SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

City-to-City Cultural Exchange Forum: Hong Kong-Nanjing-London-Tokyo - Cross-Cultural Collaboration in the Performing Arts

Danny Yung (Zuni Icosahedron Hong Kong), Ke Jun (Jiangsu Performing Arts), Prof. Uchino Tadashi (University of Tokyo), Dr Ágota Révész (Freie Universität Berlin), Dr Rossella Ferrari (SOAS)

Date: 24 September 2016Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 24 September 2016Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: S209

Type of Event: Symposium

In this symposium, experimental art pioneer Danny Yung (Hong Kong) and celebrated Kun Opera performer Ke Jun (Nanjing) will join a panel of scholars to examine the processes, politics, and possibilities of city-to-city cultural exchange. A review of ongoing initiatives to facilitate the formation of long-term collaborative platforms and cross-cultural networks for interdisciplinary dialogue between Hong Kong, Nanjing, London, and Tokyo will provide the foundation for a critical assessment of the present dynamics and future developments of city-based collaboration in the cultural and creative sectors.


3.00-3.15 Opening Remarks - Dr Rossella Ferrari, SOAS, University of London & Ms Priscilla To, Director-General, HKETO London

1. City-to-City Collaboration: Case Studies

3.15-3.30 Ke Jun, “Remarks on the Inaugural London-Nanjing Collaboration, A Shakespearean Handan Dream (Ke Jun and Leon Rubin, 2016)”

3.30-3.45 Danny Yung, “The Experimental kunqu Flee By Night and Hong Kong - Nanjing Collaboration in the Past Decade”

3.45-4.05 Screening of Danny Yung and Ke Jun’s Collaboration, Flee By Night

4.05-4.20 Uchino Tadashi, “Hong Kong-Tokyo-Nanjing Collaboration 1: The Asia ICH Performing Arts Forum and The Spirits Play (Danny Yung and Sato Makoto, 2011/12)”

4.20-4.35 Rossella Ferrari, “Hong Kong-Tokyo-Nanjing Collaboration 2: The Toki Arts Festival and One Table Two Chairs

4.35-4.50 Ágota Révész, “The Traps of Cultural Exchange”

4.50-5.05 Coffee Break


2. City-to-City Cultural Exchange: Processes, Possibilities, Proposals

5.05-5.30 Roundtable Discussion

5.30-5.55 Q&A

5.55-6.00 Concluding Remarks



Ke Jun is General Manager of the Jiangsu Performing Arts Group (Nanjing), and a National Class One performer of kunqu (Kun Opera), specializing in wusheng (combating hero) and wenwu laosheng (civil and military bearded old male) roles. He has studied with kunqu masters Zheng Chuanjian, Zhang Jinlong, Zhou Chuanying, and Bao Chuanduo. His repertoire includes The Peach Blossom Fan, Bidding Farewell to Mother, Nine Lotus Lanterns, and Wu Song. He is also devoted to kunqu experimentation, with such works as Faust and Flee by Night. Ke is the recipient of numerous awards including the Meihua Award, the Wenhua Award, and the Lanhua Award. He has been invited to perform and participate in cultural exchange initiatives in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and the UK.

Uchino Tadashi is Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo. He received his MA in American Literature (1984) and PhD in Performance Studies (2001) from the University of Tokyo. He is a leading scholar of performance studies and his border-crossing activities between Japan and the US, Japan and Europe, and Japan and other parts of Asia have been recognized by academics, artists, and activists across various disciplines. His publications include The Melodramatic Revenge: Theatre of the Private in the 1980s (in Japanese, Tokyo: Keiso Publishing, 1996), From Melodrama to Performance: The Twentieth Century American Theatre (in Japanese, Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 2001), Crucible Bodies: Postwar Japanese Performance from Brecht to the New Millennium (London: Seagull Books, 2009) and The Location of J Theatre: Towards Transnational Mobilities (in Japanese, University of Tokyo Press, 2016). Twice a Fulbright Grant recipient (1986/87, 1997/98), Uchino has served in many Japanese academic societies, and is currently a board member of the Society of Studies of Culture and Representation (2006- ). He was a contributing editor of TDR: The Drama Review (1998-2013) and is currently editor of the Dance Research Journal of Korea and Pacific and American Studies. He is a member of the board of directors of the Kanagawa Arts Foundation, the Saison Foundation, and Arts Council Tokyo, of the selecting committee of the Fukuoka Culture Prize, and a member of Zuni Icosahedron’s Artistic Advisory Committee.

Ágota Révész is a theatre practitioner and scholar specializing in Chinese traditional theatre and cultural diplomacy. She studied English, Sinology, and Comparative Literature at Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, and Theatre Directing at the Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest, where she also earned her doctorate on the actor’s work in European and traditional Chinese theatres. In addition to teaching China- and theatre-related courses at various universities and working as a stage director, translator, and project manager, between 2010 and 2015 Ágota served as cultural attaché for Hungary in Shanghai. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin. Her research topic is traditional Chinese theatre in public diplomacy.

Rossella Ferrari is Senior Lecturer in Chinese and Theatre Studies at SOAS, University of London. She specializes in Chinese-language theatres, focusing particularly on contemporary experimental production, exchanges and collaborations within the Sinophone region, and interactions between Sinophone theatrical traditions and other Asian performance cultures. Her research interests also include avant-garde theory, interculturalism, transnationalism, adaptation, intermediality, and inter-Asian cultural studies. She has written about various aspects of the artistic practice of Zuni Icosahedron, including the adaptation of traditional texts and aesthetics into experimental forms, and cross-media relations between theatre and film/video, and between theatre and architecture. Her publications have appeared in TDR: The Drama Review, New Theatre Quarterly, Postcolonial Studies, positions: asia critique, and elsewhere. She is the author of Pop Goes the Avant-Garde: Experimental Theatre in Contemporary China (London: Seagull Books, 2012), and is currently completing a new monograph on transnational networks and performance collaborations in East Asia.

Entrance is free and no tickets are required but booking is essential:

Organiser: Zuni Icosahedron (Hong Kong), Jiangsu Performing Arts Group (Nanjing), SOAS China Institute

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4823

Sponsor: SOAS China Institute, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office London, The University of Tokyo