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[中][Eng]說好香港的舞蹈故事——專訪香港資深製作人盧君亮

文:Eveline Wong


處身後疫情時代,一切復常,世界各地的文化藝術活動再次興盛活躍。香港資深舞蹈製作人盧君亮(Andy),與TS Crew的《冇龍冇獅》(No Dragon No Lion),於2022及2023年在一片藍海中把香港的舞蹈作品突圍,在愛丁堡「說好香港的舞蹈故事」。


信任


要獲得一個海外巡演機會,並非來一場風花雪月就能如願。Andy提及多年前於韓國釜山遇上當時Dance Base的藝術總監Morag Deyes,發現與她在某些想法上很聊得來。及後在2017年的城市當代舞蹈節再次相逢。自此,Andy用了兩三年時間與Morag溝通,了解她的品味、想法、互相分享資訊、建立信任,最終造就了TS Crew和「香港‧魂」走進愛丁堡藝穗節。Andy認為成功取決於「信任」二字,但除了日積月累,還可以怎樣建立信任?「千萬不要演出完結後就甚麼都不做,一定要去不同場地看表演!因為在那裡可以認識各地的製作人,從他們口中獲取更多資訊與交流。某程度上你跟那些製作人、主辦單位之間的信任也是這樣建立起來的。」


互相幫助,共建平台


羅馬非一日可建,《冇龍冇獅》的雛形源於2021年社區文化大使計劃,概念是結合在地文化和賣藝。另由於TS Crew擁有三年參與愛丁堡藝穗節的經驗,2023年他們決定不要只帶《冇龍冇獅》,希望與其他香港藝術家出走,並善用TS Crew的資源和經驗,成功建立「香港‧魂」平台。對觀眾而言,Andy認為這並非只是一場演出,實為看見一個香港藝術家共建的舞蹈平台。「其實這件事我覺得頗know how(知道如何處之)。Know how的原因是我們對愛丁堡(藝穗節)有經驗,了解這樣的作品組合和題材可以放在哪裡有助整個「香港‧魂」演出。」經驗的累積加上策略成功,無怪乎載譽而歸。


愛丁堡國際藝穗節 Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022/攝Photo:Ian Georgeson(照片由盧君亮提供 Photos provided by Andy Lo)


危機處理,化險為夷


海外演出難免有「意料之外」。Andy提及在愛丁堡首演時,黃碧琪的裙子索扣出了問題。這時製作人必須當機立斷作出很殘忍的決定:立刻想出不同方案與黃碧琪討論,用最短時間要求她做抉擇,並盡力減低她的恐慌及以完成首場演出為目標。因此,Andy覺得與藝術家合作真的要「不熟不做」,必須了解其作品、創作理念、性格——時間的浸淫不可或缺。


另一方面,他認為與藝術家對未來機遇的想法不一致時,最好是尋求雙方舒服的方案繼續並行。否則,Andy語重心長地奉勸:「千萬不要拿製作人的ego(自我)出來!讓藝術家做決定吧,畢竟最終面對觀眾的人是他。」此外,他認為所有技術上的問題必須盡量避免,因此製作人要清楚每一個場地、場合的需求,並於整個策劃過程中做好期望管理,給予藝術家清晰的簡報(briefing)。

 

有話直說與目標為本之間


假如同樣是推廣「香港‧魂」,Andy認為西方的主辦代表較傾向直接告訴你作品是否適合他們;但另一方面,其實香港對他們來說是佔有一個特別位置,他們仍然渴望知道香港的藝術家此時關心或不關心甚麼。然而亞洲代表會比較目標為本,如想法能對上,自然水到渠成,但最終不免回到資源層面。因此Andy說「無可否認,藝發局(香港藝術發展局)的文化交流資助確實幫助不少」。但話說回來,交手時就是一個不變的互動關係:「先了解他們的口味和平台特色,同時要想方設法告訴他們『我知道你們在想像甚麼,所以我給你。』」


做製作人是寂寞的⋯⋯


「當團隊工作完結可以吃喝玩樂時,製作人是沒有me time(私人時間)的,因此需要懂得如何調節,不然你會很快離場不幹。」假如年青人想入行,Andy說首要花時間嘗試;其次要很「八卦」(喜歡打聽/接觸不同事物),有助建立個人觸覺和品味;然後請好好看書,建立個人世界觀;還要努力做好基本功,如寫電郵的禮儀、處理計劃的步驟;學會「謙受益」,懂得適時收藏自我。最後他認為「年輕」是最大資源,很多嶄新想法皆來自年青人。如能藉助年青製作人的資源,再由資深製作人分享經驗給他們,整個業界的生態就會更健康美好。


不過Andy 認為,千萬不能視以上的內容為「金科玉律」,反之這是十分個人的經驗和主觀的看法。若然以此為討論、提問,甚至批評的起點,這就來得別具意義了。

 

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Eveline Wong

資深藝術行政、製作人、音樂人

經常遊走江湖,廣交朋友結善緣


盧君亮

現為TS Crew舞團經理及由TS Crew推動成立的香港-國際舞蹈平台「香港.魂」的製作人。曾監製TS Crew不同作品,包括《順》及得奬作品《冇龍冇獅》等。盧也是舞蹈「香港比舞」的監製及現為國際演藝協會(ISPA)的成員。






Telling the Good Dance Stories of Hong Kong: An Interview with Veteran Dance Producer Andy Lo

Author: Eveline Wong

Translator: Laura Chan


The global cultural and art scene was thriving once again as everything returned back to normal after the pandemic. In 2022 and 2023, Hong Kong veteran dance producer Andy Lo and TS Crew’s “No Dragon No Lion” emerged amidst a sea of opportunities, bringing Hong Kong pieces to Edinburgh and telling the “good dance stories” of Hong Kong.


