Taking Off

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2007, 12:00am

Emerging Choreographers Series 1

Sheung Wan Civic Centre Theatre

Tomorrow and Saturday, 8pm

The nine dancers selected by the Hong Kong Dance Alliance (HKDA) for its Emerging Choreographers Series have all performed extensively, both locally and overseas. In this series they are officially singled out as this city's future choreographic talents.

According to HKDA chair Anna Chan Chung-ying, while the HKDA and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (ADC) run numerous programmes to nurture new local blood in dance and choreography, there hasn't been one that focuses on semi-established artists. There is growing concern within the dance community of a lack of 'heirs apparent' to Hong Kong choreographers such as Yuri Ng Yue-lit, Yeung Wai-mei and Daniel Yeung Chun-kwong.

'With this new series, we want to be elitist and professional in our choices. That way we ensure our selection is of quality,' Chan says.

Justyne Li Sze-yeung, Cody Choi Ka-lok, Kwok Ka-yuen and Chan Tan are among the first batch who will be staging their works this week in two public performances at the Sheung Wan Civic Centre. Anthony Suen, Chloe Wong Ching-ting, Wu Yi-san, Leung Sau-yin and Lai Tak-wai will take their turn next February.

The selection panel for the nine dancer-choreographers was made up of DanceArt's Francis Leung Ka-kuen, Victor Ma Choi-wo of Y Space, Mui Cheuk-yin, Yuri Ng, Daniel Yeung and Yeung Wai-mei.

Li's piece is her take on the Greek mythology of Narcissus and Echo. 'We were really impressed by the extensive research that went into her work,' says Chan. 'She also has an interesting background, switching from classical ballet to contemporary dance.'

Choi was until recently with the Matthew Bourne troupe. Chan says his background was interesting as a pop then classically trained dancer. His cho ngoi dik fu wuhn (the call of wronged love) looks at the trauma of a relationship break-up. Like Daniel Yeung, Kwok wasn't trained as a dancer but has an interesting interpretation of dance language through a combination of movements and visuals. His City and the Self is a manic snapshot of Hong Kong's urban life.

Chan Tan is the youngest of the group. Her use of fan and handkerchief in her contemporary Chinese piece impressed the panel. 'Though still young, her concepts are technically and choreographically mature,' Chan says.

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