When we dabbled in technology
On behalf of Sadler’s Wells, JiaXuan produced DANSATHON, a 3-day 3-city event that brought together dancers, technologists
JiaXuan was founding company producer for AΦE since 2015, until 2018. With the vision to bring dance closer to the audience, AΦE places the audience’s physical thus emotional experience at the heart of their productions. The company’s first commission WHIST is a physical theatre and Virtual Reality production inspired by Freud and explores the notion of unconsciousness. It received its world premiere on 12th-13th April 2017 at The Gulbenkian and is currently touring the UK and internationally. The company also created 0AR, a 10-minute dance performance in Augmented Reality based on seminal dance work “zero degrees”. It was a Sadler’s Wells 20th anniversary commission. AΦE is currently in R&D for its second production REBOOT.
At Fish Island Labs (a joint project by the Barbican and the Trampery), we devised an incubator programme for the first cohort of members (July 2014) and produced Interfaces, a 3-day exhibition by the members that took place across the Barbican foyers 21-23 August 2015. In June 2015, we have also initiated its monthly open gallery evening Art/Tech/Networks, now known as “Interfaces Monthly”.
Also in 2015, we initiated make.it.now over two days in March. Dubbed as a “hackathon for the arts”, it was a research project with Dr Gerard Briscoe and award-winning theatre company ZU-UK in March 2015, to investigate the effectiveness of hackathon models in cross-disciplinary art making. Read the research paper here.
When we worked with dancers on stage
Between 2016 and 2017, we worked closely with Farooq Chaudhry to produce the international tour of Under Siege, a work by Chinese iconic dancer Yang Liping. It was Yang’s first contemporary work, as well as the company’s first appearance in the touring circuit for contemporary dance. It was seen in Sadler’s Wells Theatre London, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Festival, Festpielhaus St Pölten and Explore Festival in the Netherlands, receiving 4- and 5-star reviews.
Between 2012 and 2016, we developed and delivered Akram Khan Company’s National Engagement Programme and its delivery entity AKCT (a charity separate from the main company). Akram’s first children show Chotto Desh (world premiere 23 October 2015) is now touring internationally until 2018, and AKX (2014 and 2015) saw 30 dance graduates enrich their artistic experience through a 1-2 week professional development programme.
We also managed Big Dance 2016 Trafalgar Square and Pledge events on behalf of Akram Khan Company. 2016 saw the final year of the festival, a national and international celebration of dance organised by Mayor of London and People Dancing. Akram Khan as the Artistic Director choreographed for the Big Dance Pledge that inspired 43,000 people across 39 countries to dance, and 300 Londoners from all walks of life performed Akram’s choreography at Trafalgar Square on 2nd July 2016.
Back when Blackwinged Creatives was still a one-woman band, JiaXuan worked with Fang-Yi Sheu & Artists (許芳宜&藝術家), based in Taiwan, on their international projects in London, New York City and Vail from 2013 to 2014.
When we did something else
2015 saw the 100th birth anniversary of cultural icon Edith Piaf. We co-produced PIAF by Pam Gems, directed by Jari Laakso and executive produced by Gillian Tan, for a 3-week run at Bridewell Theatre in October and November 2015. Featuring Cameron Leigh in its title role, it opened to 4-star reviews from BritishTheatre.com, West End Wilma, and LondonTheatre1. The production was picked up by producers Steven M. Levy and Sean Sweeney, and transferred to Charing Cross Theatre to play over Christmas 2015 for 6 weeks, earning another five 4-star reviews.
We also worked with Su-Man Skincare in its operations management between 2016 and 2018. Su-Man is a retired dancer and now a celebrity facialist with her own skincare line. Working closely with the directors we ran the operations of the company.
JiaXuan also still fondly remembers her first gig when she first started out as a solopreneur, as Business Development Assistant at Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG)where she was introduced to the large scale, highly complex (=fun!) management ofcommercial theatre.