Liminal: Erhu & Dance in East-West Fusion Theatre

by Chan Vi in Shanghai, , China

Total raised £40

£15,000 target 31 days left
0% 1 supporters
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 24th June 2024 at 4:22pm

Help bring Liminal, a new East-West fusion devised work, to Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024, stars professional erhu musician & choreographer

by Chan Vi in Shanghai, , China

Why Erhu?

I’m Chan, a British born Chinese director who started learning erhu a few years ago. My family were surprised to see me (an ex-indie-goth-teen) play erhu. Except for my mum, who just said “You look exactly like your dad, he used to play erhu before we came to the UK”. I had no idea because we never saw him playing erhu when we were growing up in London. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to erhu. 

The Vision

I want to devise a new piece of theatre with erhu and dance. This collaboration takes the traditional Chinese instrument into the creative process and context of devised theatre, something that erhu musicians have never done before. The choreographer is also taking on the challenge of working with dancer and non-dancer modes of performance, shifting between acting and physical theatre. With the goal of creating an East-West fusion world on stage, it seemed natural to place it at zero degrees longitude - just down the road from where I grew up. Combining star myths with the scientific domain of the observatory, the dispersion of starlight reveals future memories of people from a distant land. Inspired by my family’s journey westward in the late 1970s, Liminal explores the concepts of home and heritage and how they are shaped by the movement of people.    

The Team

I am extremely fortunate to have a professional team working on this project. 

Chen Xiyao - Professional Erhu Musician

Chen Xiyao is a lecturer at the Arts Education Centre of Fudan University. She graduated from Shanghai Conservatory of Music with a major in Music, specialising in erhu. Chen recorded an album “Simple Erhu Warm Sketch Collection” and took part in the compilation of textbooks “Erhu Classroom” and “Gu Guanren Ethnic Orchestral Works Collection”. Chen guided students in the 3rd College Student Art Exhibition to win first prize in Shanghai and China. Chen has held special concerts in Finland, Luxembourg, and Germany to promote Chinese culture, and has led students in international cultural exchange performances in countries such as Germany, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Finland. In 2022, Chen received a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council and went to the United States for academic exchange as a visiting scholar.

Anneliese Charek - Professional Choreographer and Dancer

Anneliese Charek is a Los Angeles born chorographer and founder of SLATE contemporary dance company in Shanghai. She gained her BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance/Choreography/Production at California Institute of the Arts. Charek is a regular contributor to the contemporary dance scene in Shanghai and continues to explore experimental performance in China. Charek has performed at the Shanghai International Dance Theatre, Pudong New Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rockbund Art Museum, Power Station of Art, and Hangzhou International Dance Festival. Charek has choreographed for dance films, documentaries, and music videos. Charek also participated in a residency in Alatri, Italy, with MATRICE school and RITMI SOTTERRANEI Dance Company, and delivered workshops for professional dancers in Rome, Italy.

Nicole Zhou - Co-producer & Marketing Consultant

Nicole Zhou is co-producing this show and supporting our marketing. Zhou is an entrepreneur with a background in large scale training and operations. Zhou is a vital member of the team, not only liaising with local vendors in China, but also developing and growing our marketing strategies with Chinese social media platforms such as Douyin, Xiaohongshu, Weibo and Bilibili. Zhou is helping us best utilize tools such as audience surveys and livestreaming to help build our audience base and generate interest in our project. We are collaborating with Zhou’s company 千宿(上海)文化发展有限公司 Qianxiu Shanghai Cultural Development Company Limited to secure corporate sponsorship for this project, with the goal of developing long term partnerships with sponsors for our future projects.

Chan Vi - Director

I am a British born artist with a background in sound engineering and stage design. I gained my MA in Scenography for Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. I was artist in residence in Rauma, Finland, have worked with the National Youth Theatre, produced costumes for the Nottinghill Carnival, and designed for drama and contemporary dance shows in Shanghai and Hangzhou. I also directed an experimental dance project ‘Juncture’ with choreographer Mel Simpson, which took us to the ancient submerged forest of Borth Beach. My first experience of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was volunteering at C Venues in 2002. It’s quite a feeling to be bringing a show to C Venues some 22 years later. 

The Process

We are currently part way through a 4-week laboratory stage, where dancer and musician experiment with different ways of creating. Part of the experiments involve a deck of playing cards with a music score printed each bar on one card. The cards are shuffled and create a new remixed score for the musician to play. The musician is then tasked with improvising around one card at a time, the timing of the bar changes are beyond her control. The original song is around 4 mins 30 seconds, the improvisation with the shuffled deck of cards took almost 30 minutes. The dancer is experimenting with directions and prompts from a more character-based angle, taking on the challenge of dancer and non-dancer modes of performance. We will soon start a 4-week rehearsal period followed by 4 weeks of finalising the production. Then we begin our performances with previews in Shanghai before flying to perform at the opening week of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Expenditure

  • Bringing a show from Shanghai to Edinburgh, half of our budget is spent on travel, visas, accommodation and daily living costs. Currently estimated at £14,800.
  • Our production and marketing costs, including performance venue and rehearsal spaces, sits at around £6,600. 
  • While the team are willing to work for free, I hope to be able to pay the professional team for their time and expertise, the budget for fees is around £6,700. 
  • Contingency of £1,400. 
  • The cost of this project is just under £29,500. 

If we could raise half of our budget, £15,000 would go a long way towards the cost of bringing a show from Shanghai to Edinburgh. 

We are also currently working to secure corporate sponsorship from erhu manufacturers and vendors in China. I hope this will enable us to pay the professional team for enabling this project to come to life. 

The Journey

Liminal is the first stage show from Erhu Remix Project, our goal is to bring erhu to new audiences through creative interdisciplinary collaborations and we are so excited about having this excellent opportunity to develop our project at and beyond the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I will be networking and enjoying the festival for another week after our performance and I’ll be more than happy to stop by for a chat with anyone who is interested Liminal and Erhu Remix Project.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£200 or more

£200 Patron

Become a Patron and your name will be listed on the printed programme, which we will send to you with a thank you note from the team and a signed copy of the album and poster.

£50 or more

£50 Follower

Become a Follower and we will thank you on all of our social media accounts, which includes those in China!

£100 or more

£100 Friend

Become a Friend and your name will be listed in the printed programme for the show and we will send you a copy with a thank you note from the team.

£1,000 or more

£1000 Supporting Partner

Become a Supporting Partner, your logo will feature on the poster, flyers, & programme. We will send you a thank you package featuring hard copies of the print material and a copy of the soundtrack album. We will also thank you on social media and send you a video of that process. Please note that we cannot accept sponsorship from companies that may pose a conflict of interest to our show or the venue. Please contact us if or more information.

£5,000 or more

£5000 Presenting Partner

Become a Presenting Partner, your logo will feature on all our marketing materials, our consultant will develop a marketing strategy to optimise exposure of your brand within our online and in-person events. Please note that we cannot accept sponsorship from companies that may pose a conflict of interest to our show or the venue. Please contact us if you would like to discuss becoming a Presenting Partner of our show at the Fringe or beyond.

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