Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche may have mastered the intensive movements required for her dance debut In-I, but that is not all she has learned for the project. 'What did I learn? I learnt to bend. I learnt to shut my mouth,' she said. The actress, who is co-directing the piece of dance theatre with acclaimed London-based dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, was speaking at a press conference before the performance's Asia debut in the Arts Festival tonight. In-I was one of the fastest-selling shows of this year's festival; its three performances have sold out. Binoche, who had never danced professionally prior to In-I, said that as an actress she had been used to conveying messages and emotions through words; dancers, however, use their movements instead of their mouths. 'I had to find a common world,' she said. 'It was quite a big turn for me in a way.' Binoche said In-I, a dance production about love and featuring award-winning composer and cellist Philip Sheppard's original music and Turner Prize-winner Anish Kapoor's set design, was emotionally and physically demanding. Khan said the audience could expect to witness the development of a relationship between two people from different cultures and backgrounds, and how these individuals found a common denominator. The show received mixed reviews when it debuted in London last September, but Khan and Binoche put a positive spin on things. 'We wanted to dare big and there's a risk of a big failure,' Khan said. 'But that's still better than aiming low and succeeding.' Khan, a regular at the Arts Festival, said he felt that the arts scene in Hong Kong had been growing and the local audience was knowledgeable about the arts. Binoche, who turns 45 next week, won an Oscar in 1997 for her work in The English Patient and starred in Three Colors: Blue, among many movies. She said she was passionate about Chinese culture and philosophy; she receives acupuncture treatments and practises qigong, which gave her the endurance 'to dance when other people quit'. She also praised Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, who directed her in Flight of the Red Balloon, for his creative influence on her. Binoche also revealed she had been in discussions with Hou and mainland director Jia Zhangke for film projects. The internationally acclaimed actress appeared to have already won the hearts of members of the media even before she took to the stage, as they lined up to get her autograph. In-I will be staged at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts from tonight to Friday before making its second Asian stop in Tokyo.