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Aug 27, 2016 12:24 EST

Project New Earth: CAS presents an exciting cross-artform presentation of live and digital arts, commemorating the forgotten CHINESE LABOUR CORPS during WW1

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 27, 2016

Project New Earth

 

CAS presents an exciting cross-artform presentation of live and digital arts, commemorating the forgotten CHINESE LABOUR CORPS during WW1

 

THE STORY

100 years ago, the British and French armies recruited 140,000 Chinese men to work behind the Western Front during the First World War. They were the CHINESE LABOUR CORPS (CLC) who made a vital contribution to help the Allies win, but have since become “the forgotten of the forgotten”* in WW1 history.

* See Guardian article here 

For a special multimedia report ‘The forgotten army of the first world war: how Chinese labourers helped shape Europe’ in South China Morning Post please click here, and more information of CLC in Wikipedia here 

86329-7d9d391f56bef56c766b488e79628d30.pPhoto: In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres

For more historical photos of CLC, please visit Imperial War Museum’s website.

CHINESE ARTS SPACE (CAS) presents PROJECT NEW EARTH (PNE) as part of the commemorations for WW1celebrating the CLC’s memory within the context of British Chinese communities in the UK today. Commissioned artists create four short works: two evocative music-dance films, an exciting live contemporary dance and a moving music drama.

SCHEDULE

Work-in-progress presentation:

8 Sep – China Exchange, London Chinatown, with artists’ Q&A (presented by China Exchange)

National tour to cities where CLC are buried in local cemeteries:

11 OctThe Black-E, Liverpool (ticket prices: £8/12, tickets via Unity Theatre)

13 Oct – Quarterhouse, Folkestone with post-show Q&A with local historian (ticket prices: £8/10)

15 OctTheatre Royal, Plymouth (free admission)

Chinese arts festival in London:

16 Dec – Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre (details TBC)

PROGRAMME

1. HEROES WITHIN

Julia Cheng – Choreographer/Dancer

Lavin Lee – Director

Ricky J Payne – Cinematographer/Animator

Andy Leung – Composer/Sound Designer

lula.xyz – Vocalist/Spoken Word

Claire Nicolas – Costume Designer

Dina Ahmed – Make-up Artist

A young Chinese woman discovers her ancestral contribution to Allied success in this music-dance-spoken word film. Animation peels back the layers of the painting, Panthéon de la Guerre, when the CLC were ‘painted out’ of history to make room for American soldiers.

2. MISSING PARTS 

Lucia Tong – Choreographer

Angelus Squid Marr – Composer/Pianist

Cheng Yu – Musician

Charlie Taillard – Videomaker

Sonja Perreten – Dancer

King San Lo – Dancer

Robin Harvey – Costumer Designer

Contemporary dancers explore distant journeys, monotony & nostalgia in homage to the CLC who became essential cogs in the war effort. Specially composed music creates a soundscape via recordings & live performance on pipa.

3. LUNAR CORPS 

Quang Kien Van – Choreographer/Dancer

Suki Mok – Filmmaker

Ruth Chan – Composer/Sound Designer

Ruta Irbite – Costume Designer

From labyrinthine warrens of lost memory, the stories & bodies of the CLC are excavated & brought into blazing light. This vivid music-dance film is a sensorial awakening to remember the forgotten.

4. SONG UNSUNG 

David K.S. Tse – Writer/Director

Kumiko Mendl – Dramaturge

Chris Chan – Music Director

Beibei Wang – Music Supervisor

Matthew Leonhart – Xu Kaidi

Windson Liong – Zhang Changsong

Candy Ma – Xu Meimei

Cherrie Lau – Costumer & Props Designer

Singer-actors weave together Chinese folk & English WW1 songs, with a moving drama focused on two men separated from family, lovers & friends by the war.

Song Unsung – Chinese New Year performance in Trafalgar Square, 2016

Lunar Corps – Teaser trailer 

Ski Mok Photography

Project New Earth – Creative Team members (Suki Mok Photography)

BIOGRAPHIES:

HEROES WITHIN:

Julia Cheng – Choreographer/Dancer

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Julia is a professional dance artist with over 10 years experience in contemporary & street dance styles. At present, she continues to compete, judge, teach, perform & choreograph. As Creative Director of company House of Absolute, she aims to push her eclectic range of theatre & dance training to expand cross-art performance. Click here for Julia’s website. 

Lavin Lee – Director

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Graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Film Studies, Lavin began his field experience as a camera assistant, for projects including Channel 4: Noah’s Ark (2014) & Honey Trap (2014). He thereupon co-founded an independent production company Metona Film & Photography in 2014, directing commercial & corporate short films for international western & eastern companies. Click herefor Lavin’s website. 

Ricky J Payne – Cinematographer/Animator

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Born & bred in Brixton, Ricky graduated from drama school performing his 5-stars award-winning one-man show Wombman. Facilitating workshops in acting, film & animation for young people, Ricky developed production company Invisible Darkness, where after a successful preview at Warner Bros, he is now developing a TV pilot. Click here for Ricky’s website.

