（原文刊於2008年第10冊 第1期 Originally Published on dance journal/hk 10-1 in 2008）
古往今來，人們常說，「文如其人」。事實上，此話是值得推敲，甚至今人懷疑的，因為在我們的直接經 驗中，只有 「身體不會撒謊」，而嘴巴和文字往往會信口雌黃。從這個意義上說，我們只有通過以身體為本的舞蹈，才能真實地了解一個人的真實面貌。有鑒於此，我願速寫幾位此番在港、台重逢的舞蹈家，願諸位讀者朋友能夠借此對兩地的舞蹈乃至整個大文化的狀況一一管中窺豹……
這次赴港，主要是去看何浩川舞蹈團一台取名為《歲月》的回顧展演。何浩川曾是雲南省歌舞團的男主演 ，早在1980年的《首屆全國舞蹈比賽》上，便曾因自編自跳的獨舞獲獎而嶄露頭角。1981年，他因要照顧年邁的母親而放棄了內地的鐵飯碗，定居香港二十六年來，與同為舞蹈家的夫人趙明珠一起，白手起家，用謙恭輯讓的準則為人處事，以勤勤懇懇的態度從事舞蹈，一步一個腳印地取得了如今這樣的火紅； 他們的學生已超過了千人，遍及港島、九龍和新界的舞蹈、影視、教育等各行各業；他們的作品已多達近二百個，在風格上以民族民間舞為主， 並融會貫通了多樣的現代觀念和手法，而在題材上則更是異常地豐富，比如在這次晚會上演的節目中 ，就既有表現雲南少數民族生活的《生息》和《火種》，再現各地各族民俗風情的《歲月》、《傣風》和《水上人》， 也有回顧國共合作抗日歷史的《家園》，謳歌抗擊非典的《天使之歌》，以及描寫宗教生活的《塵緣》， 炫耀舞者隊伍的《大河淌水》，體現「有教無類」的《舞花八門》等等；而他們的舞校和舞團也因此而頻繁地登上了海內外的大舞台 ，受到專業舞界與普羅大眾的青睞和好評……2007年9月8及9日兩天在葵青劇院大舞台上那行雲流水、井然有序的舞者隊伍， 眾舞者們那全情投入、悠然自得的狀態，以及兩場演出100% 的上座率 ， 均足以証明了他們的凝聚力和感召力之巨大 ！
不過， 如今人氣正旺的他， 回首當年時，和卻直言不諱地說， 與其他內地來港的舞蹈家們往往放不下「專業」的架子不同，年過三十歲的他到港時，因為錯過了進入專業舞團的年齡，而不得不硬著頭皮，更憑著一身的硬工夫 ， 像流浪藝人那樣，在香港的各大廣場上，拉開場子翩翩起舞，由此吸引了自己的頭一批學生，並賺取了他們的第一桶金！
何浩川舞團的首場演出中，與我坐在一起的，是另一位香港老友，他的中文名字叫白朗唐，英文名字則是 Tom Brown。多年來，他一直是香港演藝學院 (The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts ， 簡稱 APA) 舞蹈學院現代舞系的系主任兼副院長，一年前則轉而擔網了整個演藝學院新成立的研究生課程中心的創始總監。
Tom 的獨一無二就在於，身為美國人，他盡管至今仍對粵語和普通話一竅不通，卻不僅是整個 APA 教師隊伍中院齡最長的洋教頭，而且也是整個香港舞蹈界的好朋友—對於APA 的學生，他總是厚愛有加，大加提攜，每當舞台或銀屏上出現了 APA 的學生，他都會為之興奮異常，並能立馬道出他們的英文名和字，無形中流露出的那種亢奮，讓人覺得教師作為無名英雄的那份偉大 。
Tom 來自「世界舞蹈之都」紐約，青年時代曾在美籍墨西哥現代舞大師林蒙的舞團跳舞多年，1985年到港發展以來，不僅主教現代舞的基訓和編舞，更以高度縝密的大腦，在課程設置與行收管理方面大顯身手，尤其是以善於起草各種文件和報告而著稱－－2000 年，我與他一道應香港藝術發展局之邀。擔任舞團資助項目的評審員期間，曾親身領教過他起草報告的嚴謹與規範；據說，舞蹈專業去年在整個演藝如院申辦碩士研究生授予資格中之所以能夠領先於音樂和戲劇，在很大程度上，也得歸功於他的這種專長。
After publishing of this article, Tom Brown was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2017.
