Art preview: DanceArt takes innovative approach to Green Snake

Vanessa Yung

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 10:19pm



DanceArt's latest show, In Search of Hui Sin, is a journey of self-discovery for the performers and audience alike, as they are all encouraged to challenge what they perceive as the norm, says director Ho Ying-fung.

The production, adapted from the classic tale Legend of the White Snake, focuses on the search for the seemingly unimportant character Hui Sin, who is used by Fa Hai, a monk who is out to slay the White Snake demon.

"Hui Sin symbolises the majority of people who aim to reach a certain standard or follow the norms," says Ho. "If we give them some space, they can actually find the meaning of their lives."

Ho believes the interpretations of these tales - and their morals - should be changed over time to make them more relevant and meaningful to contemporary audiences.

Billed as a "post-modern dance theatre" show, In Search of Hui Sin also promises to re-examine traditional theatre training and the definition of a performance. The cast of seven - which includes Su Shu, a former principal with the Hong Kong Dance Company - have to build a narrative together using dance, acting and music. But there won't be a set script or choreography for them to follow.

"Su Shu, who plays the Green Snake, and the other dancers say they've never been so exhausted from rehearsing. It's mentally and physically challenging," says Ho.

"They don't have to do what the choreographer tells them to do - something that kills the thrill of live performance."

Instead, the dancers have to improvise. Ho says: "The body doesn't lie. The performers have to develop constantly their own viewpoints to support their movements; otherwise, the performance will be lousy."

Ho adds that the audience also participates as "the creative mind that finishes off the story". His goal is to inspire rather than instil, he says.


Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, June 21-22, 8pm, HK$160, HK$200 Urbtix. Inquiries: 22687323