ARTISTS OFTEN TALK about being creative - or are struggling to do so. But Victor Ma Choi-wo, renowned for his innovative and experimental dance performances, never intended to do either. 'I won't force myself to be creative,' says the artistic director of performing arts group Y-Space. 'I just get inspiration from my living environment. I'm sensitive to things around me.' Ma and his wife - professional partner, Mandy Yim Ming-yin - established Y-Space in 1995 in order to explore the possibilities of dance performance. They incorporate other media such as videos in their dance performances, collaborate with people in various fields and perform in alternative venues such as outdoors. Today at 7 pm, Ma will be one of the speakers at a series of seminars on applied creativity at the Arts School of the Hong Kong Arts Centre. When developing a performance, he is deeply affected by everything around him, and focuses on being original. 'I don't like repeating or duplicating what other people have done,' says the 37-year-old Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (APA) graduate. 'I love trying new or alternative things. Only a few people are doing this in Hong Kong.' Originally trained in Chinese dance, ballet and modern dance, the performer chose experimental dance due to the limitations of the traditional art forms. 'I think it's not enough if I only wear ballet shoes and tights to express something about modern society through classical ballet,' he says. 'Society is more complex now.' While he believes traditional dance is popular among the general public, he does not see it as a good means of expressing himself, and believes it may even hinder the creative process. 'Most of the time we are imitating others, but you have to find your own direction and create something which belongs to you, not just copy what others are doing.' People should also develop their own style as they all have different backgrounds and characters. Ma also believes in exploring hidden talent. Last year, he made his debut on the silver screen in a local independent film called The Map Of Sex And Love. Like writing, drawing and music, theatre and dance are just a medium for the dancer to express himself and communicate with people. For Ma, dance is a language and a natural means to 'talk' about his feelings. His ability to dance was discovered as a young boy, and he was often called on to perform in front of relatives or his parents' friends. But it was only in Form Four, when his sister encouraged him to learn Chinese dance, that he began developing his talent. Later, he received a scholarship from the Jockey Club to train at the City Contemporary Dance Company for a year. He then went on to study at the APA. Today, Ma feels disappointed that so few people are interested in watching dance performances. 'There are not enough people to give feedback and to discuss,' he says. He believes interactive communication between the performers and the audience could help stimulate the creative process.