He’s done it again. Following the spectacular show in the Botanics on that cold, wet midsummer night, Kimho Ip (that’s him on the right) brought music and dance to another unconventional venue as part of this year’s Mela festival. But this time it could rain as much as it liked because the performance took place in the shelter of Ocean Terminal. And, no, you are not imagining things, Louise Martin the cellist is enormously tall. With a little help from stilts hidden beneath that dress.
In Cathay Re-public, Kimho weaves together some of the talents he brought to Dialogues of Wind and Bamboo: a drummer, a dancer, a musician on stilts, a little electronic sampling, some taichi, and the extraordinary soaring voice of the counter tenor Cheng-ying who stopped shoppers in their tracks on Friday night.
The shimmering sound of Kimho’s Chinese dulcimer (the yangchin) binds all these elements together.
Kimho is creative director of iMAP, intercultural music and arts project, and he is constantly blurring the lines between traditional culture and contemporary art and music, combining the best of western European and East-Asian arts today.
[In the picture Louise plays cello on stilts – she also plays a saw during this performance – while dancer Coral Lee waits in the wings]
Leith Open Space has a special connection with Kimho. We first met in 2005 when we were preparing for our very first Open Space multicultural discussion event in the (then) vast unused space at the top of Ocean Terminal, now being very actively used as an indoor skate park. Kimho arrived in the dark carrying a huge poster to help us decorate what was then a very daunting venue.
Coral and (behind her to the left) Jiang Li encourage audience participation with the help of two members of the audience on percussion and Kimho on yangchin
You can hear more from Kimho about his very innovative use of mult-media in a series of podcasts now on the Dialogues of Wind and Bamboo website.