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Projects supported >

Staging Alterity Performance Festival

Mainland China — Performing Arts

Staging Alterity 2018:

Meeting of International Performances

To perform is not to produce products, but to present human being


Time: September 21-24, 2018
Venue: Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum
Organizer: Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Ming Yuan Group Co., Ltd.
Initiator: Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council
Curator: Zhao Chuan

Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council is pleased to support Ming Contemporary Art Museum (McaM) in presenting Staging Alterity 2018 from September 21 to 24, to gather young explorative performers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, demonstrating infinite possibilities of performances.

This four-day event is curated by veteran performance practitioner Zhao Chuan. In addition to lectures and performances, it’s also planned to hold a day-long workshop for participating artists. The invited artists have various backgrounds, including dance, theatre, performance art, video, theory, and curating. This is the second Staging Alterity 2018 event since its debut at Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum in 2016. The curator Zhao Chuan said, ‘I wish Staging Alterity 2018 to become a festival, one centering on seeing performance not as products but the presence of people, in interaction and intersection with more people.’

Ming Contemporary Art Museum will become a stage of alterity in four days of early autumn in September. Through those performances, presentations and discussions, the performance of difference promises new power and vitality. With artists inspiring and reflecting on each other across the plane of difference, the moments of these scenes truly become the presence of Different Lives.

The project will discuss about: where do rehearsal and performance come from, what could they be and where do they go? How do different social environments, different cultures, and various backgrounds form resources and subject matter for performers, performance artists, theatre-makers and dancers? How do their various artistic creations take initial form and then grow and evolve?

Staging Alterity 2018 is organized by Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum (McaM), initiated by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council, and supported by Abteilung Kultur und Bildung Generalkonsulatder Bundesrepublik Deutschland Shanghai, Transcultural Collaboration Graduate Semester Program, and other institutions and individuals.

(All events of Staging Alterity 2018 are free, for detailed schedule click here. )

(Image courtesy of the artists, provided by Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum.)

Guest list

Biljana Ciric (Shanghai/Belgrade), Eisa Jocson (Manila), Ernestyna Orlowska (Zurich), Gao Yuan (Xi’ning), Humphrey Maleka (Johannesburg), Jesica Bastidas + Angi Nend + Jiecong Men (Mexico City/Zurich/Hangzhou), North Gate Theater Collective + Grass Stage (Shenzhen/Shanghai), Ophelia Huang (Shanghai), Pablo Zamorano (Absent due to private reasons) (San Diego/Madrid), Steven Schoch (Basel), 44Theatre (Shanghai/Guangzhou), Xu Zhifeng (Shanghai), Wang Molin + Xu Bin (Taipei), Wu Meng (Shanghai), You Mi (Cologne/Beijing), Yu Ji (Shanghai/Vienna), VAGA (Guangzhou/Taipei) and so on.

Staging Alterity 2016:

Dialogues on Different Worlds / Different Theatres


Curator: Zhao Chuan
Time: Dec.8-11, 2016
Venue: Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum

Organizer: Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum
Superviser: Shanghai International Cultural Communication Association
Initiator: Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council
Supporting Organisation: Cultural and Education Section of the German Consulate General in Shanghai

Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum and Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council jointly invites Zhao Chuan to curate the “Staging Alterity: Dialogues on Different Worlds / Different Theatres” project from Dec.8-11, 2016. During the 4 days’ activity, theatrical artists, performance artists, and scholars from Africa, Asia, America, Europe and other areas will be invited to meet at the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum to present, through presentations, dialogues and workshops, creative projects from various regions in the fresh and lively location of Shanghai, exploring various artistic paths in theatre, performance aesthetics, and creative methods under different social conditions in different regions.

Since the 1980s and 1990s, the major transformations on the world stage have been accompanied by significant changes on the small stage. On the global stage, the once dominant western-centric modernization narrative has been challenged by other forms of globalization, postcolonial criticism, counter-hegemonic projects, and multiculturalism. The theatrical scene provides a privileged space in which we can involve ourselves in the process of shaping our individual and collective futures by sharing and discussing regional experiences, in their commonalities and in their differences, and by exploring new possibilities for future collaboration. This project is not simply a response to outside pressures, but is also deeply rooted in particular regions’ internal dynamics.

The creation, experimentation, and production of theater and live performance are linked with these dynamics. For various reasons, however, the dominant concepts, practices, and forms of theatrical and other performances come largely from the West. Nevertheless, Asian, African, and other theatrical and performative traditions, through their acute, vivid, and creative relationship to local and regional society, retain much that is their own.

“Staging Alterity: Dialogues on Different Worlds / Different Theatres” hopes to foster new points of articulation and new opportunities for further sharing and mutual participation, developing different orientations and horizons for contemporary culture. Even today, Most Chinese theater festivals are dominated by mainstream western theatrical traditions and values. The question is how can we build our own theatrical culture, develop different perspectives, and explore different forms of creativity and aesthetics?

(Image courtesy of the artists, provided by Minsheng Art Museum)

Guest list

Boris Nikitin (Switzerland/ theatre), Charlie Haffner (Sierra Leon/ theatre), Christopher Connery (USA/ Culture Studies), Dai Chenlian (China/ theatre), David Glass (UK/ theatre), Eisa Jocson (Philippines/ dance and performance art), Fangling Huang (China/ theatre), Hans-Georg Knopp (Germany/ culture strategy), Kai Tuchmann (Germany/ theatre), Kyung-Sung Lee (Korea/ theatre), Marlene Monteiro Freitas (absent, Cape Verde & Portugal/ dance), nunu kong (China/ dance), Ophelia Huang (China/ theatre), Sankar Chindavalap Venkateswaran (India/ theatre), Tao Qingmei (China/ academic and criticism), Tian Mansha (China/ theatre and Sichuan opera), Wadan Wuma (Taiwan /performance art), Wang Mo-lin (Taiwan/ theatre and criticism), Wu Meng (China/ theatre and performance art), Xu Zhifeng (China/ contemporary art), Yu Ji (China/ contemporary art), Zhang Xiaochuan.

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