Ziyian Kwan

i. I am a dance artist

ii. The name of my upcoming show is: The Odd Volume

iii. In describing the show in 3 sentences or less, I’d say:

The Odd Volume sources my childhood memories of 70’s Vancouver to subvert the racialization I’ve internalized over a lifetime. I lean into the dissonance of this vulnerability to explore the odd volume of my cultural identity.

iv. When you come to the show, you’ll see:

The Odd Volume is part of Edge Six, a shared program at Dancing On The Edge that also features work by Kirsten Wicklund. We are womxn artists from across generations and our work has very different sensibilities. It’s a dynamic pairing and I’m curious about how our two solos will compliment and juxtapose.

v. My inspiration for this show comes from:

I began with research of feminist approaches to dance with millennial artists: Francesca Frewer, Erika Mitsuhashi, Alexa Mardon, Deanna Peters, Rianne Svelnis, Emmalena Fredriksson and Kelly McInnes. I was working with the idea of ‘unsilencing’ oppression, inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s book, The Mother of All Questions. This landed in a solo that abstracts, collapses, and builds – on my experience as a womxyn of colour.

vi. One challenge in developing this show was:

My original proposition was a full-length piece so it’s been challenging to whittle down a lot of material into a shorter work. But it’s been an exercise in economy and precision, distilling the essential.

vii. My past work includes:

My most recent work was Public and Private, which featured a phenomenal cast of dancers and Taiko drummer. We sold out a 10-night run and it was great to share the powerful energy of six female-bodied performers with audiences. Other recent highlights were The Mars Hotel, with live music by jazz ensembleHandmade Blade and Kwan Yin, a duet I danced with my 78 year old father with live cello by Peggy Lee.

viii. I hope people coming to the show leave feeling:

I don’t have expectations around how audiences will respond. I think however, that the solos Kirsten and I perform have potential to provoke and resonate. Whether this means leaving with a feeling of emptiness or fullness, or perhaps both.

ix. After this show, I’m looking forward to:

Later this summer I perform a work by Deanna Peters at Gold Saucer. Fall 2019, I remount The Odd Volume for The Dance Centre’s biennial showcase, Dance In Vancouver. Followed by exciting new projects including an interactive installation at The Moberly Arts Centre and premiere of an ensemble creation at The Shadbolt Centre for The Arts.

Photos: David Cooper

Dumb Instrument Dance

Ziyian Kwan @ Edge Six


Picture Canada


Coastal First Nations Art @ The Audain

Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton