Hong Kong arts review: The World According to Dance
This piece is the latest collaboration between director-choreographer Dick Wong Tai-fai and theatre company Zuni Icosahedron.
Wong has invited four dancer-choreographers at different ages and stages of their lives and careers to express what dance means to them. The programme defines the four as "post '60s" (Victor Ma), "post '70s" (Justyne Li), "post '80s" (Ivy Tsui) and "post '90s" (the young Simpson Yau, just embarking on a career in dance).
The result is more a theatre piece about dance than a dance piece per se, relying largely on text. Wong's characteristically intelligent concept offers a sharp snapshot of four generations of Hong Kong dancers and by extension, the evolution of the local dance scene.
The piece opens with a warm-up session for all four dancers where each in turn creates a sequence that brings out the contrast in their dance backgrounds. This is followed by sections showcasing the individual artists.
Ma started his professional life as a member of Hong Kong Ballet. The clever Petite Improvisation harks back to that period, with Ma responding to the classic ballet class commands with imaginative contemporary interpretations of the required steps. A mobile phone plays a crucial part in Ivy Tsui's routine as she calls, texts and selfies her way through a day's work.
High school student Simpson Yau's strong, athletic movement reflects his training in hip hop and jazz. He certainly has the potential to fulfil his dream of being a professional dancer.
The World According to Dance, Zuni Icosahedron, Studio Theatre, Cultural Centre
Reviewed: October 16