Performed in English with strong non-verbal elements, Lucky Ping-Pong Dragon Karaoke combines live art and the sing-along entertainment form originated from Asia, questioning the issues around authenticity and Asian identity. Four pan-Chinese artists have prepared 8 solo pieces, and audiences are invited to vote which pieces they want to see artists perform.
Initially commissioned by Migration Matters Festival 2018, Lucky Ping-Pong Dragon Karaoke will have its London premiere in the lead up to Chinese News Year as part of Chinese Arts Now Festival (CAN Festival). The venue will be an Asian-style karaoke booth with a limited capacity of 20 people only, offering an intimate and sensual experience with food and drink provided.
Apart from challenging the image of ancient and traditional China, Lucky Ping-Pong Dragon Karaoke offers a contemporary and experimental take on the concept of ‘Chineseness’ based on their own experiences living in the UK. Their solo pieces range from cabaret, spoken word, 1-1 interaction and video.
GASP-C is made of Burong, Howl Yuan, Mengting Zhuo and Zhiyue Hu. Having undertaken theatre studies and been making their own work in the UK, they come together with a collective intention to challenge and play with the representation of ‘Chineseness’. Howl Yuan, whose performances have been presented in the renowned SPILL Festival, described the starting point of this project as ‘a protest against labeling artists with their ethnic backgrounds, as well as an inquiry into whether artists should take advantage of their identities’.
Ruth Holdsworth, CAN Festival’s senior producer, said ‘this show is sweet, whimsical, daring and fun all rolled into one’.
The CAN Festival 2019 is the first major project from Chinese Arts Now, an Arts Council-funded body that celebrates and promotes artists of Chinese extraction in the United Kingdom, both those born in Britain and those from the wider Chinese diaspora. The festival will run from Jan 19 to Feb 2.
Lucky Ping-Pong Dragon Karaoke runs 30th – 31st January, more details and tickets here.