Image: Ting Zhang

What Happened In Shanghai

Victoria Chiu and Collaborators

What do we inherit from family tragedies in times past? Would we have a different opinion of an austere grandmother had we known her in her youth?

Drawing on her family roots in Shanghai, choreographer Victoria Chiu interrogates how the contemporary body can illuminate different attitudes towards family – and why families make the often difficult decision to move their home across borders.

Season 21 – 24 February 2020
Sessions During APAM Gathering 8:30pm Mon 24 Feb
Venue North Magdalen Laundry, Abbotsford Convent


Four dancers explore the spaces between death and new life, influenced by the resilience passed down from their female ancestors. The dancers weave through vignettes and emotions that cross time and culture, responding to the (dis)connections between their lives and that of their grandmothers. ‘What Happened In Shanghai’ is an intimate multi-disciplinary work told through English and Chinese text, personable projections and the body, with live music by Guzheng player Mindy Meng Wang and Chinese electronic artist MHP (aka Ma Hai Ping).

This evocative collaboration begins like the sharing of a story and unfolds as a contemplation of our connections in the present.

“The intricate and highly original movement vocabulary is pushed in a different direction here and it is one that is compelling and truly fresh. The dance language is difficult to categorise, creating as it does so much that feels new.” Susan Bendall/Dance Australia for Fire Monkey

“To see ‘Genetrix’ is to glimpse something at the core of the art making process, and, more particularly, at the heart of the way in which dance can investigate both the universal and the particular, the personal and the social. Although it is perhaps trite to say ‘it is rooted in the body’, there is an undeniable humanism, a kind of reaching out to the other, that happens when the body is the storyteller. Thus, the work seeks to draw us into realms that are at once uniquely individual and broadly cultural. In a way, they pick at the threads of the exchange between the two, and how we negotiate that, privately and collectively.” Paul Ransom/Dance Informa – for Genetrix


Choreographer/Dancing for Kristina Chan Victoria Chiu
Dancer Gabrielle Nankivell
Dancer Lui Ya Nan
Dancer Janette Hoe
Video Artist/Set Designer Guo JinXin
Musician/ Guzheng Mindy Meng Wang
Electronic musician MHP
Lighting Designer Bronwyn Pringle
Costume Designer Harriet Oxley
2017 Collaborator and Dancer Kristina Chan

Dates Fri 21 Feb – Mon 24 Feb 2020
Time 8:30 PM
Venue North Magdalen Laundry, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford
Price $25 Adult, $23 Concession/Students/Asia TOPA artists +BF
Age Restriction All ages
Running Time 60 mins
Warning Audience will move around a little