除了教學和行疏管理，Tom 繼曹誠淵之後，還出任過香港專業舞蹈團體的組織—— 香港舞蹈聯盟的第二任主席 ， 並長期兼任香港專業舞蹈期刊《舞蹈手札》的主編，因而對香港舞蹈的創作與評論，傾注了極大的心血。由於工作關係，我對他的這種高度責任心深有體會 : 每當知道我到港的消息，他總會提前給我安排好觀摩票，然後用電郵主動同我聯繫，結果使我能在歷次到港期間，多看了不少重要的演出，而香港的舞蹈家和和舞蹈史，也因此多留下了不少歷史的見証。
作為舞評人， 我對台灣舞蹈家蔡麗華的最大褒獎，應該來自她身為編導家和教育家，對舞蹈評論的高度重視——1994年，她曾個人出資，創辦了寶島上的第一份《台灣舞蹈雜誌》， 不僅使當地的舞評得以興旺 ，而且給歷史留下深遠影響；2007年8月 ， 她在主辦《兩岸當代舞蹈論壇》期間 ，以及隨後的《舞蹈研究生課程》裡，則專程安排我宣讀了關於內地舞評五十年的論文，並講授了舞評的理論與寫作，受到全體學員的好評。
蔡麗華的獨樹一幟還表現在，身為在民族舞蹈創作上造詣頗深且成績顯赫的編導家 ，以及在她在國立臺灣體育學院（今國立臺灣體育運動大學）創辦了寶島第六個舞蹈系的教育家，她始終對讀書深造情有獨鍾——八年前 ，她曾毅然放棄教授和系主任的要職 ，隻身前往美國攻讀了碩士學位；八年後，她在國立臺灣體育學院舞蹈系教授和系主任的崗位上，又借了帶薪休假的機會，前往香港中文大學，開始攻讀博士學位。
蔡麗華與台北民族舞團Tsai Li-Hua and The Taipei Folk Dance Troupe (2000)
在世界各地的中國舞蹈家裡，懷民先生可謂名副其實的「空中飛人」。正因為如此，這位「文人舞者」與我們聯絡的最好方式，則莫過於 E-mail了。按照他在 E-mail 中的盛邀，我與雲門舞集的工作人員，以及主辦我們此次台灣之行的蔡麗華老師頻繁聯絡，終於在赴台期間的緊張日程中，抽出了一個下午和晚上的時間。驅車前往雲門在大山裡的排練場。
After the publishing of this article, the former studio of Cloud Gate was destroyed by a fire on 11 February 2018. It is a group photo of the members after the fire.
圖Photo：雲門／劉振祥攝 Cloud Gate/ Photo - Liu Chen Hsiang
走近這個排練場，我心中不由自主地一楞：「雲門」這個代表著中圖乃至整個東方文化的旗艦式舞團，難道就安營扎寨於這座原始部落般淩亂不堪、鐵皮搭建起來的工棚裡嗎？從第一間大屋子衝出來一個男孩子，他的熱情擁抱，才讓我意識到，我們沒有「誤入歧途」——他叫郭少麒，是馬來西亞的華人學子，原本是學美術的，後來卻在舞蹈中找到了自己的最愛；在香港 APA 的中國舞系畢業後 ，他幸運地考進了雲門二團，而我在幾年前，曾在 APA 給他們上過《舞蹈美學與批評》、《舞蹈作品賞析》等課程，並做過《內地芭蕾縱橫》、《舞踏女性學研究》等講座。
很快，雲門的技術總監張贊桃出來，他帶著我們參觀了雲門排練場的裡裡外外，並講述了其中的林林總總，並讓我們了解到，舞團的總部依然設在台北市內，這裡則是排練與製作的場地。不久，懷民先生駕到，還是黑色衣褲，肩上挎著書包，一副輕裝的行者模樣。簡短的寒暄後，我們開始坐在二樓的欄杆後 ，觀看雲門的舞者們在一樓的地板上，為即將赴北美巡演排練的舞劇《九歌》， 而懷民則全程督陣，不時地給舞者們細扣某個動作細節，或者調整某個祭祀場面，直到著裝彩排開始，他才靜心觀看。
有趣的是，我們不約而同地發現，同他則才與我們談話時那種文人的氣定神閑截然不同 ，他一踏上跳舞的地板，便像觸了電一般，嗓音、眼神、四肢、軀幹，甚至大腦的每個細胞驀地同步著火……而這種工作，或者說， 享受工作的狀態和習慣，則顯然極大地影響了他的全體舞者們！
如此近距離地觀看《九歌》 (即使是排練) ，我還是頭一回。而雲門用來征服世界的威力和秘密就在於，舞者們在林懷民的指揮下，自1996年以來，一改從前以現代舞、芭蕾和京劇等目的性特強的「有為」基訓，而採納了源自道家陰陽說的太極導引 ，以及打坐、書法等追求內修的「無為」方法， 進而從容不迫地創造出從靜若處子到動若絞龍這價無邊無際的力度 範疇，這個足以驚天地泣鬼神的情感宇宙 !
