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[中][ENG]圓桌交流:香港共融舞蹈之契機與發展

主持:謝嘉豪(謝)

嘉賓:鄭慧君(C+)、盧淑嫺(Mimi)、莫昭如(莫)

文字整理:《舞蹈手札》編輯部


圓桌交流之概況 Roundtable Discussion(照片由國際演藝評論家協會(香港分會)提供 Photo provided by International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong))


謝:當我們提起共融舞蹈,很多時候都會想到舞動所能(DanceAbility)。據我所知,DanceAbility是由莫先生引入香港,可否請你分享一下起初是為甚麼會將其引入至香港?


莫:當時有一個組織叫VSA International,原名為Very Special Arts International,而其中的香港成員為香港展能藝術會(ADAHK)。我在ADAHK就任時接觸了很多不同能力的人,並認識到提倡DanceAbility的美國舞蹈家Alito Alessi,有機會邀請他到香港舉辦工作坊。我離開ADAHK後,邀請他任教另一個工作坊,並與當時的學員到不同地方演出,包括灣仔修頓球場、葵芳邨羅馬廣場,而該系列演出當時亦榮獲香港舞蹈聯盟頒發的香港舞蹈年獎。最近的香港國際共融舞蹈節亦有邀請他在網上舉辦工作坊及討論會。


謝:Mimi和C+初接觸DanceAbility時是怎樣的?你們如何運用它,或它如何影響你們的工作?


Mimi:DanceAbility賦予我一個框架,去了解每個群組需要注意的地方,同時我亦能從中察覺不同群組之間具有相同特性的地方,這些特性令他們能夠一同參與舞蹈。在這層面上,不同的舞種,不論是芭蕾舞、拉丁舞或是接觸即興,其實沒有太大所謂。DanceAbility起初可能會涉及一些舞蹈技巧,但累積了一定的經驗後,它更像是一個用來關注不同人士的理念。另一個理念是接觸即興,是我現在比較多運用的。有時候我會重疊兩個理念,或偏向某一個,兩者都能夠讓我理解不同群組的能力,以及甚麼最適合他們。


C+:我在接觸DanceAbility前是跳爵士舞的。爵士舞的考試要求嚴格,因此接觸DanceAbility打破了我原有的舞蹈思維。有別於一般人定義的舞蹈,DanceAbility主張每一個人都能夠參與其中,並以自身的方式演繹,假設某人做了一個動作,其他人可因應身體特質的不同或個人的選擇,以自己的方式演繹該動作。這種多元化關照每個人的身體、經驗、結構及選擇,讓他們能夠享受舞蹈,透過藝術賦予身體權力。

C+與不同能力人士進行舞動工作坊 C+ conducts dance workshops with people of different abilities(照片由鄭慧君提供 Photo provided by Scarlette Cheng)


謝:兩位的分享帶出了一個根本性的問題,何謂共融舞蹈?而莫先生作為第一屆香港國際共融舞蹈節的策劃人,希望帶出甚麼想法給香港觀眾?


莫:我們最初籌辦共融舞蹈節時,主要考慮傷健共融,但後來找了BEYOND Bollywood合作,他們的工作主要圍繞民族共融,因此最終舞蹈節的演出、工作坊等包括了傷健共融、民族共融等主題。有人批評沒有LGBT+性向共融,如果再舉辦共融舞蹈節便需要考慮更多元化的共融。但就如C+所說,我們應該擁抱多樣性,不論是性取向、身體特質、種族血統、語言。我們推行的共融應該是大家在這個世界平等地融洽生活,而擁抱多樣性的價值應該更為受到重視。


C+:我們會說「共融」舞蹈,是因為藝術或舞蹈在社教化之下被賦予了某些固有框架,比如跳舞需要具備一定的身體條件、經驗,並非每一個人都能夠參與。我二十多歲才正式開始學習跳舞,當時一同學習的伙伴大多是十多歲,他們會因為我年紀比他們大上一截而顯得驚訝。這就是社會所賦予框架的例子,而共融正正擺脫了年齡、身體條件等限制。希望將來不論舞蹈或藝術均能讓所有人參與,不必刻意提到共融,這才是真正的共融。


