding water, fire, and travel. This work is stylistically influenced by the use of traditional Chinese instrumentation and contemporary music. Instrumentation includes the zheng, (Chinese zither), the erhu (Chinese violin), and percussion (marimba, and various metallic gongs and cymbals).
Choreography/Dance – Jessica Jone and Chenxing Wei of
Moving Dragon Dance Company
Composers – Michael Vincent, Jin Zhang, Mark Armanini and Ya-wen Wang
Media Artists – Kenneth Newby and Aleksandra Dulic