photo: David Cooper of Ziyian Kwan

Spells For Chinatown May 31, 2023


Spells For Chinatown
photo: David Cooper of Ziyian Kwan

Co-produced with the generous support of

Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

SPELLS FOR CHINATOWN is our annually occurring free event that celebrates Asian Heritage Month at Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Historic Chinatown on the unceded, ancestral and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

Photo Alger Ji-LIang by Beau Bonex


(asian heritage month at morrow)

May 6 – 29, 2023

Daydream Shadow

Commissioned and performed by Juolin Lee

Nov 4 – 5, 2022 / 8pm at The Dance Centre on a shared program invited by Shion Skye Carter

The Odd Volume

Sept 3, 2022 at Tanzmesse / Dusseldorf, Germany

Rebel Grace | May 12 – 14, 2022


Presented by The Dance Centre as part of Global Dance Connections

At The Scotiabank Dance Centre: 677 Davie Street

Created and performed on the unceded, ancestral and occupied territories of the  xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations

Photo: David Cooper of Justin Calvadores, Lisa Mariko Gelley, Ziyian Kwan

Rebel Grace explores gentle transgressions as acts of resistance, empowerment and gratitude. Expect scenes of rupture, repair and sweet subversion. Rebel Grace s conjured by Ziyian Kwan in collaboration with dance artists Lisa Mariko Gelley, Andrea Nann, Justin Calvadores and Rianne Svelnis. These inimitable performers traverse the rhythm and rhyme of imagery, text and movement – in conversation with live music from multi-instrumentalist Roxanne Nesbitt and Taiko artist E. Kage. Creative Assistant: Juolin Lee | Lighting Design: Chengyan Boon

Made In Voyage | Nov 24 – 27 & Dec 1 – 4, 2021

Photo: Ziyian Kwan / David Cooper Photography

Presented by The Dance Centre’s as part of Dance In Vancouver, Made In Voyage is a collage of 3 solos that pays homage to the grandmothers of performers Ziyian Kwan, Justin Calvadores and Shion Skye Carter. Originally created with 6 performers, this distilled iteration aims to counter historic erasure by highlighting the life stories of womxn of colour. Each solo captures dramas of diaspora, war and peace –  in tandem with delightful family anecdotes. Collaboratively created, the collection as a whole, weaves song, dance and intimate storytelling towards a poetic reveal that celebrates the vulnerability, nurturing and resilience that flows through generations.

Very limited capacity: this show is designed for micro-audiences of up to 5 per performance. All audience members required to provide proof of vaccination and to wear masks.

Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House | Oct 2nd, 2021

Justin Calvadores – David Cooper Photography

Bunso, created with and performed by Justin Calvadores as part of The Dance Centre’s Season opening. 2pm in the Faris Family Theatre. Bunso, which is part of Dumb Instrument’s new work Dialects of Love and also a part of Made In Voyage, will be performed on a shared program with Sujit Vaidya. Tickets are free of charge by reservation: Link to register. Bunso was created with the generous support of The Canada Council For The Arts and City of Vancouver Cultural Services.

Dreaming of Koi | July 8 – 10 and July 12 – 15, 2021 | 5:30pm6:30pm | Site-specific performances at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: 578 Carrall Street. Rain or shine with covered outdoor audience areas.

Dreaming of Koi | Photo by David Cooper of Rianne Svelnis & Ziyian Kwan

Presented by Dancing On The Edge Festival in partnership with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Created and Performed by dance artists Ziyian Kwan, Rianne Svelnis with Taiko Artist Kage, Dreaming of Koi is a declaration of wonder for the flora and fauna that exists within and without. Set in a botanical maze where inside and outside are poetically merged as one, Dreaming of Koi brings art and imagining into relationship with an urban oasis.

With their performance ticket, audiences will also be able to see Rivers Have Mouths, a new exhibit in the gallery of Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, that aims to highlight and honour the stories of Chinese -Indigenous relations and connections to land both past and present.

Spells for Chinatown


Spells for Chinatown is a celebration of Asian Heritage Month conjured by Dumb Instrument Dance, Ziyian Kwan, Jo Hirabayashi and guest artists from Vancouver’s dance and music community. Every Thursday in May: live installations of dance, Taiko and cello at Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. In tandem, a short video as part of Sawdust Collector’s Field Trip Series. Combined, a 2-tiered incantation for healing and peace.

Featuring dance artists Marisa Gold, Shion Skye Carter, Lisa Gelley, Sarah Wong, Justin Calvadores, Kelly McInnes, Rianne Svelnis and Ziyian Kwan. With cellist Peggy Lee and Taiko artist Kage. Videography and musical composition: Jo Hirabayashi – In this trailer: music by Peggy Lee, dancing Sarah Wong, Justin Calvaderos, Ziyian Kwan

Co-produced by Dumb Instrument Dance, Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Barking Sphinx Performance, Powell Street Festival and Sawdust Collector

Oct 29: The Odd Volume as part of DansEnvol. 24hr live & video stream presented by The National Arts Centre and The Scotiabank Dance Centre. 7pm PST Oct 29 through to 6pm PST Oct 30. Free viewing. Link to view here

Rianne Svelnis & Ziyian Kwan. Photo: David Cooper

Sept 28 – Oct 17 2020:  Made In Voyage. One audience member or bubble at a time. One Dancer at a time. Stories of the performers’ grandmothers, an homage to elders. With Dance Artists: Marissa Gold, Alexa Mardon, Shion Skye Carter, Zahra Shahab, Rianne Svelnis, Ziyian Kwan. 


