[中][ENG] 青年精英舞蹈課程──從業餘到專業之路 Gifted Young Dancer Programme (GYDP) - From Amateur to Professional

文:林喜兒


香港演藝學院的青年精英舞蹈課程(Gifted Young Dancer Programme,簡稱GYDP)針對有志於舞蹈發展的青少年而設,可說是從業餘的興趣課程至專業舞蹈訓練的一個過渡期。不少學員參與過三年的GYDP課程後,也會投考演藝學院,向專業舞者之路進發,好像香港芭蕾舞團的群舞領舞員黎珮琪(Peggy)、今天還在演藝學院修讀中國舞的Lucy Lo和當代舞的Felix Chun,還有在澳洲升學的Kelly Kong。當他們還是愛跳舞的中學生時,已經踏進演藝學院的排練室;當時他們大概也不知道,這個每逢周六的約會,原來正替他們打開藝術大門。

芭蕾舞者初嘗hip hop

「回頭看,才發覺GYDP對我的影響。」Peggy 除了是香港芭蕾舞團的舞者, 也正在演藝學院修讀碩士課程。Peggy三歲已學習芭蕾舞,成長過程中參加了很多比賽,因此而認識了青年精英舞蹈課程組長劉燕玲(Stella)老師。「Stella 老師問我有沒有興趣讀演藝,當時也有想過,不過當時對芭蕾舞蹈員這個職業也沒甚麼概念。我只知道有香港芭蕾舞團,但一個中學生不會知有甚麼途徑可以成為舞蹈員。」在演藝之前,Peggy參加了GYDP,「這個課程的老師很有要求,他們很多都曾經是芭蕾舞者,而且同學都有一定水準,因為能夠考進GYDP必須有一定程度。外面的舞蹈學校都是just for fun,或者是考試班,每一堂都是一樣。」Peggy說GYDP的課程除了芭蕾舞課堂外,也有機會接觸其他舞蹈。「最難忘是要學hip hop,還要表演。芭蕾舞跟hip hop 可說是兩個極端不同的舞蹈,對我來說很困難,還記得當時經常躲在一旁,不過也要硬著頭皮去試,今天對hip hop的印象也改變了。」Peggy後來也順利考進演藝學院,還未畢業便得到香港芭蕾舞團的合約,回想當天,Peggy還是很感激Stella老師。「還記得演藝第一年很辛苦,每天上課時間從早上八點到六點,不過幸好我在GYDP的日子也熟悉了這個校園和老師,至少比較易適應。」

中國舞與現代舞的相遇

Lucy Lo於青年精英舞蹈課程2016演出《風雨憶》(編舞:趙娜)/攝Photo:陸嘉鑾

(照片由香港演藝學院舞蹈學院提供)


至於Lucy,GYDP對她最大的影響,是讓她認識了現代舞。從小開始學習中國舞,報考北京舞蹈學院中國舞級考試,「一直都是根據考試課程上課,所以來去都是學習那些舞。GYDP的課程除了令我在中國舞的技巧上有所增長,也讓我有機會接觸現代舞和芭蕾舞,好像因此而認識了芭蕾舞的一些術語。另外更令我喜歡了現代舞,程度更甚於中國舞,因為現代舞更加可以表達自己。」還在演藝修讀中國舞的Lucy,已在思考關於中國舞的創新問題。「是否可以把兩種舞蹈結合?不少人還是覺得中國舞就是老土,那麼我要將傳統承傳,還是要創新?」除了認識不同舞蹈,GYDP也著重演出機會,Lucy最深刻的是參加了西九文化區的《WeDance》活動,「不是所有組別也有機會去表演,而且是課程最後一年,成班同學一起去參加,實在是很有意義。」


又跳又唱


每個學期結束前的匯演,可說是同學期待之事,Felix說起那年的畢業演出,還是津津有味。「那次演出有唱歌部分,雖然自己喜歡唱歌但卻不動聽。那是混合了modern jazz,踢踏的展演,老師希望透過這個作品,讓我們畢業後也記起為何當初要來跳舞,如何繼續堅持跳舞。」Felix一直視舞蹈為興趣,曾經學習爵士舞,亦曾經老師推薦參加 CCDC 的「彩色青春」計劃。他認為GYDP的課程很有規律,又可以學習不同舞蹈。「剛開始接觸芭蕾舞覺得有點深奧,Sylvia 老師很嚴厲,從基本動作出發讓我們知道怎樣才是一個好的芭蕾舞者,雖然很辛苦,但卻非常有用。還有中國舞,那些手勢姿勢真的很難。所以GYDP令我對舞蹈多了一種認知,知道舞蹈基礎是如何培訓。」


