18 Aug 2017
Performing artists from New Zealand, Hong Kong and Scotland will come together at the Edinburgh art festivals in August for a new programme that incentivises fresh ways of working with international peers to create new work.
Twelve artists, three from each country, will participate in the International Co-Lab to share artistic skills and cultural knowledge, expand their creative practice and build their international networks.
The co-lab, which runs from August 21 – September 1, is supported by Creative New Zealand, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Creative Scotland/British Council partnership, and aims to create a strongly linked network of artists who can work effectively across regions to develop artistic works together. The intention is for the same artists to be supported to meet in Auckland in 2018 and Hong Kong in 2019 to allow time for projects and relationships to develop and to enable greater understanding of cultural contexts.
The programme was developed by Forest Fringe from the United Kingdom along with co-curators Basement Theatre (Auckland, New Zealand) and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (Hong Kong, China).
“This exchange creates a moment of artistic conversation amongst a group of artists during the intensity of the Edinburgh festivals. It will enable artists to push their practice to a new level of creative and artistic experiment where the encounters, conversations and debates can lead to possible collaboration and new work creation,” said Low Kee Hong, Head of Artistic Development (Theatre) at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.
“We anticipate the programme will be creatively rewarding for the artists and help to extend networks with the potential for new understandings, connections and opportunities. This exchange successfully links our Edinburgh and Focus on Asia initiatives and we’re delighted to continue building our relationships with our partners in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Scotland,” said Cath Cardiff, Senior Manager – Arts Funding, International and Capability, Creative New Zealand.
“This innovate programme offers a new route for our Scottish participants to forge links with their international contemporaries, and vice versa. Being able to bring these artists and practitioners together in Edinburgh during the creative feast that is the city's festival season adds great potential for opportunities and partnerships to grow as a result," said Graham Sheffield, Global Arts Director, British Council.
The participating artists and co-curators are:
Julia Croft is a performer and feminist theatre-maker based in Auckland. She creates original performance that sits between theatre, dance and performance art and investigates the relationship between representation, politics and violence. She likes to use confetti cannons and make a mess and describes herself as a maximalist (a person who holds extreme views who is not prepared to compromise). She has presented her work in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and the UK. http://www.juliacroft.com/
Nisha Madhan is the artistic director of Auckland-based theatre company, The Town Centre. Her work includes creating work for commercial television; performing, producing and directing for contemporary theatre; public installations; writing and dramaturgy as well as mentoring emerging artists. She has toured many works throughout New Zealand and internationally with theatre companies The Town Centre, Future Hotel, Winning Productions and Indian Ink. http://www.nishamadhan.com/
Jason Wright is a composer and sound artist working across dance, theatre, film, sound installation and videography. Jason collaborates frequently with New Zealand choreographers and theatre makers and his work has been presented both in New Zealand and internationally including at the New Zealand Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival and M1 Contact Dance Festival Singapore. Jason holds a Masters of Music in Sonic Arts and Composition from New Zealand School of Music. www.jasonwcomposer.com/
Co-curator: Basement Theatre is Auckland’s culture-defining powerhouse and home to an artistic mix-tape of theatre makers, dancers, visual artists, poets, musicians and comedians creating original New Zealand content. World premieres make up more than half of its programme with the aim of showcasing the best new voices and fresh perspectives. http://basementtheatre.co.nz/
HONG KONG, CHINA
Ata Wong Chun Tat is a choreographer, actor, and physical theatre director and instructor. He graduated from the School of Dance in Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and later studied at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France. Ata is one of the few Chinese artists to have completed the two-year programme at Le Laboratoire d’Etude du Mouvement. After graduation, he studied the making and uses of leather masks under Italian master Stefano Perocco di Meduna at l’academie Albatros. In 2010 Ata formed the Théâtre de la Feuille which he leads as director and artistic director. www.theatre-feuille.com
Abby Man-Yee Chan is a graduate of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and was a dancer and guest choreographer with the Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company. Chan is the founder of Chan-can-dance Theatre and co-artistic director of Mcmuimui Dansemble. Abby received the Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship of the Asian Cultural Council to present her work in the United States. Her choreography has been performed throughout Asia, the US, and Brazil. She is also the Movement director of Dionysus Contemporary Theatre’s Equus and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. http://www.abbychancandance.com
Dick Wong is a graduate of journalism who left the publishing industry in the mid-90s to pursue a career in contemporary dance and theatre. In 2004, he was commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival to create B.O.B.* which was later developed into two versions and toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia until 2012. He was chosen as a laureate of the French International Residence Programme at Recollets in 2010 and presented 1+ 1 in Cartier Fondation during his stay in Paris. Commissioned by the In Transit Festival, he premiered Be Me in Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2011. Recent works include 0|2 (2014), a collaboration with Xing Liang, The World According to Dance (2015), a dance/theatre work on four generations of contemporary dance makers in Hong Kong and The Rite of Spring (2016). http://bodyobody.blogspot.co.nz/ http://www.hkdanceyearbook.org/main/dance/eng/artist_details.php?id=2-53
Co-curator - West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong is located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and M+, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade. http://www.westkowloon.hk/en/home
Sharron Devine trained as an actress 20 years ago in London at East 15 Acting School. Based in Scotland, she works as an independent theatre-maker/practitioner in the UK and internationally. Working alone she creates immersive, one-on-one, human specific works and is also an experienced collaborator crossing creative disciplines from dance to visual and live art. Rarely using text as her starting point, her inspiration is ignited from human, spacial, musical, visual and aural sources. She has spent the last eight years researching grief, memory, and the sense of smell as part of her responsive performance. https://www.sharrondevine.com/about-1/
Nic Green is based in Glasgow. The forms of her performance work are discovered through relational practice with people, place, material or context. Ranging from dance to vocal composition, her work has been commissioned and presented to acclaim, winning Best Production at Dublin Fringe Festival, a Herald Angel at Edinburgh Fringe and her latest piece Cock and Bull won the Total Theatre award for Best Visual/Physical performance in Edinburgh last year. She has also shown pieces in Finland, Australia, Japan, Norway, Belgium, Austria, Canada and Ireland. She is the first recipient of the Adrian Howells Award for Intimate Performance and also teaches directing for theatre at Glasgow University. https://www.artsadmin.co.uk/artists/nic-green
Eilidh MacAskill is a live artist and theatre-maker based in Glasgow. She creates playful and unique performances for both adults and children. She is the artistic director of Fish And Game. Recent projects include The Polar Bears Go Up, a co-production with the Unicorn Theatre for two-to-five-year olds, part of the Made In Scotland showcase 2017; STUD - a solo show responding to Freud, masculinity and horses; and Gendersaurus Rex, a major research project supported by Imaginate exploring gender and queerness in work for children. https://eilidhmacaskill.com/about-2/
Co-curator: Forest Fringe is an organisation run collaboratively by three artists based in the UK: Deborah Pearson, Andy Field and Ira Brand. Forest Fringe creates festivals, hosts residencies and occasionally commissions new work to help support a large and diverse community of independent artists working across theatre, dance and live art. The organisation is possibly best known for a free venue it has run at the Edinburgh festivals for the past 10 years. Their aim is to provide a space for new and experimental work in what is otherwise a challenging, commercial environment. Forest Fringe exists outside any major cultural institution, and without regular government subsidy, as an attempt to provide independent artists with agency and community. http://forestfringe.co.uk/