Building Trust


To secure an opportunity for an overseas tour, it surely required more than just a random conversation. Andy mentioned how he met Morag Deyes, the Art Director of DanceBase, many years ago in Busan. He found out they had a lot in common in terms of ideas, and they met again at the City Contemporary Dance Festival in 2017. From then on, Andy spent a few years communicating with Morag, understanding her style and ideas, sharing information and building trust. It ultimately led to TS Crew and "Hong Kong Soul" making their way to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Andy believed that success came from trust, but how else could one build trust other than doing it over time? "After the tours, make sure to watch other performances at different venues. You can meet producers from different countries and exchange information with them; relationships with producers and organisers were somehow built this way."


愛丁堡國際藝穗節 Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023/攝Photo:Cheung Chi-wai(照片由盧君亮提供 Photos provided by Andy Lo)


Building Platforms through Mutual Help


The initial concept of "No Dragon No Lion" originated from the 2021 Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme, which aimed to combine local culture and street performance. As TS Crew participated in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for three years, in 2023 they decided to not only bring "No Dragon No Lion" overseas, but also other Hong Kong artists, in order to make good use of TS Crew's resources and to establish the "Hong Kong Soul" platform. Andy believed it was not only a performance, but an opportunity for the audience to witness a dance platform co-created by Hong Kong artists. "Actually it was like a ‘know-how’ to me. We were experienced with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and knew what combination of works and themes could contribute to the 'Hong Kong Soul' performance." The accumulation of experience and successful strategy contributed to the wide acclaim.


Crisis Management


Unexpected situations were inevitable during overseas performances. During the premiere in Edinburgh, there was an issue with the zipper on Wong Pik-kei's dress; producers then had to make quick and sometimes tough decisions. They need to immediately come up with different plans, discuss with the dancer, ask her to decide within a short time frame, and try to minimize her panic while focusing on completing the first performance. Therefore, Andy believed it was crucial to only collaborate with artists you were familiar with, as it was necessary to understand their work, creative concepts, and personalities, which could only be developed through time and experience.


On the other hand, in case there were disagreements with the artists on future opportunities, Andy recommended seeking a mutually acceptable stance in order to continue working together. Otherwise, he advised it would be better for the artist to decide, as ultimately they were the ones facing the audience; it was unnecessary to let the producer's ego come into play. Furthermore, he stated that all technical issues must be avoided, and producers had to understand the requirements of each venue and context, manage expectations throughout the planning process, and provide clear briefings to the artists.


Being Direct Versus Being Goal-Oriented


In the process of promoting "Hong Kong Soul”, Andy pointed out that Western organisers would tell you directly whether your work was suitable for them. However, Hong Kong still held a special position to them, as they still wanted to know what Hong Kong artists were interested in at the moment. In contrast, Asian representatives were more goal-oriented. If interests align, things would naturally fall into place, but ultimately it depended on resources. Therefore Andy said, "The cultural exchange grants from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council were definitely helpful." But in the end, it was always about interaction. "Firstly, understand their preferences and characteristics, then tell them, 'I know what you're envisioning, and I can provide them to you.'"


Loneliness of Being A Producer


"When the team finished their work and went to enjoy themselves, producers never had me-time. You need to know how to adjust or else you'll give up in no time," Andy said. He advised young people who wanted to enter the industry to spend time trying and be curious and inquisitive, which would help with developing personal taste. They should also read more to establish their worldview, and excel in the basics, such as email etiquette and dealing with proposals. They should be humble and quiet their ego when necessary. Lastly, he believed that youth was a great advantage, as many fresh ideas came from young people. If the industry can leverage the resources of young producers while having veteran producers to share with them their experience, the field would grow strong.


Andy emphasised that the above should not be taken as absolute, as they were personal experiences and views. It would be meaningful if they could be seen as a basis for discussions, questions or even criticism.


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Eveline Wong

Experienced arts administrator, producer, and musician

Enjoys networking extensively in the field and cultivating new friendships


Andy Lo

Company Manager of TS Crew. He is also the producer of Hong Kong Soul, a Hong Kong – International dance platform, which is motivated by TS Crew. Andy has produced different works of TS Crew, include Along and No Dragon No Lion, an award-winning dance work. Apart from roles in TS Crew, Andy is also producer of Hong Kong Dance Exchange, a dance festival as well as Hong Kong Fellow of International Society for Performing Arts (ISPA).

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