Andy Leung – Composer/Sound Designer

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Andy is an artist, songwriter & music producer. Most notably as the youngest composer commissioned for New Music 20×12 for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad (CAS commission,XX/XY). In 2016, he released his debut electronic album New Cola; the pioneering work featured a digital erhu (developed from CAS commission, Project New Moon). Click here for Andy’s website.

lula.xyz – Vocalist/Spoken Word

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lula.xyz is a multidisciplinary singer, actor, writer across different platforms. Currently, a resident host/presenter for EFG London Jazz Festival & Love Supreme; Musical Director for House of Absolute Dance Co; content creator for an online publication Global Style Gypsy; & a member of Filament Theatre Co. She is working on a National Theatre production The Junglewith Steven Daldry (Director of The Hours, Billy Elliot) that will see her on stage in 2017, whilst producing her first EP collaborating with other artists. Please click here for more information about lula.xyz, and here for her youtube channel. 

Claire Nicolas – Costume Designer

Claire is an established versatile costumier & costume production manager, based in London with over 7 years experience in the theatrical industry, working on world renowned productions in London, Paris & New Zealand. She works extensively across various productions in theatre, film, contemporary & commercial costume making & design, specialising in garment construction both historically & in fashion placement. Please click here for Claire’s website.

Dina Ahmed – Make-Up Artist

Dina is a trained hair & make-up artist based in London, Surrey & the surrounding areas for photoshoots, bridal make-up, party make-up & fashion shows. Please click here for Dina’s website.

MISSING PARTS

Lucia Tong- Choreographer

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Lucia is a dance artist & choreographer based in London. Her passion for movement began with Chinese dance & competing with the Hong Kong rhythmic gymnastics team before studying contemporary dance at the University of California-Berkeley (USA). Lucia established Pangea Art in 2008 to develop interdisciplinary works inspired from our personal histories & perceptions. Please click here for Lucia’s website.

Angelus Squid Marr – Composer/Pianist

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Angelus is a British Chinese multi-genre artist with a particular interest in exploring identity & stories of the marginalised. Composition, improvisation, song-writing, performance, recordings, drawing, zine-making, running creative workshops, piano-tuition are all vital forms of communication for him. More about The Flying Coffee Machine & the Musician Puppets projecthere.

Cheng Yu – Musician

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Beijing born, pipa & guqin virtuoso Cheng Yu gained her BMus (China), MMus & PhD (SOAS, University of London) in performance & ethnomusicology. She performs regularly on traditional, contemporary & cross-culture/genre music including with Lang Lang, Matthew Barley & Damon Albarn & with her Ensemble & the award-winning Silk String Quartet. She lives in London & teaches at SOAS. Click here for Yu’s Facebook page and here for more information about her.

Charlie Taillard – Videomaker

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Charlie had passion for art and design from a young age and attended art school École des Arts Décoratifs in Strasburg. He is inspired by nature’s harmony from his travels around the world. His work as  Creative Director, Graphic Designer and VJ has supported Artists, Music Festivals, Entrepreneurs and Blue Chips internationally. He is currently working on a new projectPhosphere, an interactive digital portal illuminating the healing benefits of sacred geometry and its relationship with nature. Please click here for Charlie’s website.

Sonja Perreten – Dancer

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Sonja is a collaborative artist working on stage & film in dance, physical theatre & aerial movement. She has made work with Sidi Larbi, Stan Won’t Dance, Fin Walker, Jasmin Vardimon, The Holy Body Tattoo & Roxanna Young, among others.  Sonja has also directed movement in the West End, most recently working as associate director for Steven Hoggett.

King San Lo (King) – Dancer

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King San Lo was born and raised in Hong Kong. His performing journey started in secondary school’s theatre arts club and dramaturgy lives within him ever since. Graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, he is currently a member of EDge. He has worked with local and international choreographers including Laura Aris, Helen Lai and Rebecca Wong Pik Kei. He has received scholarships to participate and perform in dance festivals in Spain, USA and China. Please click here for his website.

LUNAR CORPS

Quang Kien Van – Choreographer/Dancer

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Quang is a dance artist & has performed with companies such as Adventures in Motion Pictures, Skanes Danstheater, Cirque du Soleil, Michael Clark Company, Scottish Dance Theatre & The Royal Court Theatre amongst others. Please click here for Quang’s website.

Suki Mok – Filmmaker

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Suki is a photographer, DP & director based in London. His photo & film work covers portraiture, film, fine art, press, editorial & commercial. Please click here for Suki’s website and blog.

