Fire Monkey is a Singapore and Australia dance collaboration between The Arts Fission Company (Singapore) and Choreographer Victoria Chiu and her dancers (Melbourne, Australia). The site-specific performance was presented at Mapping Melbourne – the festival organised by Multicultural Arts Victoria on 9 and 10 Dec 2016 at Arts Centre Melbourne.
The Year of the Fire Monkey unleashed increasing uncertainty and disruption in the world. The collaborative dance creation between Melbourne and Singapore, made across two countries separated by oceans, reflects on the anxiety of our time and invokes collective memories across cultures in the hope to mending broken myths and finding human connection.
Staged at the iconic Art Centre lawn, this site specific piece embraces the energy of Melbourne’s arts epicenter and ties it to the Chinese animal zodiac with 2016 being the Year of the Monkey under the element of Fire. Fire Monkey also involves different communities in Singapore and Melbourne by asking participants to use 3000-year old Chinese oracle bone script to create hand-dyed fabric strips as modern text messages across oceans. The colourful strips made by community members are incorporated in a spectacular installation at the performance site.
Coming together and welcoming foreigners into our space is an important sentiment in this collaboration. We were also inspired by the stages of burning and transformation that fire possesses, understanding that life carries us through spaces that change.
Our dance, our music, spaces we move through and thoughts we have all entwine, we gain knowledge of one another and our own lives become richer.
Presented in street theatre format, simultaneous performances take place in different parts of the lawn as the sun sets. Audience are free to stroll through space to experience sonic encounters like talking drums and other Asian percussion instruments, and be immersed in movement stories as the dancers unfold their performance around them. Fire Monkey is a transportative and interactive performance.
Artistic Directors/Choreographers: Angela Liong, Victoria Chiu
Lighting Director: Shigeki Fujii
Set Designers: Chaco Kato, Dylan Martorell
Music Director/Composer: Joyce Beetuan Koh
Rehearsal Director: Edwin Wee
Melbourne dancers: Amrita Hepi, Tra Mi Dinh, Sarah Mealor, Ben Hurley
Singapore dancers: Edwin Wee, Mimie Tav, Cao Ngoc Tuan, Geraldine Phang, Nor Liyana, Monika, Elaine Yoong
Melbourne musicians: Roland Cox, Simon Lewis
Singapore musicians: Benjamin Boo, Chen Kangren, Cheong Kah Yiong, Bennett Bay
Creative Producer: Meg Larkin
Production Managers: Freyja MacFarlane, Marg De Wolff
Production Assistant: Jacyntha Tan
Graphic Design: Deshani Berhardt
Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, National Arts Council Singapore, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Arts Fission, City Of Melbourne, Besen Family Foundation, Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts
Images by Gregory Lorenzutti
Multicultural Arts Victoria, Arts Fission Singapore and Victoria Chiu present FIRE MONKEY
Mapping Melbourne December 2016 - Arts Centre Lawn