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[中][ENG]舞蹈進入社區的兩個個案——以R&T(Rhythm & Tempo)和不加鎖舞踊館的「十八有藝」計劃為例

文:梁妍


康樂及文化事務署(康文署)於2019年推出「十八有藝」計劃,以「區」為單位,由不同的藝團與該區的社區團體(如青少年服務中心、長者中心等)協作,招募公眾參與以不同表演藝術形式為主導的社區藝術計劃,至今已有四年。今年四月我採訪了R&T(Rhythm & Tempo)(下稱R&T)和不加鎖舞踊館兩個舞團的製作團隊,前者策劃沙田區的《蹄聲足影》踢躂音樂劇計劃(2022-2023),後者策劃西貢區的《身體年輪》(2019-2023)。在我看來,這兩個社區計劃的質感不同,可視作利用公共資源進行表演藝術推廣的兩種案例。



《身體年輪》新進展演 Body in Time - Showcase of Elementary Workshop/ 攝:Vicent Yik (照片由不加鎖舞踊館提供 Photo provide by Unlock Dancing Plaza)


R&T:《蹄聲足影》踢躂音樂劇計劃

R&T成立於2008年,是本地的專業踢躂舞團,本身也在坊間開設恆常的踢躂舞班。R&T負責此社區計劃的監製楊晞忻(Harriet)指出,計劃費用全免,對參加者是一個很大的吸引點。一般來說,購置一雙入門的踢躂舞鞋大約數百元,而市場上,六節踢躂舞課程收費約一千元。計劃前後歷時長達九個月,換句話說等於為每個參加者提供了價值至少五六千元的「入門體驗基金」。

學習踢躂舞,除了舞鞋,對於空間也有不少要求。「你作為初學者在家裡會怕刮花地板,地方又未必充足,而且還會吵到家人和鄰居。」所以,空間條件的配合也是關鍵。「十八有藝」計劃的場地由康文署協調,這為藝團提供了很大的便利,他們在尋找場地上省卻了精力,可以專注提供技術上的專業協助。但Harriet也指出,每次籌辦踢躂舞工作坊,都需要花費一番工夫與合作機構確認場地地面是否合適,否則要由R&T運送薄木板到場地鋪上。但總括而言,這類型的社區演藝計劃為潛在的踢躂舞愛好者消除了一定的經濟和空間障礙。

Harriet分享說這次音樂劇計劃的參加者裡有一個三代同堂的家庭:「一家老少、橫跨三個年齡層一起去做一件事已經相當難得,而且還是一件表演藝術的事。」在她看來,參加者大多對舞台有強烈的熱愛。「他們本身已經很喜歡表演,但因為各種原因,沒有辦法以及機會繼續接觸。目前這個計劃,讓他們有機會可以在一個專業場地、專業製作團隊的帶領下表演。」公共資源的支持就如土壤,但學員的動機才是令計劃持續發展的肥料。Harriet直言曾擔心有參加者中途流失,但結果有不少學員堅持參加課程,這個長時間的計劃更讓學員有機會去「浸」。「跳踢躂是一件需要時間去沉浸的事。」

問起為何在製作演出和開設課程之外,還會開展社區計劃,R&T藝術總監郭偉傑(Ken)說,對他而言,在社區推廣踢躂舞,帶有一點「保育」的意味。他在香港演藝學院舞蹈學院修讀音樂劇舞的時期接觸到踢躂舞,但當演藝學院取消了音樂劇舞這個主修之後,便不太有從學院裡面走出來的踢躂舞者了。據Ken所知,本地仍然活躍的踢躂舞團只有他們。他帶著可惜的口吻說,台灣以及韓國比香港起步得晚,但他們的踢躂舞圈發展得更好。「我不想只有我一個人在跳。」Ken說。這是他走向社區的最初的動機。


不加鎖舞踊館:《身體年輪》

相比R&T,成立於2002年的不加鎖舞踊館的「社區介入」所取的是另一條路徑。其創意總監王榮祿(阿祿)說:「面對非專業訓練的身體,我們可以怎樣提供一些方法或者工具給他們,讓他們以不一樣的方式去擺動他們的身體。」可以說,不加鎖舞踊館在社區計劃中依然貫徹他們在藝術創作上的追求:探索身體如何作為表達的語言和連結的工具。

與R&T不同,踢躂舞可以歸屬於流行文化的語境之中,但當代舞對於普羅大眾而言,仍然未有一套易於理解的詞彙和脈絡。於是,以當代舞為「訓練體系」的工作坊在面向公眾時,要克服的便是另一種性質的障礙。

阿祿說他們在招募工作坊參加者之前會先做一個安排。以《身體年輪》在西貢區的合作機構基督教靈實協會為例,他們會先與其社工做體驗工作坊。「那麼他們招募老友記的時候,至少不會說得那麼模糊。畢竟他們自己先經歷了是怎樣的一回事。」工作坊的導師李振宇指,來參加工作坊的長者大多是貪玩、好奇心旺盛的個性,對未知的體驗保持開放。在招募上,由於主要是機構負責,他們更能物色到會對身體工作坊感興趣的一群長者。

