A festival featuring augmented reality, immersive dining, ballet, waacking, comedy and clowning is heading to London this month.
CAN Festival will explore contemporary British Chinese experiences, delving into the past, present and future of the British Chinese population. The festival will showcase a diverse wealth of talent, celebrating innovation and exploring identity.
Festival highlights will include Augmented Chinatown 2.0, an immersive augmented reality world on your phone; taking you on a tour around Chinatown, where stories of the area’s former inhabitants can be accessed at any time of day.
Overheard will take place in a Chinese restaurant. As the audience eat, through their headphones they will hear the conversation between two waitresses and their manager, each from strikingly different Chinese backgrounds – Hong Kong, Singapore, and China – negotiating the cracks in contemporary Chinese identity.
The festival’s music offering includes Triptych at Shoreditch Town Hall, a three-part performance bringing together music, dance and word. Clashing classical music with Chinese percussion, grime and electronica, and ballet with popping, waacking and ambient footwork, Triptych explores otherness and hidden identities, celebrating the power behind the female body and voice.
Meanwhile, Coalesce at Kings Place captures the spirit of both classical Chinese instruments and contemporary electronic music.
For some light relief, Comedian Nigel Ng will be performing his Edinburgh Festival Fringe Best Newcomer Award nominated show Culture Shocked, taking audiences on a joyous romp through his life in the UK as a Malaysian immigrant.
In dance and circus, Invisible Harmony at the Southbank Centre will reflect on the East Asian experience of living in the west; and Long Shot at Jackson’s Lane is part non-verbal circus performance and part behind the scenes ‘making of’. A catapultastic evening of clowning, contraptions, comedy and courage.
The festival will also include children’s theatre shows Boh Boh’s New Friends and X+Y= (The Tree of Objects), song and paper cutting installation Walls, and a night of queer performance in Queering Now.
Closing the festival, Ways of Being Together at Shoreditch Town Hall will see Jo Fong drawing together more than thirty performers from across London for a one-off spontaneous, dynamic mass movement of bodies and lives.
When: 3rd – 23rd February 2020
Where: At various venues in London
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free (booking may be required)
More info: chineseartsnow.org.uk