Art Festivals

2019 International Youth Arts Festival Macau

2019 International Youth Arts Festival Macau 2048 1365 Meraki Dance Collective

This was the second time Meraki Dance Collective was invited to join the crew of the International Youth Arts Festival.

You can read about the previous festival we attended here.

This magnificent 2019 edition was held in various locations throughout Macau. It was an honor for us to be part of the festival once again. A special thanks to Rebecca Yang from Rebecca Art to invite us.

Besides judging the dance contestants, we also provided a masterclass and did a unique improvisation performance with a selection of the other judges.

Watch the snippet below and check out the pictures to gain a taste of the festivities.

MDC Celebrating the 70 year foundation of the New China with a contemporary Cross-Cultural performance

MDC Celebrating the 70 year foundation of the New China with a contemporary Cross-Cultural performance 980 489 Meraki Dance Collective

Something out of the ordinary but hella fun! Performing with Nanning Contemporary Dance Company (GuGuWu) on one of the biggest stages we’ve both ever performed on!

To celebrate the 70-year foundation of the New China, Meraki Dance Collective was invited to perform together with duo Wu Qian & Zhu Borui.

The performance was on a famous Chinese song which translated means ”Vine and Tree”. The moral of the lyrics of the song portrays how a couple, like vines and trees, are always intertwined and not separated.

Here at MDC, we love the cross-cultural working environment. It stimulates us to be even more creative in terms of communication, and it challenges us to create something we equally understand. Sharing the stage was a lovely experience and a true celebration of cross-cultural art.

The stage was phenomenal, stretching (at least 30 meters) over the local mingehu lake. Everyone was welcome to come and watch the show (which consisted of multiple cross-cultural programs), and it was live-broadcasted on the internet.

Below you can see a recording of the show.

Meraki Dance Collective Improvisation Festival Nanning

Meraki Dances Anywhere and Everywhere

Meraki Dances Anywhere and Everywhere 3999 2666 Meraki Dance Collective

Meraki believes the magic of dance is not just limited to the traditional space of a theatre or dance studio. Truly, you can dance anywhere and everywhere. Consciously involving the surroundings in your art can certainly make the whole more meaningful and more interesting, or at least, in Liam and Loura’s vision.

So it’s only natural, that when Sunny Xie – Manager or Nanning’s Local Modern Dance Company GuGuWu – invited Meraki Dance Collective to join them in an hour site-specific improvisation performance as part of the city’s 1st ”One Day Dance Dance Festival”, they were more than thrilled.

The location of the improvisation performance was the underground section of a popular shopping mall in the buzzing center of the city named Sheng Tian Di. Amidst shops, some props, and mall-visitors was the stage.

The improvisation was musically guided by Hong-Kongnese Soundscape Artist and Experimental Musician Paul Yip. Amongst the group of dancers were various Chinese contemporary dance groups as well as Chilean Dance Artist Samuel Morales Abarza.

Meraki Dance Collective Improvisation Festival Nanning
Meraki Dance Collective Improvisation Festival Nanning
Meraki Dance Collective Improvisation Festival Nanning

The whole experience was a very special one. Many mall visitors went out of their way to catch a glimpse of this unique and unpredictable event.

Once again was Meraki able to experience the universal language of dance… How it connects the artists who were first strangers of one another, and how it connects the performers with the audience who might have never seen contemporary dance before.

Liam and Loura are grateful for the opportunity to dance with such a dedicated group of artists and together share their art at an interesting location.

Would you like to experience Meraki perform at your next dance festival? Or teach at your dance intensive? That’s possible! Get in touch, there is nothing too crazy for us.

Meraki Performs at Hummingbird Youth Dance Festival (’17), Zhuhai

Meraki Performs at Hummingbird Youth Dance Festival (’17), Zhuhai 2880 1800 Meraki Dance Collective
Meraki performs at the Hummingbird Youth Dance Festival

It was a great honor and privilege for Liam and Loura to perform in two different pieces at the Hummingbird Youth Dance Festival in Zhuhai, China. Loura premiered her solo-choreography tilted ”Mayura” and Liam performed together with their close friend and talent local artist, Shifei, in ”30+/-”.

More about ”Mayura”: In Mayura, the dancer explores the abstract concept of poison. How does the body translate disturbance, yet remain calm and in control? Mayura, a translation of the word peacock refers to the vigilance of this being. For they thrive on the essence of poisonous plants, by eating poison the colors of their feathers become bright and their body healthy. With Mayura, the artist wants to display that suffering and pain can yield strength and beauty.

More about ”30+/-”: In this piece the dancers explore the transition of men passing over the border of becoming 30.

Interested in Meraki showcasing at your next event or dance festival? Get in touch with us asap and we’re sure to make it happen.

