Show experiments with new art form

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2002, 12:00am

What can you do with a stick or a bin bag on stage? If your answer is 'not a lot', then check out Theatre Ensemble's new production which promises to make the ordinary seem extraordinary.

Moonshine is a joint directorial effort between the company's Jim Chim Shui-man and Olivia Yan Wing-pui, and Claire Heggen, artistic director of the Paris-based Theatre du Mouvement. The show is part of this year's Hong Kong Arts Festival.

They are experimenting with a new art form known as Objects Theatre, which combines abstract mime, body movement and stories.

'This is certainly no traditional drama with a strong plot,' said Yan who, together with Chim, has produced box-office children's theatre hits such as Oops! Belle The Witch Is Gone, Hugga Hugga Teddy Bear and Aiyah! Superboy.

'It's all about how to use simple objects to tell a story . . . so this is challenging for us.'

The two Academy for Performing Arts graduates met Heggen three years ago in Holland where they took part in a body movement course. Her techniques impressed them.

'Heggen's style is more experimental, transformed

for performance purposes,'

said Yan.

As its name implies, Objects Theatre involves objects. It is by combining these with the artist's body movements that a story or situation is created.

Yan explained: 'For instance, by placing a wooden plank close to the performer you immediately feel a sense of confinement. So we can create lots of images by using our bodies and objects and, hopefully, we can also tell a story along the way.'

Moonshine is a clear departure from their previous works for children given that it is more abstract. But Yan said it is not difficult to understand. 'Quite the contrary, it is interesting. This form of theatre has its own language.

'Most of the show will not involve the spoken language but that does not mean that it is going to be deep and intellectual. You just need to have a rich imagination.

'It is just a different theatre experience.'


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