sound bites

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 June, 2005, 12:00am

You left Hong Kong for New York to pursue your dance career. Why? And how are you getting on?

Dancer/choreographer Abby Chan Man-yee:

'The first time I left Hong Kong for New York was in 1996. I received a one-year scholarship from the Asia Cultural Council's Lee Hysan Fellowship. It enabled me to explore dance - and life.

I went to the Bates Dance Festival in Maine, the Bessie Schonberg Choreography Workshop at Jacob's Pillow and the Pilobolus Workshop at Bar Harbour and took many dance classes in New York's various dance studios. I also had a chance to create a piece, Siesta before Hong Kong's Return, which was presented by the Mulberry Street Theatre in New York.

'The second time I returned was in 1999, to work in a contemporary dance company, Bill Young and Dancers. That year, I danced and toured with the company in Venezuela, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia. It was a great experience that opened my eyes to many parts of the world, and I had the chance to work with artists from different cultures and backgrounds.

'In New York, I found dance, space, creative energy - and my husband. In some ways, it's like starting over as a dancer/choreographer, but the fun part is seeing a new audience react to my work.'