Peggy Lee & Ziyian Kwan. Photo: David Cooper

Sept 19: 19 Waltzes For The Distanced. Ziyian Kwan and Peggy Lee in a John Cage Score at 5th & Ontario. 1pm

Lihuen and Ziyian Kwan: Photo Chris Randle

July 3 & 9: KWAN YIN at Dancing On The Edge Festival: A 7 minute video stream version of the piece is presented by Dancing On The Edge 2020. July 3 at 9pm and July 9 at 7pm. To register: Edge 2: featuring short video works by Vancouver Dance Artists

February 27: Sawdust Collector Field Trip Presented with The Western Front –  James Meger plays stand up bass as Ziyian shares stories of her grandmothers to explore and celebrate matrilineage. Also sharing new work on the program are Veda Hille, Lucian Durey, Corbin Murdoch, Chance Lovett, Amanda Sum. 7pm in the Lux at The Western Front.Sept

24 – Oct 22 – Dec 10:  For three of editions of Sawdust Collector at Gold Saucer Studio, Ziyian joins musicians Peggy Lee and Corbin Murdoch for intimate studio performances. 

Nov 21, 2019: THE ODD VOLUME is showcased as part of Dance In Vancouver, The Dance Centre’s biennial showcase.

Aug 29 – 30: Ziyian performs ‘SOLO’ by Mutable Subject with Deanna Peters and Lorenz Santos at Gold Saucer. 

July 12-13: Premiere THE ODD VOLUME at Dancing On The Edge Festival. A solo created and performed by Ziyian Kwan on a shared program with Kirsten Wicklund. Fri July 12 @ 7pm | Sat July 13 @ 9pm at The Firehall Arts Centre. Tickets here

July 9 -11: Ziyian performs ECOUTE POUR VOIR with Montreal artist Emmanuel Jouthe’s company Danse Carpe Diem at  Dancing On The Edge Festival.

May 16, 2019: Dumb Instrument and The Dance Centre host a conversation about artistic practice with Tedd Robinson, Artistic Director of Ten Gates Dancing

Nov 13-17 & Nov 20-24, 2018 | 8pm: Premiere Public and Private at Left Of Main. Created and performed by Ziyian Kwan in collaboration with dance artists Deanna Peters, Delia Brett, Hayley Gawthrop, Erika Mitsuhashi, Delia Brett and Taiko Drummer Eileen Kage. Lighting Design James: Proudfoot. Set Design: Paula Viitanen. Dramaturg: Heidi Taylor. Tickets Here

Sept 7 -8, 2018 | 8pm: Ziyian performs a 12 minute excerpt from The Odd Volume, presented by Interplay and Mutable Subject at The Moberly Arts Centre. This is the first chapter of a new full-length solo that Ziyian is creating and dancing. Tickets Here

Sept 4 – Dec 29, 2018 | free in progress showing Dec 29- 3pm at EDAM Dance.  Ziyian researches a new solo by inviting colleagues to share their inquiries and practices. With Deanna Peters, Alexa Mardon, Francesca Frewer, Erika Mitsuhashi, Kelly McKinnes, Rianne Svelnis and Emmalena Frederickson – in residence at The Shadbolt Centre For the Arts, Gold Saucer and EDAM Dance.

June 3, 2018 | 10:30 pm | Two Nearly Touch: New work that explores body triggered sound. A collaborative work choreographed and performed  with Emmalena Frederikson, in collaboration with sound technology and composition by Bob Pritchard – at NIME Conference in Blacksburg, Virginia (New Interface for Musical Expression).

Mar 8-10, 2018 | 8pm | Sinking SuZi | Vancouver International Dance Festival: A solo choreographed for Ziyian Kwan by Peter Bingham. This spare and elegant work, which premiered in 2002 and performed again at Dancing On The Edge 2009, is revisited as part of EDAM Dance’s retrospective at VIDF on a program with two of Peter Bingham’s other pieces. Tickets

Mar 2nd, 2018 | 8pm | Public and Private: Work in Progress of showing Ziyian’s newest creation: Public and Private. Featuring performance by dance artists  Delia Brett, Deanna Peters, Erika Mitsuhashi, Hayley Gawthrop and Taiko Drummer Eileen Kage. At Left of Main Studio.

Nov 23, 2017 | 8pm | Kwan Yin: Dance In Vancouver. Choreographed and performed by Ziyian Kwan in collaboration with Peggy Lee and Kwan Lihuen. Mainstage at The Dance Centre’s biennial festival, on a shared program with Meredith Kalaman. The Scotia Bank Dance Centre.

