Review: It's My Turn

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 9:15am

It's My Turn
City Contemporary Dance Company
Cultural Centre Studio Theatre
Reviewed: September 27

In this production, three City Contemporary Dance Company members - Bruce Wong, Lai Tak-wai and Lam Po - were joined by independent choreographer Rebecca Wong.

Although this wasn't a vintage year, all four pieces offered something to enjoy. There was no theme but each work made good use of props, from cardboard boxes to a real chicken wing cooked on stage.

The most original example of this was Lai's Timeline, where the focus was a huge square beam of wood some four metres long. On an otherwise bare stage, this became in turn a barrier, burden, hazard and the hand of a gigantic clock, as five dancers led by Dominic Wong, who manipulated the beam, moved fast, then slowly as Lai explored the concept of time.

In one riveting segment, Wong balanced the beam across his shoulders and began to spin faster and faster - a heart-in-the-mouth feat brought off by the dancer's strength, sense of balance and sheer willpower. In a stunning final image, the beam is suspended above the stage in a cone of light like an enormous metronome. Time is our master, the choreographer seems to say.

Rebecca Wong's A Hollowed Mind made a promising start with inventive, balletic duets juxtaposed with imagined group configurations. But when the focus shifted from dance to the dancers demolishing then rebuilding a wall of empty boxes the piece lost its way.

Whatever the intended symbolism, the end result was, indeed, hollow.

Lam Po's The Voice Inside deployed eight dancers and eight chairs to create striking stage patterns. Chairs are an overly well-worn theme at CCDC - still, Lam made good use of them.

A fine performance by Peggy Lam combined emotional intensity and strange, almost grotesque movement.

Bruce Wong's Re/dis-connect was contemporary dance meets cooking show. At a station at the front of the stage, dancers took turns in preparing and cooking a stuffed chicken wing while their colleagues performed to the strains of Swan Lake and The Dying Swan, complete with wing-like arm movements.

Entertaining and wacky, it featured some nicely choreographed group work and Lee Ka-ki was particularly funny as a bewildered participant.

Natasha Rogai