aWokening

Winnie Ho

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Introduction

How does one reconnect with one’s roots once settled in a new land? Winnie dives into her estranged and distant relationship with Hong Kong, her birthplace, by moving through the complexities of her diaspora and her queerness. She explores a traditional Chinese cooking instrument, the wok, and immerses herself in wok chi (鑊氣), the wok energy, which gives Cantonese cuisine its distinct taste. By sensorially examining the methods and the materials used in Cantonese cooking, she aims to listen and re-connect intimately with her ancestry.

Credits

Choreography and performance:
Winnie Ho

Lighting design:
Karine Gauthier

Scenography:
Florence Yee 

Dramaturgy:
Hanako Hoshimi-Caines, Lara Kramer

Sound design:
Moe Clark

Images:
Vanessa Fortin · David Wong

Approach

“ My creative process involves sensorial stimulation and embodiment of materials, which have been inspired by my on-going research and relationship to my queer identity, Chinese diaspora and notions of pleasure and play. I explore these topics by connecting to my Chinese culture, and specifically, aiming to merge the technique and methods of Cantonese (Southern China) cooking into my diasporic research and dance-making process.  

I’m curious to embody concepts such as braising 燉, steaming 蒸, pan-frying 炒, marinating 醃 and wok-chi 鑊氣 ​​— the flavour, tastes, and essence imparted by a wok which is a specialized iron pan exclusively used in Cantonese cooking. By sensorially examining methods and materials used in this cuisine, I aim to connect, listen and move intimately with the external: material, space and audience. ” ​​

— Winnie Ho

Biographies

Winnie Ho (Superhova) is a dance artist. Born in Hong Kong, she immigrated to Canada at the age of eight and currently lives in Montréal. Winnie’s ongoing interests and research include working with her Asian diaspora and queer identities, exploring notions of pleasure and play and subverting the performative gaze. She was the recipient of the 2017 DanceWeb Scholarship Program at Impulstanz Festival in Vienna. She is also a member of Queer Cohabitation Collective and participated in residency exchanges with other queer identifying dance artists from Montréal and in Calgary during 2018-2019. Her installations and performances have been presented at Ponderosa Festival in Lunow-Stolzenhagan, Germany, the Springboard Summer Nights Series in Calgary, the MIX Festival in New York City, the Out There Festival in Portugal, and Articule Gallery in Montréal. Currently, Winnie is working through choreography and performance to reconnect with her own cultural values as POC (person of colour). She collaborated with Angie Cheng and Chi Long in Seeds cast afar from our roots, an installation-performance and research in Chinese diaspora, which premiered at the Montréal, arts interculturels in May, 2019. Furthermore, she continues her Chinese ancestry and diaspora research with solo works Yellow Fever presented at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse and aWokening part 1, an online dance work, commissioned and presented by the CanAsian Festival in Toronto and Tangente in Montréal in 2020.