No one could seriously complain about the lack of dance shows in Hong Kong, not this month anyway. There are enough dance performances in the next three weeks to make West Side Story pale by comparison. To kick-start this dance fever will be the Hong Kong Dance Expo 2000 organised by the Hong Kong Dance Federation. This annual event is split into three segments: a four-day programme packed with over 60 performances (from July 13 to 16); an international dance camp with dance groups including the Jaro Dance Group (Czech Republic), Yo Ballet Academy (Japan), Guangdong Dance School, Australian Teachers of Dancing and the China National Arts Academy; and an international dance education conference.
This year's guest speakers include Chinese choreographer Zhou Ming, Professor Ruth Solomon from the University of California and Phrosso Pfister, the former principal of London College of Dance. Also starting on July 13 is Live Show (Dancing Machine) by dancer-choreographers Abby Chan and Daniel Yeung at the Arts Centre. Fresh off the catwalk set of the sell-out City Contemporary Dance Company show Strip Teaser, Chan teams up with Yeung to bring us '100 per cent classical modern balletic released Butoh technique theatre'. Whatever that means, they promise their show will be fun and innovative. Both artists have recently toured abroad (Chan in the US and Yeung in Europe) and are well known for their funky and accessible choreography. Their show will run for four nights at the McAulay Studio.
For those who are into more offbeat 'deep' performances, there is DanceArt's Paper Balloon (above), which is inspired by Ryu Murakami's novel about a young girl's self-discovery. Choreographed by Andy Wong, the shows tells a complex story about human relationships, despair and hope. The creative process has been so hard and frustrating that Wong admits he has had several rows with both Tony Wong (who pens the story line) and dancers. 'Trying to ask the dancers to express themselves through both movements and monologues has been very tough. Our dancers are not used to expressing themselves verbally.' Running from tonight to Sunday, you can catch their show at the Cultural Centre Studio Theatre. Last but hardly least is Essence Of Dance by the People's Liberation Army Comrade Dance Troupe from Beijing. Well known for their performance of The East Is Red and Song Of The Chinese Revolution, the 50-year-old troupe will give a one-off performance at City Hall on July 22.