Butterfly Effect

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 September, 2007, 12:00am

DanceArt Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall Tomorrow-Sat, 8pm; Sept 16, 3pm

The title of this dance theatre piece refers to a scientific theory that a small happening, such as the flap of a butterfly's wings in South America, may lead to an event far greater, such as a tornado in North America. Local independent dance outfit DanceArt applies this thinking on the essence of chaos to human behaviour: Can a seemingly innocuous word or casual look cause anger over time?

Choreographed by Andy Wong Ting-lam, the group's associate artistic director, the contemporary dance performance comprises a series of vignettes that explore how everyday events and objects can evolve into something extraordinary.

'A word of trifling importance, an act that can stir up trouble, a look that conveys contempt ... each serves as a stimulus that can trigger a chain reaction of feelings that leads to an emotional storm,' says Francis Leung Ka-kuen, also an associate artistic director with DanceArt and a performer in the show.

'When you're in this violent gale, what would you do and what can you do?'

He cites street protests as an example in which a small confrontation between a policeman and a group of demonstrators can escalate into something devastating. 'The performance doesn't tell any story but is more a chain of short tales, each connected to the one preceding.'

Joining Leung will be DanceArt's regular collaborators Taiju Matsumoto and Yvette Huang, and dancers Han Mei, Carol Wong, Rebecca Wong, Wong Sze-ling, Cody Choi, musical theatre actor Anthony Suen and stage actor Guthrie Yip. There will be live music - a fusion of jazz, hip hop, rock'n'roll and 'angry sounds' - performed by alternative band JuicyNing (Michael Ning and Tommy Chu).

'Andy and I want to work with different artists for this production because it gets very repetitive if we work with the same people all the time,' says Leung. 'So we have a real mix here.

'Taiju is a great artist to work with. His dark sense of humour often gives the work an edge so we're happy to be working with him again. Anthony Suen will add a lot to the performance because he can dance as well as sing, and there's a fair bit of singing in this show.'

Leung says Butterfly Effect is a multimedia production, blending dance, theatre, music, set aesthetics and video. 'This collaboration has definitely opened up many more possibilities and space for creativity.'

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