謝:這令我聯想到兩個問題:共融舞蹈當中如何具備藝術性,而並非只是一種普通娛樂活動?除了缺乏對共融舞蹈的認知外,在香港推動共融舞蹈還有甚麼難處?有些觀眾仍然會認為共融舞蹈是種社會服務,缺乏藝術性。


莫:首先,主要問題在於社會大部分人未曾擁抱多樣性,其次,他們亦不理解文化是一項權利。我們城市如何文化,包括製作、創作、參與、享受文化,並非是一小撮人才有資格決定,而是任何人都擁有的權利。威爾斯有一個著名的舞團,為嚴重殘障的人士舉辦工作坊,即使是臥床的人也可以在臥床上參與舞蹈,這個團的舞者也來過香港做工作坊。關鍵在於如何定義舞蹈及定義藝術性。


Mimi:共融舞蹈正是提供一個足夠的空間,讓其中的參加者互動。其實我一直不認為自己是共融舞蹈工作者,更並非在參與社福工作,我只是在教不同的人士跳舞,因應他們的需要從中不斷調整方式。藝術性方面亦同樣,了解這些學生能夠呈現甚麼、最能夠代表他們的是甚麼,並從中找出屬於這個組合的藝術性才是正確的,而非刻意賦予他們某種藝術性。

Mimi與不同能力人士進行舞蹈工作坊 Mimi conducts dance workshops with people of different abilities/照片由MimiLOPADF提供 Photo provided by MimiLOPADF


謝:從幾位的言談之中,感受到共融舞蹈讓很多人被看見,賦權的力量很大。你們會否認為共融舞蹈不但是藝術創作,同時是一種社會關懷?你們如何平衡或融洽這些議題?


莫:在我看來,當社會上有任何人受到不平等對待,我們便需要發聲。每個人都擁有文化權利,亦有能力改變現狀,因為我們的內在都蘊藏著一個創意的「金礦」,不論是舞蹈老師、戲劇老師,均可以創造出人人能夠大放異彩的舞台。共融舞蹈或共融藝術只是令不同能力或特質的朋友一起創作或享受藝術。更為突出的可以是殘障人士始創或獨專的藝術形式,例如聾人透過手語演出,是他們獨有的藝術形式;聾人發展起來的Visual Vernacular(視覺白話)也是有他們所創和建立的獨特美學。失明人士會創作讓人觸摸的藝術品。


Mimi:與其說是社會關懷,我更認為是受到身邊的人所影響。我身邊有不少LGBT+朋友,最近有兩位朋友提及當他們參與拉丁舞課時,感受到異樣的目光。這令我更加關注這個群組、明白他們有更多需要。我前幾天在德國QueerTango Festival參與一場圓桌討論,有不少導師分享如何為這些群組尋找安全、舒服的空間,但同時他們亦希望突破固定印象,讓主流大眾一同參與其中。這值得我們反思,這些是否我們所談論的社會關懷?還是我們應該尋找一個雙向的橋樑?


C+:我認為這種社會關懷並非像當義工這種關懷,而是出自一種對自己生活地方的關心。雖然我是社工,但我不認為這是社會福利工作,而更像是莫先生所說,是文化權利的問題。為甚麼有某些身體特質就不能跳舞?事實上可以透過合適的方法令這些人一同起舞。對我而言,文化權利才是著眼點,人人都有參與藝術的權利。我在大埔藝術中心排練室的鏡上貼了一句話:「Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful」。每個人都有屬於自己美麗的地方,由自身的經驗、背景、特質造就了獨一無二的個體。一個作品值得欣賞的地方,除了舞蹈技巧外,亦關乎作品與觀眾的連繫,而每個人都應該有自己的準則,不必依賴社會所賦予的框架去評價作品。


莫:剛才提到共融舞蹈活動更像是與社會福利有關的活動,很多人都抱有這個看法。我在ADAHK工作時負責展能藝術活動,同時也在外邊以亞洲民眾戲劇節協會的名義舉辦戲劇活動。當時香港藝術發展局(藝發局)邀請了一位著名的新加坡戲劇工作者到香港觀賞並評論不同劇團的製作,他看完亞洲民眾戲劇節協會在澳門演出的《澳門故事一、二、三》後,卻又提到展能藝術活動只屬於社會福利層面,我並不同意此說法。由不同能力的人所創作的展能藝術,也可以有很高的藝術性。


謝:提到藝發局,你們認為資助機構能否有效幫助推動共融藝術?