負責《身體年輪》計劃的監製高君分享她數年來的觀察:「我每一年都會看到這樣的過程。那些長者會說,『終於好像知道你們在做甚麼了』。最開初他們是懷疑,然後開始好奇,慢慢可能會過來跟導師說,『我們今日做這個事情是不是想做這個啊?』他們會開始揣摩或者猜測導師們想表達的是甚麼。」執行監製溫浩彬說起一個令他難忘的演出時刻:「有位長者年紀比較大,但敢於郁動身體,在演出時,他整個人躺在地上接夥伴給他的瑜伽球,那一幕全場掌聲雷動。其實他不一定要用一個這麼不安全的方法去回應,但他相信自己的身體,亦想去回應那個給他這個『挑戰』的夥伴。」

不過,要達到這種狀態並不是一個容易的過程。阿祿說到,「很多參加者難免在一開始帶著對於舞蹈的固有觀念,『你們今日要教甚麼舞步?』。」於是首先要做的是改變長者的觀念。「我們會用生活物件,先幫助我們與他們建立一個共同的基礎,撇開何謂舞蹈,而是先回到身體,讓他們了解自己的身體是怎樣,以及不同人的身體有多麼不一樣。」


討論:兩種缺乏

雖然兩個計劃同屬「十八有藝」,都是依托社區網絡開展的社區藝術計劃,但著眼的方向相當不同。R&T承繼的是流行文化和市場的語境,不加鎖舞踊館的嘗試則更接近當代藝術如何介入社區的面向。

不加鎖舞踊館以當代舞的概念和訓練為手段,但社區本身對此感陌生,於是他們更多是在做改變觀念的工作,以認識和運用身體為工具。R&T所致力推廣的踢躂舞,公眾對它有一定的印象,但在生態上,本地並沒有很多活躍的踢躂舞團體,可以讓新人去學習和深化。這兩個案例折射出兩種的缺乏狀態:前者缺乏的是公共知識,於是推廣便屬於觀念教育的一種;後者的缺乏是從業者寡,推廣更多是技藝養成和培育。兩種缺乏都可以從公共資源有方向性的長期投入中得到改善。



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梁妍

生於中國内地,現居香港。目前從事研究和寫作。最近在讀《師父的僧袍》。



[ENG] Two Examples of Dancing with Communities —

18dART Projects by R&T (Rhythm & Tempo) and Unlock Dancing Plaza


Text: Liang Yan

Translator: Eva Kan


The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) launched the 18dART Community Arts Scheme in 2019. The district-based community arts scheme invites arts groups to work with district organisations (e.g. youth services centres, elderly centres, etc.) to recruit members of the public to participate in different performing arts community arts projects. Four years have passed since the scheme was introduced. This April I interviewed the production teams of two dance groups—R&T (Rhythm & Tempo) and Unlock Dancing Plaza. The former designed Rhythmic Tunes, Hoofin’ Grounds Tap Musical Training Project (2022-2023) for Sha Tin, and the latter designed Body in Time (2019-2023) for Sai Kung. It seems to me that these two community projects are different in nature and present two examples of using public resources to promote performing arts.


《蹄聲足影》踢躂音樂劇計劃新進展演 Phythmic Tunes, Hoofin Tap Musical Training Project/攝:Dicky Wong (照片由R&T (Rhythm & Tempo提供) Photo provide by R&T(Rhythm & Tempo))


R&T: Rhythmic Tunes, Hoofin’ Grounds Tap Musical Training Project

Founded in 2008, R&T is a local professional tap dance group which offers regular tap dance classes for the public. Harriet Yeung, producer of the R&T community project, points out that the project is free of charge, which is a big attraction for participants. In general, a pair of tap shoes for beginners costs several hundred dollars, and the fee for a six-session tap dance course is around one thousand dollars. This project lasted for nine months, which effectively provided each participant with at least $5,000 to $6,000 worth of ‘induction funding'.

Apart from tap shoes, learning tap dance has a lot of requirements in terms of suitable space. “As a beginner, you are afraid of scratching the floor at home, not having enough space and disturbing your family and neighbours.” Therefore, having the right space is a key condition for tap dance. The venues for the 18dART scheme are arranged by LCSD, which is extremely convenient for the arts groups as they can save time and energy on searching for venues and focus on providing technical and professional assistance. Nonetheless, Yeung also mentions that every time they organise a tap dance workshop, an effort has to be made to confirm with the collaborating organisation whether the floor of the venue is suitable, otherwise R&T needs to transport thin wooden flooring to the venue. However, overall this type of community arts scheme does to some extent help to remove the barriers in terms of cost and space for potential tap dancers.