April 7, 2017 | The Strange Fate Of A Person Falling Into a Black Hole: Choreographed by Ziyian Kwan. Danced by Samantha Priya Wright. For Simon Fraser University SCU Student Informal

Jan 27 – Feb 25, 2017 | The Mars Hotel: Choreographed and performed by Ziyian Kwan in collaboration with Noam Gagnon of Vision Impure and Peggy Lee, Aram Bajakian and JP Carter of Handmade Blade. Presented by Dance Victoria, Crimson Coast and The Firehall Arts Centre. Dates and links below.

Feb 22 – 25 | Kwan Yin: World Premiere – Choreographed and performed by Ziyian Kwan in collaboration with Peggy Lee and Kwan Lihuen. Presented by The Firehall Arts Centre with The Mars Hotel.

Feb 22-25, 2017: The Mars Hotel & Kwan Yin | A Full Evening of Ziyian’s work presented by The Firehall Arts Centre

Jan 27, 2017: The Mars Hotel | presented by Dance Victoria at The Metro Theatre

Jan 29, 2017: The Mars Hotel | presented by Crimson Coast at The Port Theatre

Nov 23-26, 2016: All In The Same Boat | Ziyian’s work performed by SFU dancers on a program with new works by Chengxin Wei, Rob Kitsos and Cheryl Prophet.

September 9-10, 2016: Simile – new creations with Vanessa Goodman at The Dance Centre, Vancouver

May 27th, 2016: A Girl’s got to… Dance response to the work visual artist Lyse Lemieux – Richmond Art Gallery.

April 29, 2016: Kwan Yin – Work in Progress Showing for Dance Lab, The Dance Centre, Vancouver

April 2016: Dance Lab – Creative Residence Informal Showing, The Dance Centre, Vancouver

March 17-19, 2016: Still Rhyming at the Vancouver International Dance Festival – with Jo Hirabayashi

Jan 30, 2016: Still Rhyming work in progress showing  at Rough Cuts, Dance Victoria

November 19, 2015: a slow awkward at Dance In Vancouver

July 8 & 10, 2015: The Mars Hotel  Dancing On The Edge, Vancouver

May 14-17, 2015: the neck to fall at Monument National presented by Tangente & Accès-Asie, Montreal

April 1, 2015: The Mars Hotel, work in progress at !2 Minutes Max – The Dance Centre, Vancouver

March 21, 2015: Slowscrape with Tanya Lukin Linklater: The Western Front, Vancouver

Dec 3-6, 2015: things near & far: new works by Tedd Robinson & Josh Martin at the Firehall Theatre – Commissioned and danced by Anne Cooper, Ron Stewart & Ziyian Kwan

November 19 – 29, 2015: bite down gently and howl for The EDAM Choreographic Series, Vancouver. Choreographed by Ziyian Kwan with Barbara Bourget, Vanessa Goodman & James Gnam.

July 2014: a slow awkward –  Dancing On The Edge, Vancouver premiere.

June 12, 2014: the neck to fall – Canada Dance Festival, Ottawa

April 29, 2014: a slow awkward – International Dance Day showcase at The Dance Centre in a shared program with Vanessa Goodman and Deanna Peters.

April 23-26, 2014: a slow awkward – KickStart CanAsian Dance Festival, Toronto premiere.

April 13, 2014: a slow awkward – work in progress showing at Dance All Sorts, Vancouver

March 15, 2014: Improvised Music Meeting with Peggy Lee & Lee Huzulak – The Pyatt Hall, Vancouver

March 15, 2014: Da Bao – Dance Response in collaboration with James Gnam, at the  Surrey Art Gallery

January 30- 2014: the neck to fall –  Push OFF  at Progress Lab, Vancouver

November 21-22: the neck to fall – Dance In Vancouver, The Dance Centre

September 14, 2013: throwing coin in collaboration with Anne Cooper – The Dance Centre, Vancouver

June 21-22, 2013: we all know Jane,  with The Contingency Plan & Anne Cooper -The Dance, Vancouver

May 11-12, 2013: the neck to fall – Studio 303, Montreal

Jan 11 – Feb 3, 2013: Do You See What I Mean with Projet In-Situ at The Push Festival, Vancouver

September 17 & 19 2012:  throwing coin – Quartiers Danses, Montreal

July 5th, 2012: 9pm: soft foot – created by Robin Potiras for Ziyian Kwan – Dancing On The Edge, Vancouver

June 1, 2012: looking for Yellow – Jeweller Bau, Vancouver

May 11-12, 2012: throwing coin with Anne Cooper – BC Buds, The Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver

July – Nov, 2012:  Triptych – an international Collaboration Project Facilitated by Opera Estate, Cirquit-Est and The Dance Centre. With Marco D’Agostin, Peter Trostzmer and Ginelle Chagnon

April 29th, 2012: throwing coin The Dance Centre, Vancouver

April 24th, 2012:  because the world is roundpresented by Vancouver Biennale – Sunset Beach, Vancouver

Photo: Rianne Svelnis, Ziyian Kwan, Kelly McInnes in Familiars by David Cooper Photography