Dumb Instrument Dance

Dreaming of Koi  |  Dumb Instrument Dance

Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens

July 8, 2021 5:30PM Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens BUY NOW
July 9, 2021 5:30PM Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens BUY NOW
July 10, 2021 5:30PM Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens BUY NOW
July 12, 2021 5:30PM Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens BUY NOW
July 13, 2021 5:30PM Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens BUY NOW
July 14, 2021 5:30PM Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens BUY NOW
July 15, 2021 5:30PM Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Gardens BUY NOW

Dreaming of Koi is a faux-pastoral urban romance, a declaration of wonder for the flora and fauna that exists within and without. Set in the botanical maze of Dr. Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a performance of sonic energy and kinetic glow brings art and imagining into relationship with an urban oasis. Here, where inside and outside are poetically merged as one, Dreaming of Koi traverses textures of whimsy and play.

With their performance ticket, audiences will also be able to see Rivers Have Mouths, a new exhibit in the gallery of Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, that aims to highlight and honour the stories of Chinese -Indigenous relations and connections to land both past and present.

Creators | Performers: Collaboratively Created and Performed by Ziyian Kwan, Rianne Svelnis, Kage, Juolin Lee, Junjie Wang
Creative and Production Assistance: Juolin Lee & Junjie Wang
Costumes repurposed from past creations: Flower Monster by Sauha Lee / Lily Bear by Diane Park

Ziyian Kwan
Ziyian Kwan has worked as a dance artist on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ First Nations since 1988. As an interprète, she has performed close to 100 original creations by an eclectic range of choreographers on international stages, and is recipient of The Dance Centre’s Isadora Award for excellence in performance. As Artistic Director of Dumb Instrument Dance, Ziyian’s creations abstract lived experience to form collages of imagery, movement and language. Recently, Dumb Instrument opened a creative space in Vancouver called Morrow, where artists from across genres practice and share their work. Ziyian’s artistry is inspired by collaboration with luminaries in the fields of dance, music, film, theatre, literature and visual art.
    ‘ I am my heart’s dumb

Rianne Svelnis
Rianne Svelnis is a queer dance artist and settler of Lithuanian and Belgian/Irish/English descent, born, raised and living in colonially occupied so-called ‘Vancouver’, on the lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ people. In dance, she creates, performs, teaches and facilitates dialogue.  She works in dance as a practice in exalt and disruption, and as a way to learn about the complexities of being together. Current and upcoming projects include Daisy Thompson’s new work Hug, outdoor dances with All Bodies Dance Project, collaboration with visual and landscape artist Sauha Lee, and choreographic assistance with Justin Neal’s new play So Damn Proud. Alongside the performing arts, Rianne is a grateful participant in community action.

Kage is primarily a Taiko musician and performer.  Born in Japan growing up in Canada, they embraced the art of Taiko as a way to express them selves as a mixed race queer youth. Since the 1980’s they co-founded several taiko/music groups touring parts of Europe and North America. They continue to create utilizing the Taiko, pushing the boundaries of the form, and collaborating with other artists. Their on-going projects include studying the ceremonial roots of Taiko and performing/composing with Onibana Taiko. They live, thrive and work on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

Juolin Lee: Born in Changhua, Taiwan, Juolin Lee relocated to Langley, BC at age 13. Juolin completed her training with Modus Operandi Vancouver Contemporary Dance program, under the direction of Tiffany Tregarthen, David Raymond and Kate Franklin. Through M.O. Juolin has worked with Shay Kuebler, Vanessa Goodman, Paras Terezakis, and Company 605, amongst others. Juolin feels grateful to live and play on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. As a dancer she is fortunate to collaborate with and perform in work by Zahra Shahab, Emmalena Fredriksson and Arash Khakpour. Juolin is excited by the potential of dance as a tool to continuously unpack her idea of self, and to shine a light on what is hidden in the subconscious.

Junjie Wang: Junjie Wang is a dancer from China, where she was born and raised, and received professional training in Chinese classical dance, Chinese folk dance and contemporary dance. Now resides as an uninvited guest on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ First Nations. As a dancer, she has performed in many cities in China. Strive to learn in performance and creation, trying to find the unity of body and mind. As a dance researcher, Junjie’s background enables her to have a certain foundation in Asian dance culture, Dance Aesthetics and interdisciplinary communication. Junjie has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree from Chongqing University, she is currently studying as a Master of Arts Candidate at Simon Fraser University.

Facebook: @ dumbinstrumentdance, @ziyiankwan @riannesvelnis @kageeileen @vancouverchinesegarden
Instagram: @dumbinstrumentdance, @ziyiankwan, @unchorre, @kageeileen, @vancouverchinesegarden

To note:  Please arrive no earlier than 20 minutes before the performance. Patrons are asked to wear a mask while inside any building and can wear a mask outside at their discretion. 

Accessibility Information

Additional Information
Bathrooms: 2 gender non-specific bathrooms, includes 2 medium-sized accessible stalls with curved bars. Scent-free hand soap will be provided.  Unfortunately the larger single room accessible bathroom is having chronic plumbing issues and is not currently dependable.  Photos and measurements of bathrooms available, please email

Other Practical Information:
Doors open at 5:10.
The exhibit Rivers Have Mouths is free and open for audience members between 5:10 and 5:30 and post-show until 7pm.
The show will start promptly at 5:30.  Unfortunately we cannot accommodate latecomers.
The audience is guided through the garden, and there will be options to sit or stand, and reserved spots for wheelchair users.  If you have any specific access needs, please email