莫:不論舞蹈或藝術都有不同功能,既能作為娛樂,亦能作為教育或賦權,這些都可以獲得資助。社福機構提交藝術活動計劃書時均會強調建立自信、建立良好溝通等社會性功能,事實上藝術的確能夠達到此效果。現時也有愈來愈多人發現藝術與健康息息相關,舞蹈不單是娛樂,更能夠宣揚健康理念並帶來健康。譬如由香港賽馬會資助、香港演藝學院舞蹈學院的「觸動」舞蹈計劃,計劃服務對象為柏金遜症患者,計劃同樣注重藝術層面,把柏金遜症患者帶到藝術場地舉辦工作坊,以此灌輸藝術到他們生命之中。順帶一提:我們提到殘疾人士及他們的福祉時,會以「Nothing about us without us」(沒有我們的參與,不要替我們做決定)為原則,需要與他們一同規劃、構思相關活動。以「觸動」舞蹈計劃的宣傳為例,當中主要是策劃人Anna(陳頌瑛)以及其他推動者分享感受,卻沒有參加活動的柏金遜症患者分享。這是我們需要改善的地方。


C+:在某些群體裡,很少會出現導師是殘疾人士的情況。例如在肢體傷殘兒童學校,如果導師是輪椅使用者,也許更了解這些兒童的身體特質。我在機構工作時有三個範疇,剛才比較多提及參與層面,另一個是藝術的欣賞層面。近幾年我們在社區文化大使的活動當中設有口述影像、手語傳譯、劇場視形傳譯等安排。共融藝術不只是參與,我更希望觀眾能夠欣賞、感受得到,如視障觀眾透過口述影像了解一個舞蹈製作。第三個層面是讓不同能力人士參與培訓,訓練他們成為推動者。例如DanceAbility有一個三十小時的培訓,授課對象包括不同能力人士,其後並邀請加入教學團隊。這令殘疾人士不只是參與、欣賞藝術,更成為宣揚共融藝術的一分子。


謝:最後,你們對於往後香港共融舞蹈的發展有甚麼想像?另外,我們在學習期引入了不少外國的經驗,如何將這些經驗有效地本地化?


Mimi:剛才提到DanceAbility令香港出現不少推動共融舞蹈的藝術家,亦令共融舞蹈的曝光率大增。但其實亦有不少人像我一樣,在學習 DanceAbility前,已經在特殊學校任教舞蹈,或者擁有教育殘障人士舞蹈的經驗。若果有更多形式、機會讓他們一起討論、學習並整理對共融舞蹈的想法,建立一個共融舞蹈的平台讓大家分享經驗,會對於整個共融、甚至舞蹈藝術的圈子更加完善。我曾參與台灣雲門舞集的舞蹈教室,訓練期間會不斷互相觀課、學習,評價彼此的教育方式,但香港則比較少出現這種情況。


莫:舉辦共融舞蹈節時,我認為已經在不知不覺間形成了一個嘗未完善的共融舞蹈圈。這個舞蹈圈有表演團體、推動共融舞蹈的藝術家、本地或外地導師,讓我們取得一些海外舞者的演出展演,以及透過網上工作坊,連繫關注共融藝術的不同團體。但要維繫這樣的圈子並不容易,需要投放不少資源,也要思考希望這個圈子做到甚麼。


