Unsure of what to see at Asia TOPA? Tam Tran breaks down the program and suggests how you can get the most out of your time and money from the Asia-Pacific arts celebration.
You may have already seen some of its advertising around town but what exactly is Asia TOPA?
Also known as the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts, the event provides Melbourne a window into the creative minds of contemporary Asian artists and is a celebration of Asian Pacific arts. Featuring a range of art forms including performance, visual, screen and literary arts, Asia TOPA presents new ways of comprehending the intrinsic connections that run between us all.
With a massive line-up of events and amazing artist, it can be overwhelming to choose what to see. As much as we want experience everything, our budget may only allow us to attend a select few.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of Asia TOPA’s highlights to help you decide which events are the most suitable.
Asia TOPA presents a wide range of free events for everyone to enjoy. Club Ate, for instance, is a hybrid party that celebrates the contemporary voices of queer Filipina diaspora. Featuring live performances, video art, music, food and drinks, ‘Club Ate’ serves to transform colonial mythologies and emphasise the connections between queer migrant and intercultural identities.
Other free events include:
- Ex Nilalang
- He An: Do You Think You Can Help Her Brother
- Bombay Talkies
- Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance Art in Southeast Asia
- Chinese Square Dancing
If you’re looking to have a good time at an affordable student budget, Asia TOPA has a range of showcases and events that can cater to your needs.
Within all the programmed events is XO State, an ensemble of eclectic artists, dancers and musicians from across the Asia-Pacific including Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes, South Korean trio Jambinai, and Japanese acid-punk group Bo Ningen. XO State’s performers will be presented across three separate programs: ‘Dusk’, ‘Dark’ and ‘Daylight’. Each program varies from $20 to $40 but each artist and performance looks set to blow your mind.
Get to know the works of XO State this February as well as other affordable shows such as:
- The Age of Bones
- Solo Rites: Seven Breaths
- The Ghost Project
- The Light Within a Night
- Evocation of Butoh
Great night out
If you’re after a perfect night out, you can also consider seeing some of the captivating and enchanting performances. One of the highlights of Asia TOPA this year is the work of Tao Ye, whose TAO Dance Theater was a sellout hit in Melbourne last year.
The acclaimed choreographer is back with his latest works, ‘6’ and ‘8’. Both aim to explore the body in motion and what it means to be human today. As one of China’s most successful contemporary dance company, TAO Dance Theatre is in high demand globally and will only be in Melbourne for three days.
Other fantastic night-out options to choose from include:
Captivating and enchanting, these performances are guaranteed to bring you a memorable night filled with beautiful cultural experiences.
To learn more about Asia TOPA and see what other events are being offered, visit the official website.