Yeung says that the participants in this musical training project included three generations from the same family: “It's a rare opportunity for the old and the young of three age groups under the same roof to do something together, and what’s more, it's a performing arts thing.” It seems to her that most of the participants have a strong passion for the stage. “They like to perform, but for various reasons, they were unable to do so and have not had the opportunity to continue. Now this project gives them the opportunity to perform in a professional venue led by a professional production team.” If the support provided from public resources is the soil, the motivation of the participants is the fertiliser for continuous project development. Yeung says frankly she was worried initially that some of the participants would drop out, but eventually many of them continued. This long-term project can allow them to ‘immerse’ themselves. “Tap dancing is something that needs time to be immersed in it.”

When asked the reason for organising community projects in addition to performances and regular courses, Ken Kwok, the artistic director of R&T, says that to him, promoting tap dance in the community has a certain ‘conservation’ aspect. He encountered tap dance when studying musical theatre dance at the School of Dance of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, but since musical theatre dance was cancelled as a major, it has become hard to find tap dancers who have graduated from the academy. As far as Kwok knows, R&T is the only local tap dance group that is still active. He notes wistfully that although Taiwan and Korea started later than Hong Kong, their tap dance scenes are better developed. “I don’t want to be the only one dancing,” Kwok says. This was his initial motivation to take tap out into the community.


Unlock Dancing Plaza: Body in Time

Compared to R&T, Unlock Dancing Plaza, which was founded in 2002, takes a different path of ‘community intervention’. Its creative director Ong Yong Lock (Lock) says: “For non-professionally trained bodies, it is about how we can provide them with means or tools so that they can move their bodies in a different way.” You can say that in their community project, Unlock Dancing Plaza continues to follow its artistic goals: to explore the body as a means of expression and a tool for connection.

Unlike R&T, while tap dance can be placed in the context of pop culture, contemporary dance still does not have an easily understood vocabulary and context for the general public. Therefore, when a workshop using contemporary dance as a ‘training system’ is introduced to the public, there is a different kind of obstacle to be overcome.

Lock says they would make arrangements to take account of this before recruiting participants for the project. Taking Body in Time as an example, they started by holding experiential workshops for the social workers at Haven of Hope Christian Service, the collaborating organisation of their programme in Sai Kung. “That way, when they recruit the elderly participants, they are clearer about the programme since they have experienced what it is like themselves.” As the organisation takes up the main role in recruitment, this arrangement helps them identify more easily those seniors who would be interested in the body workshop. Andy Lee, the workshop instructor, says most of the elderly joining the workshop like to have fun and have great curiosity. They are open to an unknown experience[NR1] .

Tiffany Ko, producer of Body in Time, shares her observations on the past few years: “Every year I see the same process. The seniors will say, ‘I finally know what you are doing’. They are doubtful at the very beginning, then they become curious, and gradually they may come to the instructor and ask, ‘Is this what we want to achieve today by doing this?’ They start to guess what the instructors would like to convey.” Executive producer John Wen shares an unforgettable moment from the project: “During a performance one senior, who is relatively older but has the courage to move his body, laid his whole body down on the floor to receive the yoga ball from his partner, and got thunderous applause from the audience. It was actually not necessary for him to respond in such an unsafe way, but he believed in his body and wanted to respond to his partner who gave him this ‘challenge’.”

However, it is not an easy process to achieve this state. Lock says, “Many participants inevitably have preconceptions about dance at the beginning, asking things like ‘What steps are you teaching today?’” Therefore, the first thing to do is to change the conceptions of the elderly participants. “We use everyday objects to first help us to build a common foundation with them, putting aside the question of what dance is, and returning to the body first, letting them know what their bodies are like and how different everyone's body is.”

《蹄聲足影》踢躂音樂劇計劃新進展演 Phythmic Tunes, Hoofin Tap Musical Training Project/攝:Dicky Wong (照片由R&T (Rhythm & Tempo提供) Photo provide by R&T(Rhythm & Tempo))


Discussion: Two types of deficiency

Although both projects are under 18dART, and are community arts projects relying on community networks, their focus is different. R&T inherits the context of pop culture and the marketplace, while Unlock Dancing Plaza takes the approach of how contemporary arts engage with the community.

Unlock Dancing Plaza uses contemporary dance concepts and training, but since the community is unfamiliar with these, they work more on changing conceptions and adapting ways of understanding and using the body. R&T is dedicated to promoting tap dance, an art form of which the public already have a certain impression. However, in terms of ecology, there are not many active local tap dance groups where newcomers can learn and develop their skills. These two cases reflect two types of deficiency: the former lacks public knowledge, so promoting it is a kind of conceptual education; the latter lacks practitioners, so promoting it is more about cultivating skills and training. Both types of deficiency can be addressed through systematic, long-term investment of public resources.




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Liang Yan

Liang Yan was born in mainland China, and currently lives in Hong Kong engaging in research and writing. Recently she is reading My Master's Robe.


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