香港愈來愈多人關心舞蹈與健康的議題,共融舞蹈節的最後也有「Dance in Health」的探討環節。若果能夠令共融團體意識到他們不單是在推動共融,同時是在社會宣揚及推廣舞蹈改善健康,則能發展出更多可能性。


C+:我希望強調,共融是沒有任何人被排除在外,當看見針對特定群體的共融舞蹈時,我更期望看見任何人都能夠參與的共融舞蹈計劃。


Mimi:一個怎樣的空間將會是共融舞蹈計劃的重點。現時香港沒有太多舞蹈空間有合適的配套,能夠同時讓所有人士參與。部分海外藝術節若表明歡迎任何人士參加,便會同時列明該空間的可達性,例如有樓梯的話會提到有專人輔助殘疾人士。


謝:感謝各位參與會議,適逢本期《舞蹈手札》的焦點關於共融舞蹈,加上第一屆香港國際共融舞蹈節於不久之前結束,希望藉此引起更多有關的討論和關注。


討論日期及時間:2023年8月1日 3:00-4:30pm




Roundtable Discussion: Introduction and Development of Inclusive Dance in Hong Kong


Moderator: Tomas Tse (Tse)

Guests: Scarlette Cheng (C+), Mimi Lo (Mimi), Augustine Mok (Mok)

Transcipt: dance journal/hk Editorial Team


Translator: Laura Chan


Tse: Whenever we mention inclusive dance, the name DanceAbility comes to mind. As far as I know, DanceAbility was introduced to Hong Kong by Mr Mok. Could you share with us the reason behind this?


Mok: At that time there was an organisation called VSA International, formerly known as Very Special Arts International, and Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong (ADAHK) was its Hong Kong member. When I was working in ADAHK I met a lot of capable people, including Alito Alessi, an American dancer who was an advocate for DanceAbility. I took the opportunity to invite him to hold workshops in Hong Kong. After I left ADAHK, I invited him to teach another workshop and perform with our students in different venues, including Southorn Playground in Wan Chai and Roman Square in Kwai Fong Estate. The dance series received the Hong Kong Dance Award presented by the Hong Kong Dance Alliance. Alessi was also invited to conduct online workshops and seminars at the recent Hong Kong International Inclusive Dance Festival.


Tse: Mimi and C+, what was it like when you first encountered DanceAbility? How did you apply your skills and how did it influence your work?


Mimi: DanceAbility provided me with a framework to understand the specific needs of different groups of people, and at the same time I discovered common characteristics among different groups that enabled them to dance together. In this sense, specific dance styles — be it ballet, Latin dance, or contact improvisation — did not really matter. DanceAbility may have involved dance skills initially, but eventually it became more like a concept catering to different individuals. Another concept I frequently applied was contact improvisation, and sometimes I combined both concepts or leaned towards one of them, as both allowed me to understand the abilities of different groups and what worked best for them.


C+: I was a jazz dancer before joining DanceAbility. Jazz dance has exams with very strict requirements, so DanceAbility changed the way I thought of dance. Unlike the conventional definition of dance, DanceAbility advocated the inclusion of every individual and allowed them to interpret movements in their own ways. For instance, if someone performed a certain move, others could interpret it based on their own body characteristics or preferences. Such emphasis on diversity recognised all bodies, experiences, structures and choices, so that everyone could enjoy dancing and empower their bodies through art.


Tse: What both of you have shared highlights a fundamental question: What actually is inclusive dance? Mr Mok, as the organiser of the First Hong Kong International Inclusive Dance Festival, what did you want to convey to the audience in Hong Kong?


Mok: Initially our focus was on inclusiveness for people with disabilities. However, we later collaborated with BEYOND Bollywood, whose work revolved around ethnic inclusion, and as a result the festival featured both themes. Some criticised the lack of LGBTQ+ inclusion, suggesting that future festivals should consider more types of inclusion. As C+ mentioned, we should embrace diversity in all forms, including sexual orientation, body characteristics, race, and language. Our idea of inclusivity was about equality and harmony, and giving greater importance to the value of diversity.