Ruth Chan – Composer/Sound Designer

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Ruth composes for media & concert works, including: Around China with a Movie Camera (BFI),Moon’s Magmatism (CAS commission, Trafalgar Square), Piccadilly Revisited (CAS commission, Royal Opera House), As in a Dream (West Road Hall, Cambridge), A Very British Airline (BBC2) &Shangri-La (Finborough Theatre). She was Composer-in-Residence for Finzi Trust Residency in St Endellion & finalist for the Opera Close Up Flourish New Opera Competition 2014. Click herefor Ruth’s Facebook page and here for her website.

Ruta Irbite – Costume Designer

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Ruta’s design credits include productions for Scottish Dance Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Soho Theatre. She was a Linbury Prize Finalist in 2013. Please click here for Ruta’s website.

SONG UNSUNG

David K.S. Tse – Writer/Director

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Actor, writer, director (founder-AD Yellow Earth Theatre for 13 yrs), CAS Creative Director (p/t) & emerging filmmaker. Recent acting: playreading for Michael Grandage Co; workshopping David Lane’s Korea; BBC Radio 4 drama & will be on screens in 2016/17. He’s Special Adviser to the Royal Shakespeare Company for Chinese Classics Project; was commissioned for a CBBC story; & will direct Mary Cooper’s From Shore to Shore in 2017. His first feature screenplay, Yellow Poppy, is in development. Please click here for more information about David.

Kumiko Mendl – Dramaturge

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Artistic Director of Yellow Earth Theatre since 2011. Kumiko devised & produced Dim Sum Nights, showcasing short new British East Asian works in Chinese restaurants. DirectedRashomon, Yeh Shen, Why The Lion Danced & The Last Days of Limehouse. Also works as an actress, teacher, storyteller & movement director & co-AD for A Thousand Cranes.

Chris Chan – Music Director

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Chris studied music in Oxford where he was organ scholar & conducted the Merton Chapel Choir, Oxford String Ensemble & Voxabilis. On receiving the Association of British Choral Directors Award, Chris went on to workshop with the Oxford Bach Choir & BBC Singers & served five years as director of Young Voices Children’s Choir in South London. Please click herefor Chris’s website.

Beibei Wang – Music Supervisor

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Chinese-born operatic soprano, professionally trained classical voice in China, Italy & the UK. She has won many awards, including Roy Pleasance voice competition, Mario Lanza International Singing Competition, the prestigious Leap award for Arts (20th Anniversary Phoenix TV & 10th Anniversary Phoenix Life), most recently appearing in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Cadogan Hall to great acclaim. Other roles include Suor Angelica, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Turandot, Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi & Handel’s Rinaldo. Popular as a soloist in Gala concerts both in UK & China. Please click here for Beibei’s website.

Matthew Leonhart – Xu Kaidi

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Trained at the California Institute of the Arts, Matthew is an actor, puppeteer, filmmaker & illustrator. He’s held art exhibitions in England, China & America, recently toured his film Sick to my Bones around 18 film festivals & is currently in post-production for his next film, May You Never Die. For more information about Matt, please click here, and his website here.

Windson Liong – Zhang Changsong

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Windson is an international artiste who has performed in over 40 productions in 10 countries, with 7 original cast recordings under his belt. He was trained in Theatre Arts from Lasalle College of the Arts (Singapore) & Music Theatre from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama (UK). Please click here for Windson’s website and here for more about him.

Candy Ma – Xu Meimei

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Trained at Xinghai Conservatoire of Music in China & Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, Candy has gone on to establish herself as a versatile performer with extensive experience. She has played leading roles in musicals including Aladdin, A Chorus Line & Avenue Q (West End), other theatre & TV credits include: BBC’s Last Choir Standing, Cyber Girls girl band National Tour,Pepsi Music Awards. Please click here for more information about Candy.

Cherrie Lau – Costume & Props Designer

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Cherrie gained a BA degree from Central Saint Martins in Performance Design & Practice. She currently works as a Performance Designer within the realm of Site-Specific Theatre & Live Events. Find out about her recent collaborations with Secret Cinema & Alice’s Adventures Underground (& more!) here.

WHY WE NEED YOU?

CAS receives no regular funding and operates as a non-profit organisation.

PNE has been partly funded by Arts Council England and is definitely going ahead, but we still need to raise additional money to help us tour the production to three cities where members of the CLC are buried, and then to bring it to a major Chinese arts festival in London this December. And in order to educate the public about this piece of ‘forgotten history’, we will produce a documentary about the tour for wider dissemination, and to promote and distribute the two short films (Heroes Within and Lunar Corps) all over the world. Your support will directly help to ensure the success of this unique and historically significant intercultural event. Every penny counts!

The funds raised will contribute to the following:

1. Production of a documentary of the tour and performances for wider dissemination: 45%

2. Promotion and distribution for the two short films across short film festivals around the world including media in UK & China, as well as online forums and WW1 Museums around the world: 35%

3. Cost of the tour, eg. accommodation, transportation for the creative team and artists: 10%

4. Cost of more publicity of the performances, eg. posters, flyers, and house programmes and advertisement, to bring greater public awareness of the performances: 10%

Contact Information:

Lavin Lee

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