更懂得欣賞舞蹈

Kelly Kong(上排右二)於青年精英舞蹈課程演出 /照片由Kelly Kong


「 芭蕾舞真的不是我們在台下看那麼容易。」自小學習芭蕾舞的Kelly,認為參加了GYDP才真正認識及開始懂得欣賞芭蕾舞。「小時候純粹為興趣學習跳舞,舞蹈學校的老師都很好,不過演藝學院的老師當然是比較專業。因為老師的教授方法很全面,所以自己在看演出時也會懂得全面去欣賞。」Kelly完成GYDP課程後也考進了演藝學院,不過一年後選擇了到澳洲升學。「初到澳洲也覺得不可以停止學習跳舞,嘗試去找學校,不過礙於地點偏遠,交通不方便,不得不放棄。但我也有找機會看演出,像之前到悉尼歌劇院看《Giselle》,原來外國的門票比香港貴很多呢。」Kelly自小已經常跟媽媽一起到劇院看芭蕾舞表演,今天雖然暫時放下舞蹈訓練,GYDP卻令她更明白舞蹈演出。「 在學期尾的演出,我們會跟演藝舞台、燈光、音響的學生合作,讓我明白原來製作一場演出的過程是怎樣。」


又跳又唱


每個學期結束前的匯演,可說是同學期待之事,Felix說起那年的畢業演出,還是津津有味。「那次演出有唱歌部分,雖然自己喜歡唱歌但卻不動聽。那是混合了modern jazz,踢踏的展演,老師希望透過這個作品,讓我們畢業後也記起為何當初要來跳舞,如何繼續堅持跳舞。」Felix一直視舞蹈為興趣,曾經學習爵士舞,亦曾經老師推薦參加 CCDC 的「彩色青春」計劃。他認為GYDP的課程很有規律,又可以學習不同舞蹈。「剛開始接觸芭蕾舞覺得有點深奧,Sylvia 老師很嚴厲,從基本動作出發讓我們知道怎樣才是一個好的芭蕾舞者,雖然很辛苦,但卻非常有用。還有中國舞,那些手勢姿勢真的很難。所以GYDP令我對舞蹈多了一種認知,知道舞蹈基礎是如何培訓。」


更懂得欣賞舞蹈


「 芭蕾舞真的不是我們在台下看那麼容易。」自小學習芭蕾舞的Kelly,認為參加了GYDP才真正認識及開始懂得欣賞芭蕾舞。「小時候純粹為興趣學習跳舞,舞蹈學校的老師都很好,不過演藝學院的老師當然是比較專業。因為老師的教授方法很全面,所以自己在看演出時也會懂得全面去欣賞。」Kelly完成GYDP課程後也考進了演藝學院,不過一年後選擇了到澳洲升學。「初到澳洲也覺得不可以停止學習跳舞,嘗試去找學校,不過礙於地點偏遠,交通不方便,不得不放棄。但我也有找機會看演出,像之前到悉尼歌劇院看《Giselle》,原來外國的門票比香港貴很多呢。」Kelly自小已經常跟媽媽一起到劇院看芭蕾舞表演,今天雖然暫時放下舞蹈訓練,GYDP卻令她更明白舞蹈演出。「 在學期尾的演出,我們會跟演藝舞台、燈光、音響的學生合作,讓我明白原來製作一場演出的過程是怎樣。」


或者,在成為台上的舞者之前,他們都是台下的觀眾;要做一個觀眾,其實也需要學習。所以即使不是每位參與GYDP的學員都會成為職業舞者,但這個計劃對他們確實帶來了影響。



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林喜兒

曾任潮流、旅遊、專題文化記者及編輯。現為自由撰稿員,於各大報章雜誌撰寫文化專題及人物訪問,包括《明報》、《蘋果日報》、《金融時報中文網》、《信報》等等。


 

Gifted Young Dancer Programme (GYDP) - From Amateur to Professional


Original text: Venus Lam

Translator: Audrey Ng


The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (APA) Gifted Young Dancer Programme (GYDP) is designed for young people seeking to develop their dance skills and can be considered as offering a transition from amateur extracurricular activities to professional dance training. After taking part in the three-year GYDP programme, many participants apply for the APA with the goal of becoming professional dancers. Examples include Peggy Lai, who is now a coryphée with Hong Kong Ballet; Lucy Lo and Felix Chun who are currently studying Chinese dance and contemporary dance respectively at the APA; and Kelly Kong who is pursuing higher studies in Australia. When they were still secondary school students they were all enthusiastic about dancing and had already stepped into the studios at the APA. At that time they would not have known that those Saturday sessions were opening the door to an artistic career for them.


