During the 2nd National Asian Heritage Month Symposium, many participants expressed their desire to develop a national network of collaboration and exchange to strengthen unity between Asian artistic organizations and artists across Canada.
Festival Accès Asie, explorASIAN and Asian Heritage Manitoba responded to this call by launching On the Move: National Asian Heritage Celebration based on a collective program bringing together three Canadian cities to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in May 2021. This event brought together artists from Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg working in the dance, music, and multidisciplinary fields.
On the Move: National Asian Heritage Celebration was broadcast live on Saturday, May 29 at 5pm PST and was moderated by Karine Kerr-Gillespie, General Manager of Festival Accès Asie and Jasper Sloan Yip, Coordinator at the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society.
Vi An | World Music Recording Artist and Film Music Composer
Vi An specializes in spontaneous and intuitive compositions on various Asian long-plucked zithers, including the Japanese koto, Vietnamese đàn tranh, and Chinese zheng instruments. Vi An is self-taught, making her debut in music when she was six years old. Since the age of ten, Vi An has independently produced 25 solo albums, including numerous collaborations with artists, musicians, and theater companies around the world.
Alcvin Ryūzen | Bamboo Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) & Related Arts
Alcvin Ryūzen Ramos lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada, where he teaches, performs, and makes precision jinashi shakuhachi flutes. Born and trained in Japan in the classical Zen Shakuhachi tradition, Alcvin is a genre-bridging artist who transitions between musical genres. He is also a composer and multi-instrumentalist (shamisen, shinobue, shinkin). He is also a recording artist with several traditional and contemporary music CDs to his name. He performs throughout Canada and internationally, and leads the Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage to Japan every few years.
ARTISTS FROM MONTREAL:
Yemayo | Julio Hong/Le Groupe Herencias
Yemaya is one of the most intelligent and powerful orisha deities. She is the maternal force of life and creation. Can we reduce sexual violence by instilling the characteristics of Yemaya across genders? By projecting four males onto a female deity we find Yemayo. Yemaya masculinized or “Yo” meaning “I” in Spanish.
This subversive group dance performance arose from a contemporary choreography filtered through ballet and traditional dance, music, religion, and daily rituals, Julio Hong questions pervasive notions of masculinity and the contradictions of metro-sexual man. A mutual understanding and shaping of a new equilibrium materialize within this intercultural and intergenerational duality of the sexes.
Indivisible | Nadia Chaney/Le Groupe Herencias
Indivisible is an interdisciplinary interactive performance that arises from stylized animations, neo-traditional musical compositions, contemporary dance, and spoken word poetry. The concept, developed by Nadia Chaney, expresses the theme of an inherent relationship between opposites in a quest for transformation and intimacy. Audiences write or text their impressions during the performance for Nadia, in real time, to remix into lyrical spoken word poetry. Indivisible is a surreal, sublime, and intimate journey that makes transparent the fallacy of irreconcilable differences. We may be broken, torn, and alienated from each other. Indivisible is a testament that we are never apart, never alone, and even our most private dreams matter.
Panj | Himmat Singh Shinhat/Le Groupe Herencias
PANJ is the Punjabi word for five. Punjab means the land of five rivers. The origin of these words is Persian.
PANJ is an interdisciplinary performance that includes original live music, spoken word, text-based narratives, as well as family and archival sound and video recordings and images.
PANJ follows Himmat’s journey to accept the sudden and premature death of his father and the resulting loss of connections to history, culture and identity. In the absence of his father, he turns to his mother, sharing memories to help reconstruct the family history, including the Great Partition of 1947 and its impact on her family.
PANJ explores the connection between water and stillness; unlocking body memories perceived through the five senses, enabling the power to process suffering and trauma to healing. Its deeply personal narrative brings the audience to a place where artistic and therapeutic processes work hand in hand.
PANJ takes the audience through five “movements” in time and space, exploring themes of dislocation, separation and loss, tracing the path of a Punjabi Sikh family through the aftermath of the decolonisation of the British Empire. From the rivers of Punjab, to the banks of Kaniatarowanenneh (the St-Lawrence river), water is the silent witness.
ARTISTS FROM WINNIPEG:
Bhari Bhari | India School of Dance
This piece is composed of movements from Kathak, an Indian classical dance form. It depicts the relationship between the mischievous Lord Krishna and his love interest Radha. The lyrics describe how Lord Krishna sneaks up on Radha and taunts and teases her, breaking her Matka (water jug) and embarrassing her in front of onlookers.
Dancers Shavira Narrandes and Brittany Young Tenn | Song Bhari Bhari | Singer Shreya Ghoshal | Music Rajeev Mahavir | Lyrics Pt.Birju Maharaj, Tabla Sanjeev Sen, Jeetu Shankar, Hitesh Prasad, Rupak Desai, Malhar Mahavir | Mandolin U-Rajesh | Programmed by Shivam Bagchi | Recorded by Aamair Shaikh-Krishna Studio Mumbai | Mixed and Mastered by Vijay Dayal At Yashraj Studios | Music Label T-Series
My New Swag | Great Wall Dance Academy of Canada
My New Swag combine Chinese culture and model dance together.
Great Wall Dance Academy of Canada (GWDAC) is an affiliate of Manitoba Great Wall Performing Arts Inc. GWDAC was established March 2007 and has always been enthusiastic in promoting Chinese culture.
Performers Winnie Pam, Lynn Qiu, Yijie Wang, Zunsheng Yang, Yan Zhang, Lavenia Yuan, Bowen Chen, Carson Chen, Ray Wu, Gary Liu and Julia Zhu | Director and editor Julia Zhu | Videographers Julia Zhu and Carson Chen