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produced by Orchid Ensemble 蘭韻樂團
co-created by Lan Tung 董籃, Julia Taffe,
Sammy Chien 簡上翔, and Chengxin Wei 魏成欣

Choreography: Julia Taffe & Chengxin Wei 魏成欣
Vertical Dance Artists, Creative Design & Safety Management:
Aeriosa Dance Society ~
          Colin Zacharias (Safety Director)
          Alex Tam 谭達文, Thoenn Glover, & Cara Siu (Dancers)
Music: Orchid Ensemble 蘭韻樂團 ~
           Lan Tung 董籃 (Music Directorerhu 二胡 & vocal & composer),
           Dailin Hsieh 謝岱霖 (zheng 箏) &
           Jonathan Bernard (percussion)
Media Arts & Lights: Chimerik 似不像
           Sammy Chien (Director of Media Arts) 
           Shang-Han Chien (Art Director) 
           Ivan So – (Graphic Artist) 
           Jonathan Kim (Jono) (Lighting Designer)
           Andie Lloyd (Lighting Design Associate,
                               Assistant Video Design & Dialogue Editor) 
           Jake Geun Uoo Kim (Sound Designer, Production Assistant)
           Rashi Sethi (Graphic Design Assistant)
           Henry Ruohao Wu (Text Editing Assistant)
           Andy Lee (UI Design Adviser)

Production Manager: Chengyan Boon
Set Design: Khan Lee
Costume Design: Chandra Krown
Shan Hai Jing Characters Illustration: Li Tung 董籬
Graphic Design: Shang-Han Chien 簡上涵
Publicity: Helen Yagi & Andrew Poon

Aeriosa photo by Tim Matheson from Second Nature

Orchid Ensemble
Established in 1997, the JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble blends musical instruments and traditions from the east and the west to create a beautiful new sound. The ensemble has embraced a variety of musical styles to its repertoire, ranging from Taiwanese and Chinese music, World Music, New Music, to Jazz and Creative Improvisation. Acclaimed as ‘One of the brightest blossoms on the world music scene’ (Georgia Straight), the Orchid Ensemble regularly collaborates with artists from various backgrounds, produces interdisciplinary project, and commissions new works from Canadian composers. The ensemble tours regularly across North America, performing at concert halls, educational institutes, and festivals. Recent appearances include The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery, Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa, Festival Miami, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. As BC’s spokesperson for the UNESCO ASPnet in Canada, the Orchid Ensemble gives educational presentations to various age groups. The ensemble has released four CDs, winning the Independent Music Award and numerous award nominations.


Crossing Mountains & Seas 穿越山海經

1) July 11, 2019 – 7:30pm at the Port Theatre, Nanaimo, BC
presented by Crimson Coast Dance Society
as part of the InFrinGingG Dance Festival
Buy Tickets:Regular $30, CCDS Member $27, Student/Senior $25


2) July 20, 2019 – 8pm Vancouver Playhouse, Vancouver, BC
co-presented by Orchid Ensemble & Sound of Dragon Society 
as part of the Taiwan-Canada Culture Exchange Month
Buy Tickets:: VIP $35 (reserved front rows seating), Regular $25 (general seating), Student/Senior $19.99 (general seating)

Crossing Mountains & Seas is an inter-disciplinary production that fuses contemporary and aerial dance, original music with Chinese traditions, and interactive multimedia projection. The performance is a journey through an imaged video game that crosses over modern day Canada and a magical world of pre-historic Asia, as described in the ancient book Shan Hai Jing or the Classic of Mountains & Seas. 

Crossing Mountains & Seas celebrates how the various creatures in Shan Hai Jing had lived in harmony with each other, which is a metaphor of an ideal multi-cultural society that we are seeking today. Within an imaged role-playing video game game, players can interact and collaborate, no matter what their nationality, ethnicity, physical appearance, age, and gender would be. The production also showcases the creative aspects of gaming and the infinite possibilities of video technology.

The game acts as a portal for our characters to travel between the ancient and modern worlds, the east and the west, the sea and the sky, and the reality and our imagination. Vertical dancers (members of Aeriosa Dance) are suspended in the air to break the boundary of performance space on a multi-dimensional stage. Against dramatic media projection with the latest video technology, brush-painting characters are animated in ever-changing scenes. Live music is scored for the combination of Chinese and western instruments for this adventurous journey.

Shan Hai Jing 山海經 is an enormous collection of ancient Chinese writings and drawings about a magical world where countless mythical creatures or hybrids of human and animals have lived in over 100 kingdoms. This book is deeply connected to all aspects of Chinese culture. Taoism, myths and legends, rituals, and common beliefs can all be traced back to Shan Hai Jing. However, this book was forgotten by the majority of the population in the last century, and very few people heard of it. In the past decades, influenced by British and American fantasy films and the advancement of special effects, Asian writers and filmmakers have been seeking inspiration from Shan Hai Jing to create their own fantasy worlds. As a result, Shan Hai Jing is now receiving the greatest attention over its 2000+ years of existence.  