From ballet to trying hiphop

Peggy Lai's performance in Hong Kong Ballet/Photo:Conrad Dy-Liacco (Photo provided by Peggy Lai)


“Only when I look back, do I realize how much participating in the GYDP influenced me.” Lai is not only a dancer with Hong Kong Ballet, but also a postgraduate student at the APA. She has been studying ballet since the age of three, and when growing up, she entered a lot of contests through which she met Stella Lau, who heads the GYDP. “When Ms. Stella asked me if I was interested in studying at the APA, I did think about it; but I had no concept of being a ballerina as a career. I knew about Hong Kong Ballet, but as a secondary school student I had no idea how to become a dancer.” Before attending the APA, Lai joined the GYDP: “The instructors for this programme are demanding. Many of them used to be dancers. Also, the classmates all have an outstanding level of skills, since one must meet certain requirements to join the programme. Dance schools outside are just for fun, or for exam-oriented classes, where each lesson is the same.” In contrast, the GYDP curriculum not only includes ballet classes, but also introduces other types of dance. “The most memorable part for me was doing hiphop. Ballet and hiphop can be described as two extremes in dance. This was difficult for me; I still remember that I always used to try to hide at the time. However, in the end I had to bite the bullet and made the effort to try. Now my impression of hiphop has changed.” Lai later succeeded in enrolling at the APA, and was offered a contract by Hong Kong Ballet before she graduated. Looking back, she feels grateful to Lau, “I still remember how tough my first year at the APA was. I had lessons every day from eight in the morning to six in the evening. Fortunately, I was already familiar with the campus and the teachers from my time in the GYDP, and that helped me adapt.”


The encounter between Chinese dance and contemporary dance


For Lo, the biggest impact the GYDP had on her was bringing her to contemporary dance. She had been doing Chinese dance since she was little and was preparing for the Beijing Dance Academy Chinese Dance Graded Examination. “I always took lessons following the exam syllabus, so I only learnt limited dance routines. The GYDP courses not only improved my technique in Chinese dance, but also gave me a chance to try contemporary dance and ballet, that’s how I got to know some ballet terms. It also made me fall in love with contemporary dance, even more than Chinese dance, because one can express oneself more in contemporary dance.” Even though Lo is still studying Chinese dance at the APA, she has been thinking about the issue of innovation in Chinese dance: “Can we combine two types of dance? Many still consider Chinese dance to be old fashioned, should I inherit the tradition, or renew the genre?” Apart from introducing different types of dance, the GYDP also focuses on providing performance opportunities. Lo’s most unforgettable experience was WeDance held by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. “Not every group had the chance to perform. In particular, it was the last year of the programme, so the whole class was involved. That meant a lot.”


Singing while dancing

Felix Chun’s performance in GYDP 2017/Photo:Zoe Chun (Photo provided by Felix Chun)


The GYDP students really look forward to the grand show at the end of each semester and Chun still talks with relish about his graduation show. “That time the show had sections with singing. I enjoy singing, even though I don’t sound good. The performance was mixed with modern jazz and tap dance. The teacher hoped we would be reminded of the reason why we came to dance in the beginning and would be inspired to continue dancing in the future.” Dance has always been a hobby for Chun. He had formerly studied modern jazz and participated in City Contemporary Dance Company’s Teens of Colours. He thinks the GYDP’s curriculum is systematic, and enables students to learn different types of dance. “When I first tried ballet, I thought it was a bit esoteric. Our teacher, Ms. Sylvia, was very strict, showing us what it means to be a good ballet dancer starting from basic movements. It was very tough but effective. And in Chinese dance, the hand gestures are really difficult. So, through the GYDP I gained a new perception of dance, knowing how the basics for different types of dance are taught.”


Learning to appreciate dance more


“Ballet is easier to watch than to do.” Kong, who has been studying ballet since she was young, thinks that it was only after joining the GYDP that she truly understood and learnt to appreciate ballet. “I only did dancing out of interest when I was a kid. The teachers at the dance school were great, but the teachers at the APA are definitely more professional. Because the teaching is so comprehensive, when I watch a show, I now know how to appreciate it in all aspects.” Kong was also accepted by the APA after finishing the GYDP, but a year later decided to pursue higher studies in Australia. “When I first came to Australia, I felt like I shouldn’t stop studying dance, so I tried to find a school. However, due to the remote location and transportation issues, I had to give up. But I still watch shows whenever I can, for instance I went to Giselle at Sydney Opera House. It turns out that tickets in other countries are much pricier than in Hong Kong.” Kong has attended ballet performances with her mother since she was a child. Although she has put dance training aside for now, she understands dance shows more through having participated in the GYDP. “At the semester-end shows, we would collaborate with students at the APA who were in charge of staging, lighting and sound effects, which made me aware of the creative process behind a show.”


Before becoming a dancer on stage, you start by being in the audience. And to be an audience member, you also need to learn. So the GYDP has much to offer, even to those who do not end up by becoming professional dancers.




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Venus Lam

Former fashion, travel, lifestyle reporter and editor. Now a freelancer, writes cultural feature stories and profile interviews for mainstream newspapers and magazines, including Ming Pao, Apple Daily, Financial Times Chinese, Hong Kong Economic Journal and more.

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