Reviews for Taiwan Season – Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018

Dance Press Release


Choreographed by Si Rawlinson for Wayward Thread, this invigorating and politically-minded new dance show will be presented at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room 2.30pm on OCTOBER 7 as part of China Changing Festival 2018.

(Information on workshops and future touring below)

‘I believe in making work that says something about our time. How can you use art to move people in ways that might change their ideas, or make them feel more connected with what’s going on around them?’

Si Rawlinson, Wayward Thread

An artful, pulse-quickening mix of break and contemporary dance, Red INK is up-and-coming British-Asian choreographer Si Rawlinson‘s first full-length touring production. The performance unfolds as a series of discrete scenes that flick between traditional, almost mythic ritual and modernity.

When ‘maintaining cultural values’ marks the difference between freedom of expression and imprisonment, exile or worse, a writer’s life hangs on his words. An international cast of male dancers embodies the struggle between the desires of a state and its citizens, and the pursuit of truth. Bodies fly and ink runs…

Drawing inspiration from imagery in the films of Zhang Yimou (‘Hero’, ‘House of Flying Daggers’), the social commentary of contemporary visual artist and activist Ai Weiwei and the movement and aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy, this topical new dance performance is a dramatically and kinetically urgent representation of the risks taken by so many writers globally who tread what is often a fine line between art and dissidence.

Gorgeous muscular movement’ – Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention

PERFORMANCE Sunday October 7, 2018 – Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, 2.30pm.  Tickets: £10

Red INK Credits:
Choreographer: Si Rawlinson
Dancers: Helder Delgado, Vladimir Gruev, Si Rawlinson
Music: Kidkanevil, Simon McCorry, Hauschka, Si Rawlinson
Costume: Isabella Van Braekel
Lighting: Antony Hateley
Dramaturgy: Lou Cope
Mentoring 2018: Suba Das with special thanks to John Berkavitch, Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere, Kaveh Rahnama, Becky Namgauds, Clint Sinclair
Age guidance: All ages
Running time: approximately 55 minutes, no interval


Produced by Step Out Arts (contact: Jih-Wen Yeh /

Supported by partners ARC Stockton, Attenborough Arts, Breakin’ Convention, Bedford Creative Arts, Chinese Arts Now, Curve, Nearly There Yet and Southbank Centre
Funded by Arts Council England

For press tickets (one per publication) to Red INK, or to arrange an interview with Si Rawlinson, please contact Donald Hutera at or 07914 621884.

Si Rawlinson on the origins of Red INK

‘The seed for Red INK came after watching Zhang Yimou’s ‘Hero’ and seeing the way calligraphy is used in that film. Initially I made a 60-second dance film using my hair as a brush. Over the last few years I was able to test and develop my ideas by making completely different versions of the show – from something quite abstract at Resolution 2016 at The Place, to showcases at Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells and the B-Side Festival at Birmingham Hippodrome in 2017, and finally a very narrative-driven version presented at Curve’s Inside Out Festival in Leicester and China Changing Festival at the Southbank Centre. During all of this experimentation I was mentored by several hip hop and contemporary dance, theatre, spoken word and circus practitioners – Jonzi D, John Berkavitch, Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere and Kaveh Rahnama. With their help this new, radically reworked version of the show is something I truly believe in, both in terms of pushing the level of dance and how connected it feels.

‘More personally, Red INK was born from the massive protests in Hong Kong in 2014.  I resented the Chinese Communist Party for restricting the democratic rights they had promised. My father, who is British and was a policeman for the Royal Hong Kong police before the handover, was a figure of colonialism – something that restricted the autonomy of Hong Kong for 150 years, in much the same way as China. I felt so divided… This show is as much about art as political dissidence, as well as being an attempt to empathise with those individuals who make up structures of power. In making it, I’ve also been influenced by the political consciousness of Ai Weiwei’s art work. At a time when nationalism around the world is on the rise, and certain freedoms are being threatened or seriously undermined, it feels important that art reflects our need to question authority and keep those who are in power in check.’

About Wayward Thread and Si Rawlinson

Wayward Thread is a hip hop dance company that uses break and a range of other hip hop styles, as well as contemporary dance, physical theatre and spoken word, to explore urgent contemporary issues, the role of art as activism and hip hop’s valuable cultural voice. (website features film footage and music: see Media)


Instagram: wayward.thread

The company was founded in 2016 by artistic director Si Rawlinson. Born in Hong Kong to English and Chinese parents but based in the UK, this theatre-trained choreographer has collaborated with or performed for such artists as Akram Khan, Alesandra Seutin, John Berkavitch, Requardt and Rosenberg and Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere in works that have been presented at the Roundhouse, on the rooftop of the National Theatre (as part of LIFT 2014) and on a stage submerged in a swimming pool during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

As a guest lecturer Si Rawlinson has taught hip hop dance and choreography to students at De Montfort University, Leicester. Among his previous short dance works include ‘Inherent,’ a trio advocating for social change across the racial divide, and ‘Spirit Level,’ which uses music and dance to consider different manifestations of spirituality. He is currently working on various projects including ‘This Is An Island?, a work about Brexit commissioned by Sky Arts and directed by Gary Clarke, and a dance staged in complete darkness that will be developed during a residency at the Barbican Centre.

Dates and Locations for Red INK

Sunday October 7, 2018 – Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, 2.30pm.  £10
This performance is part of the four-day China Changing Festival 2018 which also includes the following workshops presented by China Exchange:

RethINKING: Tradition
Saturday October 6, 2018 at Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom, 1pm – 1.30pm and 4.30pm-5pm. All ages. Free.

This event is the culmination of a participation project presented by China Exchange. Master calligrapher Shoran Jiang and choreographer Si Rawlinson collaborate to develop a performance work exploring calligraphy traditions and contemporary physical movement.

Saturday October 6, 2018 at Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom, 1.30pm-3.30pm. 6+. Free.

Try out the basics of the time-honoured technique of Chinese calligraphy, guided by master calligrapher Shoran Jiang.

Saturday October 6, 2018  at Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom, 3:30pm-4:30pm. All Ages. Free.
Write with your body using calligraphy as an inspiration. Led by Wayward Thread company member Daniel Phung.

Full information on the activities of China Changing Festival is available below.

Programme:  (That’s Si Rawlinson on the cover!)


Future performances of Red INK

CAN (China Arts Now) Festival at Rich Mix, London – January 24-26, 2019
Bedford Creative Arts – date tbc
Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester – April 26, 2019

A friendly reminder: For press tickets (one per publication) to Red INK, or to arrange interview with Si Rawlinson, please contact Donald Hutera at or 07914 621884.