How are traditional factors made manifest within contemporary choreographic practice? How are cultural and artistic heritages made relevant in the present when one's culture and art are foreign to dominant, local sociopolitical and cultural phenomena? The Past in the Present highlights Asian Australian artists and their journey from traditional or classical heritage and training, stemming from single cultural bearings to multicultural influences. More importantly, it delves into their contemporary situations in defining their art and choreographic craft. We anticipate a lively engagement between these three invited dance practitioners/researchers, who hail from diverse contexts, dance experiences and modes of scholarship. 

Date: Saturday, 25 February 5:30-7pm
Cost: FREE


EKO SUPRIYANTO (Indonesia), VICTORIA CHIU (Aus/China), ANNA KURODA (Aus/Japan) - facilitated by HOW NGEAN

What does it mean to be contemporary from different perspectives of training, bodily disciplines and tradition? What is the relevance of traditional sociocultural and corporeal practices to contemporary choreography? Is the traditional and heritage relevant at all to the Asian dance practitioner? Continuing the Contemporary brings together three dance practitioners to shed insights (or not) into ongoing issues of the traditional/classical as a potent(ial) artistic source, its relationship with the contemporary, and, links made between the past and present in their choreographic and aesthetic practices. 

Date: Saturday, 4 March 11am-12:30pm
Cost: FREE


How Ngean Lim is an independent dramaturge, producer and performance-maker who has been actively involved in the performing arts for more than 20 years. He has dramaturged dances for the Singapore Arts Festival and Singapore's Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. He has worked with critically acclaimed choreographers Daniel Kok, Joavien Ng, Kuik Swee Boon and Ming Poon from Singapore, and Pichet Klunchun in Thailand. He has also dramaturged for Cambodia's Amrita Performing Arts Group, with choreographer Emmanuele Phuon. In 2014, he was conferred with a PhD from the National University of Singapore with a focus on contemporary dance in Southeast Asia. Most recently, How Ngean was the dramaturge for Pichet Klunchun's Dancing with Death and founded the Asian Dramaturgs' Network (ADN) in 2016, a platform for critical exchange on dramaturgy among dramaturgs in the Asian region.

Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a dancer, choreographer and writer originally from Melbourne and has lived and performed around the globe. Her award winning book "Sweating Saris: Indian Dance As Transnational Labor" connecting modern and postmodern dance with Indian dance, migration and labor forms the basis of her research and practice. Her research and performance work reveals its own labor framed by  postmodern sensibilities while grounded in Indian "traditional" performance practices. Her work has been presented in diverse settings in many theatre houses, galleries, universities, museums, parks, historic buildings, and in public spaces such as the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai (China), The Korzo Theatre (Netherlands), Folkwang Performing Arts Center in Essen (Germany), The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam (Netherlands), typografia galleria in Bucharest (Romania), Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai (India), Treasury Building (Melbourne Australia), Unknown Theatre, Barclay, Irvine Civic Center and Bill Barber Park, in Los Angeles (USA), Harvard University (USA), Stanford University (USA), Oxford University (UK).

Anna Kuroda is a dancer and choreographer based in Sydney. Her movement practice focuses on sensitivity to internal and external air flow around the body, sharpness, fragility and unique rhythm. Kuroda completed a Bachelor of Movement Science at the Japan Women's College of Physical Education before continuing body work training at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Austria. In 2016 she was one of 6 finalists for the Toyota Choreography Award, Japan and a Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Studios Switch resident for her new work development Kanji. Kuroda has worked with Nibroll, Ong Keng Sen, KENTARO!!, Maki Tabata, Ko Murobushi, Choy Ka Fai, Phillip Adams, Brook Andrew and Charemaine Seet. In 2010 she began collaborating with David Kirkpatrick (sound and multimedia artist) as Murasaki Penguin. Their work crosses cultures and the boundaries of dance, sound and video, with a focus on interactivity and live performance.

Victoria Chiu trained at the VCA, Melbourne. She has performed and toured extensively with European companies Companie Nomades, Cie Gilles Jobin, Micha Purucker and Jane Turner. In Australia, she has worked with Fiona Malone, Bernadette Walong and with Australian Dance Theatre for TV show 'Superstars of Dance' filmed in LA. She has choreographed four short works in Switzerland 'Oui, No Nein Non' in two parts, 'Possible?' and 'Jezabel Velvet', funded by the Ville de Geneve and Loterie Romande. Her first full length work was a Sydney/Geneva collaboration with Cie. József Trefeli called 'StarStruck' which premiered in Sydney and toured to Europe funded by the Ville de Geneve, Loterie Romande and Pro Helvetia. Her second full length was created with Roland Cox, 'The Ballad of Herbie Cox'. It toured across Canada and is touring to Los Angeles in April 2013. This year Victoria is also creating a new work on Alice Springs dance company, Dusty Feet. Together with partner Roland Cox, she has started the company CHIUCOX in 2009.

Philipa Rothfield is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy program, La Trobe University. She is a dance reviewer for RealTime arts magazine and Momm magazine, Korea. She is co-convenor of the Choreography and Corporeality working group, International Federation of Theatre Research. She has been dancing on and off for some decades. As a philosopher, she writes on French philosophy, political philosophy, feminism and postmodernism, specialising in philosophy of the body. She is currently writing a book on dance and philosophy. She has published on dance in relation to Merleau-Ponty, Whitehead, Nietzsche, Klossowski and Ravaisson. She is Dancehouse's Creative Advisor.

Tony Yap is an accomplished dancer, director, choreographer and visual artist. Tony was one of the principle performers with IRAA Theatre (1989-1996) and has worked extensively in Australia and overseas including Agamemnon Festival Colline Torinese, Italy, and The Trojan Woman, Vienna International Art Festival. As the founding Artistic director of Mixed Company (now Tony Yap Company) in 1993, he has made a commitment to the exploration and creation of an individual dance theatre language that is informed by psycho-physical research, Asian shamanistic trance dance, Butoh, Voice and Visual design. Tony has received numerous nominations and awards including his solo work The Decay of the Angel which won him a Green Room Award for Best Male Dancer.


Asia TOPA is a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne and is supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments.