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Photo of a river.

Point of Origin

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concept/choreography by Returning River – Jen Hum, Naishi Wang, Emily Law, Pam Wong- Shoebottom, Henry Mak; performed by Jen Hum, Naishi Wang, Pam Wong- Shoebottom


7:00 PM (Pre-show projections beginning at 6:15pm)

LOCATION: The Boathouse at the Silver Bean Cafe, 130 King St. 
SHOW LENGTH: 20 mins

*Please arrive 15-20 minutes early

Image by Returning River

‘Point of Origin’ is a project we at Returning River have been developing for 2 years. Presently we are working from three separate points of entry into exploring the multilayered concepts of Identity, Face, and Voice with broad strokes gesturing to an alternative voice, societal stereotypes, the philosophies of East and West, transformation, history and representation.  

Stream ‘one’, our identity location solos, flows from personal connections with specific, physical locations in Toronto that are tied to our memories, name, ancestry, and hence our sense of self. Stream ‘two’ is based on the examination of “What is it like to live with this face?”. We examine face as our main physical identifier and the friction between how we self-identify and how others identify us. “Face” is also a complex and nuanced concept in East Asian culture seen as one’s social currency. Stream ‘three’ is to be a performative transformation of the concept of bi- culturalism. Working with ideas of food, names, voice and movement, the artists embark on a journey that includes stories of receiving a second name, the effect of one’s name on self, vocalizing naming and renaming articles, and using cooking as a metaphor for the passing down of culture. 

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Returning River

Returning River is a collaborative effort between dance artists Jen Hum, Naishi Wang, Emily Law, and Pam Wong- Shoebottom with support from videographer Henry Mak and outside eye Andrea Nann.  Each dance artist has over 10 years of separate performance experience and together we are creating work that is thoughtful and theatrical, virtuosic yet subtle, and connected to both our ancestry and to the present day. The well-spring of our inspirations are fed by our different experiences of being Chinese Canadian and the idea of a river is the representation of how we work. The work is to move forward, replenish ideas, envelop blockages and find new passages in order to present performances rooted in movement and accentuated by images and sound that create empathy with diverse audiences. The word return is symbolic because a river can never return back to its exact self just as people can go back to a place or position, but never back in time. As a collective, shaping our artistic vision includes returning to our ancestry, returning to significant locations, reflecting on past personal and societal events, re-imagining viewpoints and the usage of space and in general: returning back to recognize the past in order to move into the future.

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Get tickets HERE

An outdoor fall performance series to be presented between October 2-18 2020 in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. The Pivot Series is intended for socially distanced outdoor audiences in response to COVID-19 measures. Public Energy Performing Arts has partnered with the Peterborough ReFrame Film Festival to create a short documentary about the Pivot Series for screening at the 2021 ReFrame festival.

The Pivot Series is inviting artists to re-imagine existing work, or create new work for an outdoor site-specific public setting in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. Locations include parking lots, parks, park pavilions and many more. Performance works are 15-30 minutes in length.



Thank You!

Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2023-24 Season Funders and Sponsors.

Season Sponsors & Funders

V Formation logo. Text reads: "V Formation. Thought-provoking work for charities."

Jo Pillon Royal Lepage logoHi Ho Silver Logo
Kawartha Now LogoWedesign logo
Canadian Heritage logo Peterborough logo
Ontario Arts Council logo Canadian Council For The Arts logo

Accessibility Sponsor

Lloyd Carr Harris Foundation logo