C+: We use the term "inclusive" dance because art and dance are given certain frameworks in society. For example, how dancing necessarily requires certain physical abilities and experiences, so that it is not accessible to everyone. I started learning dance in my twenties, and most of my classmates were teenagers. They were surprised when they found out I was much older than them, reflecting how strong the limited mindset is. Inclusive dance removes such restrictions on age and physical condition, and I hope that in the future dance and art can be accessible to everyone, without the need to explicitly mention inclusivity. That would be what inclusion truly means.


Tse: This brings two questions to my mind: How can inclusive dance possess artistic qualities rather than being mere entertainment? Apart from the lack of awareness, what are the other challenges in promoting inclusive dance in Hong Kong? Some audiences may still perceive inclusive dance as a form of social work which lacks artistic value.


Mok: The main issue lies in the fact that the majority of people have not embraced diversity, and that they fail to understand that culture is a right. How our city engages with culture, including its production, creation, participation, and enjoyment, should not be determined by a select few. A well-known dance company in Wales has organised workshops for individuals with severe disabilities, even for those confined to bed, so that they could dance from their beds. Their dancers have conducted workshops in Hong Kong. The key lies in how we define dance and artistic qualities.


Mimi: Inclusive dance provides the necessary space for participants to interact with one another. In fact, I have never considered myself as an inclusive dance practitioner or a social worker. I simply taught dance to people from different backgrounds and adapted my approach to their needs. Similarly, in terms of artistic value, it was important to understand what students could do and what truly represented them, and then perform art that belonged to their particular group, instead of imposing certain artistic qualities on them.


Tse: From what you are saying I feel that inclusive dance allows many individuals to be seen and empowered. Would you agree that inclusive dance is not only an art form but also a form of social service? How would you balance or reconcile these issues?


Mok: In my opinion, we should speak up whenever someone encounters inequality. Everyone has the right to culture and the ability to make a difference, as within each of us lies a "gold mine" of creativity. Be it a dance teacher or a drama teacher, that person can create a stage where everyone can shine. Inclusive dance or art simply gathers people of different characteristics to create and enjoy art. It also highlights art forms pioneered by individuals with disabilities, such as sign language performances or Visual Vernacular developed by the deaf, displaying their unique aesthetics. Blind people can also create art that may be understood through the sense of touch.


Mimi: Rather than calling it social service, I believe it is more about being influenced by those around us. I have many LGBTQ+ friends, and recently two of them mentioned that they got weird looks when they participated in Latin dance classes. That made me pay more attention to this group and become more concerned about their needs. A few days ago, I participated in a roundtable discussion at the QueerTango Festival in Germany, where many instructors talked about creating safe and comfortable spaces for these groups. However, they also hoped to do away with stereotypes and get mainstream audiences involved. We should reflect on whether it is social service we want or if we should seek to create a two-way street.


C+: I believe this kind of social service is not like volunteering; it stems from a concern for the community you live in. Although I am a social worker, I did not treat it as social work but more like an issue of cultural rights, as Mr Mok has mentioned. Why shouldn’t people with certain physical characteristics dance? In fact, these individuals can indeed dance together if appropriate methods are applied. Everyone has the right to participate in art. I put up a quote on the mirror in the rehearsal room at the Tai Po Arts Centre which said, "Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”. Everyone has their own unique beauty, shaped by their experiences, backgrounds, and characteristics. What makes a performance worth appreciating goes beyond dance skills; it is about the connection between the work and the audience, and everyone should have their own criteria to evaluate the work, not just accept the framework imposed by society.


Mok: Earlier we mentioned how a lot of people viewed inclusive dance as an activity related to social welfare. When I was working at ADAHK, I was responsible for inclusive arts activities, and I also organised drama under the Asian People's Theatre Festival Society. During that time, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) invited a renowned Singaporean theatre practitioner to watch and review productions by different theatre groups in Hong Kong. After he watched the performance of Macau Story 1, 2, 3 by the Society in Macau, he commented that inclusive arts only belong to the field of social welfare, which I disagreed with. Inclusive arts created by individuals with different abilities can also be of high artistic value.


