In colloquial Cantonese, when you 'show people your colours', you want them to know what you are capable of, to pay attention and to take you seriously - or else . . . Well, the City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) is going to show us some colours in its latest production and, you bet, we will all be sitting up in awe. Billed as 'China's first rock 'n' roll dance concert', Show Your Colours has roped in two top mainland talents : Cui Jian, China's 'Father of Rock' and award-winning film director Zhang Yuan, both well-known for their controversial opinions on the ruling Communist Party and Chinese society at large.
Cui's Nothing To My Name became an anthem of the 1989 student movement while Zhang's East Palace, West Palace (1997) and Beijing Bastards (1993) were banned because they dared touch the taboo subjects of homosexuality and youth delinquency. Lin Kehuan, president of the China National Theatre, will be in charge of the drama element of the show.
Show Your Colours, which was Cui's idea, is an allegory of today's China and the Chinese attitude of the 21st Century. It is a melange of three colours - red, yellow and blue - and is choreographed by the dance groups' Helen Lai, Pun Siu-fai and Sang Jijia respectively. Red symbolises the pulse for change, yellow the desire for the good life and blue the spirit of the digital age.
Cui will represent red. 'I am never satisfied [with the present]. I always want to change,' the 39-year-old says. 'I don't want to copy myself, my own history. I am not sure whether I can make a big difference but I hope people will realise that not all songs are composed by the same person.'
In the show, Cui will make a grand entrance, breaking through a six-foot replica of the Great Wall. 'The production will be epic in scale,' says CCDC artistic director Willy Tsao. 'By presenting high energy rock 'n' roll music and wondrous visual effects, the show will depict the social phenomenon in today's China and reveal how conflicting ideologies evolve into a Chinese attitude in the digital age.'
Show Your Colours. February 16 to 19, 8pm. Kwai Tsing Theatre. Tickets $80-$1,000 from Urbtix, tel: 2734 9009.