The Work-Stay: Berlin

Peny Chan Brings the Female Gaze to the Peking Opera

Malaysian singer and performer Peny Chan and her mentor Rully Shabara met in Berlin in mid-November to work on Chan’s composition, which reimagines the character of the concubine in the Peking opera.

Chan and Shabara were hosted by Forecast’s longtime partner and venue Radialsystem, where they could rehearse in the light-filled studios overlooking the River Spree for an entire week. Their work-stay took place within the framework of Radialsystem’s curated program Embodied Practices, which explores the ways in which cultural contexts and knowledge are inherent to corporeal techniques and conveyed through them.

Chan and Shabara hosted two workshops, offering participants insights into their own practices and the questions they’re pursuing in Chan’s Forecast project, exploring the traditional vocal techniques of the Peking opera and their deconstruction as a new, experimental genre. Through this process of reinterpretation, Chan seeks to give agency to the traditional character of the courtesan with a richer, more versatile, and sometimes discordant voice.

The work will premiere at the seventh Forecast Festival, March 17–18, 2023 at Radialsystem.

©Forecast 2022