The full Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts 2020 program has been unveiled with an astonishing 54 works – many of those featuring intercultural collaborations – spanning dance, theatre, music, contemporary performance, film, digital and visual art, with much more to come within the Public Program.

Now in its second iteration, Asia TOPA 2020 has returned to celebrate the creative imagination of artists and cultures in the Asia-Pacific region. Running over three months, the festival explores the connections between contemporary Australia and its growing diaspora.

The 2020 program is focused on new work creation alongside presentations of iconic and legendary artists and reflects the contemporary imagination and lived experience of artists from the entire Asia-Pacific region. Australian artists, groups and companies have made connections across the region to present collaborations and intercultural works spanning music, dance, theatre, contemporary performance, film, digital, visual art, public talks and more.

Here is a small selection of the Asia TOPA on offer:

  • Dance & Performance Dance becoming an art form where language transcends traditional forms of communication and this idea has been explored in the Asia TOPA Dance & Performance curation. Previously announced Samsara (5 – 7 March 2020) and À Ố LàngPhố (27 – 29 February 2020) will form part of the wider program alongside the world premiere of Metal by Lucy Guerin Inc. and Ensemble Tikoro (24 – 27 February 2020) where five dancers and eight metal-heads share the stage in a meeting of cultures, art forms, languages and belief systems.

  • Theatre As part of Asia TOPA’s commitment to introducing powerful new voices from Asia to our Australian stages, BLACK TIES (20 – 29 February 2020), SAIGON (12 – 15 March 2020), and Torch The Place (8 February – 21 March 2020) were announced as part of Asia TOPA’s Legends & Icons, with a number of other urgent theatre pieces to shape the stage for new voices during the festival season.

  • Music Asia TOPA is particularly excited to be presenting a mammoth program of contemporary music offerings in the 2020 festival. After bringing thousands of people together in 2017 for a huge celebration of Asian pop culture, ASIA POP FEST returns to the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl on 13 March 2020 with some of Asia’s most exciting artists.

  • Public program Through the support of the University of Melbourne, Dr Sadiah Boonstra has curated Asia TOPA’s Public Program inviting people to connect more deeply with the artists and works in the festival through a series of creative interventions, talks and panel discussions, masterclasses and demonstration performances.

BeMelbourne will be previewing Asia TOPA events in the coming weeks, see the full listing of events on their program here.


Dates: January - March 2020

Location: Multiple locations

Note: Times and cost vary with each event, check their program for more details.

Asia TOPA Website