Tse: Speaking of HKADC, do you think funding organisations could help effectively with promoting inclusive arts?


Mok: Dance or art can serve different purposes, such as entertainment, education, or empowerment, and all of them are eligible for funding. When social welfare organisations have submitted proposals for art activities, they have often emphasised the social benefits of art, such as the improvement of self-confidence and communication. Nowadays people are increasingly aware of the correlation between art and health; dancing could be used to promote positive messages regarding health and wellness. For example, the Dance Well project, organised by the School of Dance at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club, focused on holding art workshops for patients with Parkinson's disease, bringing art into their lives. By the way, whenever we talk about people with disabilities and their well-being, we adhere to the principle of "Nothing about us without us," which means involving them in decisions on the planning and conception of activities for them. Taking Dance Well as an example, its promotion featured sharing from its coordinator Anna Chan and other advocates, but none from the participating patients with Parkinson’s disease. This is an area which should be improved.


C+: In some groups it is rare to have instructors with disabilities, such as in schools for children with physical disabilities. If there is an instructor who is a wheelchair user, they might have a better understanding of the physical attributes of the children. I cover three areas of work: I mentioned the participation part earlier, and another aspect is art appreciation. In recent years, we have incorporated audio description, sign language interpretation, and theatre visual interpretation in our community cultural ambassador activities. Inclusive art is not only about participation, and I hope that audiences will be able to appreciate these aspects as well, for example how visually impaired audiences can understand a dance production through audio description. The third aspect is to involve people with different abilities in training, so that they can become our advocates. For example, DanceAbility offers a 30-hour training programme to participants with different abilities, and they are invited to become part of the teaching staff. This allows people with disabilities to not only participate in and appreciate art but also become advocates for inclusive art.

第一屆國際共融舞蹈節演出 Hong Kong International Inclusive Dance Festival Performance(照片由社匿文化發展中心提供 Photo provided by CCDF )


Tse: Finally, what are your thoughts on the future development of inclusive dance in Hong Kong? We have studied a lot of experiences from abroad. How can we localise these experiences effectively?


Mimi: DanceAbility has brought forward many artists who have promoted inclusive dance in Hong Kong, increasing the exposure of inclusive dance. However, there are also many people like me who had already been teaching dance in special schools, or we are experienced in teaching dance to people with disabilities, before encountering DanceAbility. It would be fruitful for the inclusive dance community or even the entire dance community if there was a platform to share, discuss, learn, and consolidate ideas relevant to inclusive dance. When I participated in the dance classes of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, we constantly observed and evaluated our peers’ teaching methods. This is not common in Hong Kong.


Mok: When I was organising the Inclusive Dance Festival, I felt that an inclusive dance community had somehow, unconsciously, been formed. The community consists of performing groups, artists promoting inclusive dance, and local and foreign instructors, and we have managed to introduce performances from overseas and connect with inclusive art groups through online workshops. However, maintaining such a community is not easy; it requires a considerable amount of resources and careful consideration of what we hope to achieve with this community.


People are increasingly interested in dance and wellness in Hong Kong, and the Festival also included a discussion session on Dance in Health. If we can make inclusive groups realise that they are not only promoting inclusivity but also dance to improve health and wellness in society, more possibilities could be developed.


C+: I would like to emphasise that inclusivity means no-one is excluded. While some inclusive dance programmes have targeted specific groups, I hope to see more programmes that are open to everyone.


Mimi: One concern regarding inclusive dance programmes is venues. Currently Hong Kong lacks dance venues with facilities which accommodate all types of people. If overseas art festivals state that everyone is welcome to attend, they will list accessibility issues to the venue. For example if there are stairs, they will mention that assistance is available for people with disabilities.


Tse: Thank you all for taking part in the roundtable today. The upcoming edition of dance journal/hk will focus on inclusive dance, and the First Hong Kong International Inclusive Dance Festival has recently taken place. I hope that this will spark more discussion and awareness of this issue.


Date and Time of Discussion: 1 August 2023 3:00-4:30 pm


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