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30 October 2015

Victoria's best performing arts talent will collaborate with the best from across Asia to present an unprecedented four-month program of Asia-Pacific performing arts in Melbourne in 2017.

Visiting the National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing, China, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced $250k for Melbourne's newest major arts event - Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts.

The Victorian Government's contribution to the event will focus on commissioning new works by Victorian arts companies in collaboration with Asian partners, and on engaging a broad cross-section of the community in the triennial.

The first international act on the Asia TOPA bill was announced - the ground breaking Chinese contemporary dance company Tao Ye Dance Theater, a highlight of Arts Centre Melbourne's recent  Supersense festival.

Asia TOPA is being developed and presented by a consortium of leading Victorian arts organisations and venues, helmed by Arts Centre Melbourne. The program will be concentrated around the Southbank Arts Precinct with consortium partners including The Australian Ballet, ACCA, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Theatre Company, Chunky Move, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Recital Centre, NGV, and the VCA, as well as ACMI, Federation Square, Museum Victoria and State Library Victoria. Asia TOPA will partner with a wide range of Victoria's independent artists and companies – many of whom have a strong track record and reputation across the Asia-Pacific region.

Minister Foley is in China with a high-level delegation of Victorian Creative Industries leaders, from across the arts, screen and design sectors. The visit follows the recent signing of a Cultural Partnership Agreement between Victoria and China, opening the doors for Victoria's creative industries to forge new opportunities with Australia's biggest trading partner.

Asia TOPA was initiated by the Sidney Myer Fund in partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne which received a $2m philanthropic grant to establish the event.

Asia TOPA will run from January to April 2017.