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Finding The Buffalo

"... barefoot and unadorned I mingle with the people of the world"

Citymoon and Powerhouse Youth Theatre first collaborated in 1999 with Journeys West - a site-specific peripatetic performance at the old Liverpool Asylum (now TAFE). Its theme was colonial Australia, and the absence of Asian and other voices and faces in the crafting of official national history and memory.

From such an experience came the inspiration to create a new site-specific work but this time in a more emphatically Asian site. The monks of the Phuoc Hue Buddhist temple were approached, and the seeds of Finding the Buffalo were sown.

But what would be the theme of the performance? Once the site was set, the subject matter made itself known. Inspired by the spirituality of the site, the theme driving the project would come from Zen Buddhism - the historical ten meditations known through illustration and verse as "Finding the Buffalo".

The buffalo may represent the truest Self, and the search for the missing buffalo may represent the need to find ultimate balance in our temporal lives. The theme therefore is a self-conscious meditative journey, and it may mean everything to you (or nothing at all).

As you will witness, the site very much authored itself. As the companies began workshopping, the viality of each area or site within the temple suggested great performative possibilities.

Working increasingly closely with the monks of the temple, and with young performers from a range of cultural and religious bakground, the current performance was created.

We welcome your witnessing. We celebrate difference. We embrace our shared journey. We reach out for one another in a Quest which is ultimately into the self.

The longest journey begins with the first step. See you on the other side.



Dieu Hien

Dieu Thien

Dieu Tri Ngoc Tinh

Tam Hoa

Hien Ngoc

Minh Huong Tran


Reza Achman

Angela Grima

The Masters

Hoang Ngoc-Tuan

Bruce Keller

People of the World

Tresa Ponnor

Roslyn Hicks

Marcus Biady

Paul Johnson

Michael Griffen

Amanda Kemp

Sophie Argyrous

Seng Ith

Amanda Mikolajs

Greg Johnson

Naomi Johnson

Daniel Fenech

Libby Daniewska

Trung Tran

Cicily Ponnor

Paul Khoury

Cai Luong singer

My Linh

Dancers at the Laughing Buddha

Phuong Anh

Phan Island

Ngoc Ha

My Duyen

Que Phuong

Thanh Truc

(with Choreographer Mai Lien)

Transcending Soul Dane

Tien Dung

Angela Grima

Temple ante-chamber vocalists

Bao Khanh

Hoang Ngoc-Tuan



Binh Ta, Michael McLaughlin, Bruce Keller


Bruce Keller, Hoang Ngoc-Tuan


Hoang Ngoc-Tuan, Angela Grima, Reza Achman

Movement Consultants

Angela Grima, Reza Achman

Costume Design

Annemaree Dalziel

Costume Assistant

Louise Owen

Lighting Design

Richard Montgomery

Production Manager

Richard Montgomery

State Manager

Pantelis Kotsireas

Wardrobe Assistant

Caroline Szling


MLC Design Studio with Michael McLaughlin and Thuy Cu


Tiet Ho

Video Documentation

Sam James

Front of House

Bel Brown, Minh Huong Tran


Finding the Buffalo would like to acknowledge the project's major sponsors: The Australia Council, The Federal Governments Art Funding and Advisory Body: Living in Harmony, an initiative of the Federal Government's Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and the NSW Ministry for the Arts.

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