Orientalia ‘a fantasia of projections and mutations’ was a seminal work by Sally Sussman exploring the interaction between Western and Eastern ideas in a music-theatre performance crossing cultural, language and theatrical boundaries.

In 1935, German dramatist Bertolt Brecht saw Mei Lanfang, Peking Opera male diva perform in Moscow. In Orientalia, their meeting and other encounters which produced strange artistic hybrids, (like socialism + Chinese opera) are re-imagined in the vigorous performances of a company of Australian performers drawn from the Peking Opera and the avant-guarde.

Project details
Presented at The Performance Space, Sydney March 16 – April 6 1995

Conception & Direction: Sally Sussman
Original Music: Andrée Greenwell
Dramaturgy: Keith Gallasch, Virginia Baxter
Design: Gavin Barbey
Lighting: Janine Peacock
Costume: Annemaree Dalziel
Performers/devisors: Andrea Aloise, Xu Fengshan, Nigle Kellaway, Katia Molino, Zhang Zhijun
Musicians: David Hewitt, Chen Baoping

“Orientalia is stimulating, thought-provoking and tantalizingly inconclusive.”
Jill Sykes, Sydney Morning Herald