Re-Orientations was a new piece of theatre, devised and performed by artists from India, China and the EU, working in collaboration through 2009-10. This production explored gender issues and identity in both Western and Asian cultures through a wide range of artistic forms, both traditional and contemporary. The performance formed a complex amalgam of theatre, video, contemporary dance, ballet, opera and traditional Asian forms. These were used to examine the changing nature of European and Asian identities, and gender identities, in the changing globalised world of the 21st century.
This project developed and built on established collaborations between Border Crossings (UK) and partner organisations in India and China, as well as initiating new collaborations in these countries. This project capitalised on existing work to complete a Trilogy of plays and to publish a book including the scripts and related articles. Re-Orientations was performed in London’s Soho Theatre in September 2010, and at Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in November 2010. The production also undertook a short tour of Sweden in November 2010. It was seen by more than 4,000 people, and was particularly successful in China, where it was performed under the banner of Expo 2010, and achieved 87.5% houses. There was also an extensive programme of participation and learning in both China and the UK. More than 400 young people were involved in participatory workshops around the project: the vast majority of these being in China.
The response of audiences and partners to the artistic work has been very positive. There are plans for future collaborations between Border Crossings and the partner organisations in both China and India, demonstrating the success of the work in Third Countries and the sustainability of this initiative.
Border Crossings has continued to work with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, developing a new devised piece, “Consumed”. This production will open at Tara Arts on February 20th 2013, and will tour the UK until March 23rd 2013. It will be seen in China later in the year.
Photography: Patrick Baldwin
PROJECT IN FOCUS
The Culture programme gave us the chance to build exciting new creative partnerships across Europe and beyond. In particular, we had the chance to work over a sustained period with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, and their incredible performers. We made the third play of the Trilogy through a development workshop in their studios, and performed it both in the UK, Sweden, and in Shanghai itself during the period of the 2010 Expo. The Chinese audience had clearly not encountered this sort of multi-lingual, multi-media theatre before, and was very excited by the way it told the familiar stories of their own lives as Chinese people in a global city.
-Michael Walling, Border Crossings
This success has led to a further co-production, Consumed, which is on tour in the UK during February and March. See www.bordercrossings.org.uk/consumed
NON UK PARTNERS:
Association “A fleur de peau”, France
Teater Eksem, Sweden
Company Yaksha Degula, India