Hong Kong Ballet
Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Reviewed: Jan 19
Primary Moves is the second programme of choreography by Hong Kong Ballet's dancers to be presented to a paying audience. Its seven pieces are supposedly linked by the theme of primary colours, but although the transitions were neatly handled by a maitre d'hotel figure, there was no overall continuity.
The work of two first- time choreographers showed freshness and sincerity. Crystal Costa's wistful Mirror, about a woman trying to reach her childhood self, was musical and atmospheric. Hiroto Saito's elegiac 05:46, inspired by the 1995 Kobe earthquake, featured some striking images and generated real emotion.
Three female choreographers had different takes on sexuality. Selina Chau's angry portrait of passion and betrayal, Tainted Sheet, had powerful moments but was too much on one note. Eve Chan's pleasingly witty There is a Table showed genuine inventiveness and a stylish, technically demanding duet for Faye Leung, and Izak David Claase exuded sexual tension.
Leung knows how to be sexy without being vulgar, which couldn't be said for the preceding piece, Li Yi Ran's Just Do It. This athletic number for Li herself, in black underwear, and a bare-chested William Lin, might look artistic in a strip show, but not in this context.
Yuh Egami's Sakula was laudably ambitious and at times moving, but over-long. Egami has an exceptional gift for dramatic intensity, but needs to make his work tighter and more coherent.
Carlo Pacis is the most experienced of the chore-ographers, and his Hesperidium was the most accomplished, as well as being the only truly classical piece. It was enjoyable, but didn't break new ground, and it's time he had the opportunity to create a more substantive work.
All the choreographers made good use of the challenging Studio Theatre space. The dancing was uniformly excellent, and it was good to see some less senior dancers given the chance to show what they can do. Liu Miao-Miao, Egami, Amy Grubb and Li Jia-Bo were among those who stood out.