Storm Out Loud

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 October, 2008, 12:00am

Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre

Fri-Sat, 8pm, Sat-Oct 12 also at 3pm

Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre is to become the mini-mecca for contemporary dance as it launches its Venue Partnership Scheme with E-Side Modern Dance Company this week. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department programme offers priority booking for its facilities for partnered companies who, in turn, will provide the venue with innovative programming and a unique character.

Jacky Yu, who founded E-Side 20 years ago, is keen to showcase contemporary dancers and choreographers through its new Contemporary Dance Series. The first programme, Storm Out Loud, will feature Bruce Wong, Luo Fan and Makie Okabe of the City Contemporary Dance Company as well as independent dancers Li Yong-jing, David Leung and Iris Sze. All are under 30 years old.

'Hong Kong has many modern dance talents, but local choreographed dances are not performed very often,' says Yu, also artistic director of E-Side. 'We initiated this project to let audiences see the extraordinary features of original Hong Kong modern dances.

'The six participants are trained in different disciplines of dances. Some are trained in ballet, some in Chinese dancing and some only received training in modern dance. The mixture of their different styles makes this performance special.'

Wong will spice up his act with kung fu and breakdancing while the Chinese dance-trained Luo and Li will show off their east-west fusion style. Okabe and Sze will demonstrate their modern take on classical ballet and Leung will inject Pilates into his routine.

According to Yu, modern dance is based on the dancer's personal feelings and experiences conveyed through movements. 'It's about how the new generation of artists perceive and interpret the time they live in,' he says. 'Their works will also showcase their passion for the art.'

E-Side's Contemporary Dance Series, which runs until March, will also include performances and workshops and feature other artists including Force Fong, Cody Choi, Wong Tan-ki and Justyne Li.

'We developed this series aiming to involve more local modern dancers and choreographers. Here, we provide a platform for them to create. Also we want to promote contemporary dance to a broader audience,' says Yu.

Yu is optimistic about the future of contemporary dance in Hong Kong. He says compared with other Asian cities, the scene is booming. 'We don't have a sizeable audience yet but with the many talents we have, that will continue to grow.'

And for those who think contemporary dance is beyond their understanding, the prolific choreographer and dancer has this advice: 'First, you need to check out the house programme before the performance starts,' says Yu. 'Then just sit back and appreciate the movements and development of the dances just as you would with a painting or sculpture.

'Modern dance is a very abstract art. Better if the audiences can stop thinking about the story plots and enjoy the emotions and feelings throughout the process.'

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