Hong Kong Dance Company treasures the mundane
Hong Kong Dance Company
It is easy to take the mundane for granted: the fridge we open, the cushion we hug and the stool we sit on — these are everyday items. But for dancer-choreographer Ivy Tsui Yik-chit, it is important for us to recognise even the most trivial things we have become accustomed to living with daily.
Site-specific dance strikes Tsui as a great way to remind her audience of the importance of treasuring the ordinary. She gets to perform in the same space where she choreographs her piece around different objects and furniture, which may otherwise go unnoticed, and consequently accentuates the beauty of the interaction. "It's like I'm taking snapshots of everything interesting to be seen," says Tsui.
After her first attempt in Beijing, Tsui's latest project takes place at Hong Kong Dance Company's 8/F Platform, which serves as a dance laboratory to try different visions. The independent artist is collaborating with Hong Kong Dance Company's senior dancer Li Han and actor Chester Wong Po-shing, who is a freelance composer and former actor with the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre.
She continues to use the same title Beans as it embraces the inspiration and ambition of the show. "Something may seem as small as a tiny bean in our life, but it's the accumulation of these little joys which teaches us to appreciate life," says Tsui. "These beans we gather are actually seeds which will sprout and grow. It symbolises how this show can travel and grow at different places — every time it grows it takes on a different shape and with different performers there'll be a special spark."
The show starts off in the dressing room, before moving on through the corridor into the big rehearsal room where the audience will be seated in the middle of the room. Throughout the show, the audience has to stand or move around. Tsui wants to flip the usual practice of dancers performing in the centre by roaming more randomly around the whole space.
"This show is more demanding for the audience than the formal ones where there's a static stage. As nothing is cast within a frame for them to focus on — we're surrounding them with actions from all directions — they have to actively seek what they're interested in seeing," says Tsui.
"It tests both their concentration and curiosity. But that's what makes performing arts interesting — it's not like television, where you passively watch whatever that is playing."
8/F Platform, Sheung Wan Civic Centre, 345 Queen's Rd Central, Sheung Wan, Apr 24-27, 7.45pm, Apr 26-27, 3pm. HK$140 Urbtix. Inquiries: 3103 1806