Audience feedback:

“I’ve never in my life, been in an audience with so many people of colour, in particular Chinese people. Young children, babies, grandparents, families and individuals. And I felt a sense of being that I’ve never before experienced while witnessing art. I saw in Chengxin’s choreography, a fire that licked my bones and kindled my senses. In Julia’s arial artistry, I saw earth and air traversing time. In Sammys visuals, movement flowed like water that I couldn’t hold but that quenched my thirst. And in the live music that was so exquisitely played and sung, I felt I was travelling across cultures in ways at once ancient and new”.  ~ Ziyian Kwan, choreographer, Vancouver
“My husband and I were enthralled with Crossing Mountains and Seas. We liked how it connected technology and ancient Chinese myth. We learned fascinating ideas about Chinese mythology that we didn’t know before. The musicianship was exquisite as well as the dance performances. The humor was delightful and the show engaged us to the very end. We would love to see more performances like this in the future or a sequel to the show. All in all we had such a wonderful, stellar and delightful evening”. ~ Melissa Kuhn-seamstress at Threadworks/Hiroshi Kuhn-produce stocker at

“The story cleverly blends modern life experience with the discovery of a traditional Asian mythological world described in a traditional book, Shan Hai Jing. I enjoyed the show in a general audience setting, but in my opinion, it would also be suitable for youth and may be utilized to introduce discussion of topics such as racism, sexual discrimination or #Metoo experiences”. ~ Victoria Gibson, media artist/musician, Vancouver

“I enjoyed the show. It was a wonderful mix of magic, imagination, beauty, culture and politics. The music, visuals and dance were mesmerizing and I felt engaged by the narrative”. ~ Kelly McInnes, Vancouver

“Crossing Mountains and Seas is an ambitious production, a multi-media event which brings together three levels of art: aerial dance, visual animations, and original intercultural music. The idea of a video game based on the creatures and characters in an ancient Chinese text, is original and entirely in keeping with the zeitgeist of our day and age. In my opinion, it is a show which has an appeal to people both young and old. I enjoyed the fun aspect of a texting relationship between a man and a woman who are playing the game, and which turns into a romantic encounter at the end. The music was conceived and performed excellently, and the aerial dancers and visual animations were beautifully done. In my view, the co-creators in music, dance and media arts have created a production definitely worth remounting”. ~ Moshe Denburg, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra

“the music was so beautifully haunting and suited the whole production perfectly. The soloist had a beautiful and pure tone and again blended with the instrumentals. I never felt tired of listening…The dancers were amazing… their energy and vitality sparkled. My favourite part was of when they were supposedly under water. Their movements were so well done that they did appear to be swimming. The set provided by media were so beautiful and eye pleasing… I am 79 years old and have been in and going to theatre all my life. ~ Margaret Eldridge, Vancouver


Aeriosa Dance Society 
Aeriosa is a dance company that melds artistic practice, athletic discipline and thoughtful risk management to reposition human perspectives of natural, social, and built landscapes. Aeriosa dancers inhabit public space, rehearsing choreography on location, exploring urban architecture and existing ecosystems with curiosity, care and respect. Aeriosa creates unexpected experiences of dance and explores wild environments as dramatic stages for live dance. Aeriosa has created performances at Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada Place, Woodward’s Atrium, Granville Island, Victoria’s Centennial Square, Whistler Mountain Plaza, Tofino Botanical Gardens, UBC Botanical Garden, Stanley Park, the 52-storey L Tower in Toronto, the Grand Wall of Stawamus Chief Mountain in Squamish, and many other sites. Aeriosa partnered with Vancouver Public Library Events from 2003-2010, including performances at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad for 6000+ spectators. Aeriosa produced Vancouver’s first international vertical dance conference in June 2019, hosting dancer and choreographers from around the world.

Chimerik 似不像
Chimerik 似不像 is an interdisciplinary collective that seeks to explore the permeable boundaries between various art forms and disciplines in order to constitute new entities. They have collaborated visually, sonically, and conceptually in numerous multi-disciplinary and research projects which have exhibited at international events, such as World Design Expo 2011, Digital Arts Festival of Taipei 2012, Lacking Sound Festival 2013, New Form Festival 2014, ISEA 2015, Digital Carnival 2016, Taiwan Best Design 100, Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting (TPAM) 2017, Push Festival 2018/2019, and Vancouver’s International Dance Showcase (VIDS) 2019. Chimerik 似不像 has worked with influential corporations such as NIKE, Microsoft, BenQ, and Google in live visuals/projection design and interactive video installations, while engages various marginalized community groups for social change. For this particular project, the team includes Sammy Chien, Shang-Han Chien Jonathan Kim, Andie Lloyd, Ivan So, Andy Lee, Henry Ruohao Wu, Jake Geun Uoo Kim & Rashi Sethi.