PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2007, 12:00am


Guangdong Modern Dance Company

City Contemporary Dance Company

Beijing LDTX Modern Dance Company

Kwai Tsing Theatre

Reviewed: June 1

Awakening brings together three contemporary dance companies founded or co-founded by Willy Tsao, for many years a driving force behind modern dance in China, and the programme showed the different stages of progress they've reached.

Guangdong Modern Dance Company's Upon Calligraphy (right), choreographed by Liu Qi, is a dance interpretation of different forms of Chinese calligraphy through the centuries, from the primitive signs carved on oracle bones to the flashing brilliance of cursive script. The piece is a little arid, but cleverly conceived and executed, and builds to a powerful climax.

The dancers were excellent, but it would have been good to see more emotion - even the curtain call was unsmiling, despite a good reception. The score, by Li Chunsong, echoed the progression of the calligraphic forms effectively and the production was enhanced by Goh Boon Ann's superb lighting design.

A new work by a choreographer of Helen Lai's calibre is always eagerly awaited, and City Contemporary Dance Company's It's So Easy to Fall in Love was one to savour. It was a warm and witty exploration of the lighter side of love, performed to some classic love songs.

All River Red, by the newest company, Beijing LDTX Modern Dance Company, may go over well in Beijing, but was an ill-judged choice for Hong Kong. The dancers are good, but the work was too naive and simplistic for a sophisticated contemporary dance audience.