In the Beginning
City Contemporary Dance Company
Cultural Centre Studio Theatre
September 9 to 10, 8pm
September 11, 3pm
When this City Contemporary Dance Company production premiered seven years ago, the South China Morning Post wrote: 'This work confirms Helen Lai Hoi-ning as a choreographer with the exceptional ability of making bodies into the hieroglyphs of a forgotten language we need to rediscover.'
In the Beginning returns this week with its original team: Lai at the creative helm, Tim Yip Kam-tim in charge of image and costume design, Leo Cheung looking after sets and lighting, plus Tang Shu-wing as the Storyteller. The piece, originally conceived to celebrate the new millennium (and which won Lai a Hong Kong Dance Award for choreography), looks at the cycles of birth and creation, dissipation and destruction. 'I'm not just retelling the myths in my dance,' Lai says. 'I use these legends to talk about our contemporary society.'
In the Beginning comprises separate pieces exploring the creation of myths such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Upanishads and the Bible. Lai drew on myths from China, India, Egypt and Greece, among others.
As with her works such as The Rite of Spring, Red and Colour Fugue, this piece is intellectually and aesthetically challenging for the audience and dancers. Lai, who has created for Taiwan's Cloud Gate, is renowned for her high concept style, with innovative choreography to match.
Since its 1998 premiere, the piece had toured on the mainland and in Taiwan, where it received rave reviews. The Beijing Morning Post said Lai had 'incorporated many different media into this work, from primitive shadow play rich in ethnic colour to the most advanced computer projection, which are finely woven into her creation'.
10 Salisbury Rd, TST, $120, $160. Inquiries: 2329 7803