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. […] Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

Jalaluddin Rumi

Magical Improvisation performance at 500 Year Old Ancestral Temple Foshan, China

Magical Improvisation performance at 500 Year Old Ancestral Temple Foshan, China 1984 1323 Meraki Dance Collective

April 2019 has been an overwhelming month for Meraki Dance Collective. Traveling from city to city, sharing their love for dance and arts has been soul-satisfying beyond words. But their last performance of the month is one to remember for many years to come.

Meraki was once again invited by Rebecca to perform at the ‘Dutch Days’ in Foshan. Six Dutch artists were flown over from the Netherlands to contribute to this magical exchange between the Netherlands and China.

Amongst these artists were famous Dutch musicians Henry Kelder, André Heuvelman & Wilmar de Visser who performed breathtaking compositions of both Western and Chinese origin with Chinese master Yu Zhanyou.

Si dolce è’l tormento – Monteverdi by André Heuvelman, Henry Kelder & Wilmar de Visser

Maartje Folkeringa (ceramic artist), Sander van Deurzen and Nathalie Mannaerts also attend the festival as artists. They exchanged with local artists and created artwork especially for the festival which will be exposed throughout the Dutch Days.

Meraki DC performed at both the exhibition site as well as at the breathtaking ancestral temple Zumiao in Foshan. It was truly an honor for Liam & Loura to perform amongst such talented artists in such an awe-inspiring environment. The temple stage is very rarely used for such occasions, ‘grateful’ doesn’t completely grasp their gratitude.

Liam with Dutch Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Marjo Crompvoets, after the show

The concert and performance were both very well received by the audience. A special thanks to Rebecca for her trust in MDC and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for supporting Dutch Artists like Meraki in China.

For some snippets of the magical venue, the performance and vibes feel free to scroll through the gallery below.

Want to book Meraki to perform, teach or choreograph at your next festival?

We can’t wait, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

You can send an email to info (at)

International Dance Festival Foshan

International Dance Festival Foshan 5351 3251 Meraki Dance Collective

Previously Rebecca contacted us to judge at the youth art festival. Due to the positive feedback from our dance performance at the opening of the festival, she contacted us to help her with her next project. This time round she wanted to organize a few dance workshops and performances throughout Foshan. We, of course, were really excited to participate and help in any way we could. The project was not aimed at professional dance performers but more directed at amateur dance teachers (active in Foshan) who could experience new styles of movement and were able to perform them. MDC was responsible for organizing the dance teachers and the artistic content. Our aim was to have three different teachers (two foreign and one Chinese) teach in different contemporary movement styles.

Liam O’Callaghan (Amsterdam, NL), organizer, director, and head teacher. Shifei Chen (Zhuhai, CH), our good friend (who we worked together with at the Sino-Dutch dance festival) as teacher, performer and supported in translating (most students did not speak English very well) and last but not least Roos De Groot (Rotterdam, NL), an intern from the Codarts University of Rotterdam teaching dance in Guangzhou. All three only had one workshop of 2.5 hours each to teach, experiment and create material for the performance. Most of the participants did not have a high level of technical skills so our workshops were quite challenging for them.

It was such an inspiration to see them so motivated to learn new things. The following afternoon we molded all the material into a small performance of 40 minutes, which they performed for the first time that evening. Rehearsing, choreographing, light/stage designing and performing all in one day! That’s intense and quite demanding for professionals let alone doing this with amateurs who have never set foot on a stage before. We took the challenge head-on and found a way to make it work.

To support and guide the participants on stage all the teachers joined the performance. Working hard in the studio is not the only thing that is important. Standing on a stage with an audience gives you a totally different feeling. Through our guidance, we were able to give them a base from which to work with. Everyone gave it their all and truly enjoyed every moment on stage with us. All levels mixed up together to create a totally new experience. We were more than happy with the result and look forward to our future projects with Rebecca and her company.

Judging, dancing and enjoying Foshan during the International Youth Arts Festival

Judging, dancing and enjoying Foshan during the International Youth Arts Festival 1280 852 Meraki Dance Collective

It was at our performance at the SINO-Dutch international Dance Festival where Rebecca first saw Liam & Loura on stage. From this moment forwards a fruitful working relationship has bloomed. Only a few months after meeting each other, Meraki Dance Collective had the honor of working together with Rebecca for the International Youth Arts Festival in Foshan, Guangdong. Besides judging the different art categories, ranging from musicians to dancers of various ages and levels. Meraki Dance Collective also performed at their grand opening evening.

Amongst the other judges was also (Dutch cellist) Roeland Duijne, an incredible musician, and warm-hearted human being. It’s always such a pleasure to meet inspiring people such as Rebecca and Roeland when traveling through the country sharing your art. We can’t wait to see you both again!