彩排中 ， 扮演女巫的資深舞者李靜君成了整個舞蹈的唯一核心：她從面孔到整個身體，開始在鮮紅的長裙映襯下發紅發熱發光：當身著白袍的男子舞者們在圓型的調度上，以藤條不斷加遠地點打地面時，她的整個身體開始進入了癲狂的狀態——雙腳的碎步移動著身體的重心，進退交替，旋轉不停，終因走火入魔得太久而徹底崩潰，並同時開始向天神虔誠地獻出自己的貞潔，由此導致了一段因象徵性而更顯美妙的人神交媾。整個場景充滿了林懷民追求的原始祭祀意味，而男女舞者服裝鮮紅與潔白的強烈對比、舞台時空調度因簡約而更顯強烈的氛圍礙聚在一起，放射出超竹尋常的視、聽、動覺刺激，讓每個在場的觀者忘記了正常的呼吸和優雅的儀表，並且永遠難以忘懷……
Throughout the ages, it is often said “writing mirrors its writer”. This concept needs to be reconsidered, or at least questioned, because in the experience of this writer, only “the body won’t lie”, the tongue and words can be used freely and even irresponsibly. Therefore, we can only correctly see a person’s true self through dance, as the body is its foundation. With this in mind, I have chosen to write about dance figures that I revisited on a recent trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan, so as to provide the reader with a peek into their respective dance worlds and their overall culture within them.
Ho Ho-Chuen: From ‘Wandering Artist’ to the Sensation Today
This visit to Hong Kong was principally to attend a retrospective performance of the Ho Ho-Chuen Dance Organizations entitled As Time Goes By. A principal performer of the Yunnan Song and Dance Troupe, Ho Ho-Chuen made a name for himself in 1980 when he was presented with an award in the first National Dance Competition for a solo dance work that he choreographed and performed. In order to take care of his elderly mother, he relinquished a stable position in the Mainland in 1981 and moved to Hong Kong together with his wife, Chiu Ming-Chu, who is also a dance artist. They started from scratch in their adopted home where they have lived for 26 years and established a dance career. Humble and polite in his dealings with people and with an industrious attitude, Ho worked step by step to achieve the position they have today. Their students number over 1,000 and are spread across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories in various fields, such as dance, film, television, and education.
Over the years, they have created nearly 200 dances, mainly based on the Chinese folk-dance style but incorporating different modern dance concepts, techniques and unusually rich subjects. For example, for this production there were works that captured the lives of the ethnic minorities in Yunnan (Genesis and Sparks) and represented the folk customs of different ethnic groups in other places (As Time Goes by, The Thais, and The Floating People). Other dances in the programme included Homeland, which reviews the history of the anti-Japanese cooperation between the KMT and the Communist Party; The Spirit of the Angels, which eulogizes the battle against SARS; Chance Encounters, which depicts religious life; The Flowing Water, which showcases the dancers’ team work; and Let’s Dance – Mass Dance Series, which embodies the Confucian idea of “education for everyone, regardless of their background”.
Their dance school and dance company have often appeared on big stages at home and abroad, generating appreciation and praise from audiences comprised of dance professionals and the general public. In the performances on September 8 and 9 2007 in the Auditorium of Kwai Tsing Theatre, the smooth flowing and orderly team work of the dancers, their engagement and easy enjoyment, and the 100% audience attendance are all proof of Ho’s ability to reach out to people and bring them together.
何浩川與夫人趙明珠於2018年的生日宴會。 Ho Ho-Chuenwith his wife Chiu Ming-Chu at their 2008 birthday party.
While Ho is well regarded today, when he looks back to the beginning of his time in Hong Kong, he bluntly points out that while other dancers from the Mainland often did not need to lower their professional façade, he chose a different way. At 30 years of age, he was too old to enter any professional dance company, so he had to bite the bullet, rely on his disciplined training and perform in public areas like an itinerant artist. This was how he attracted his first group of students and earned his first pot of gold.
Tom Brown: A Senior ‘Foreign Head Coach’ in the Hong Kong Dance Community
Seated next to me at the first performance of Ho Ho-Chuen Dance Organizations was another old friend, Tom Brown. For many years, he was the Head of Modern Dance and Associate Dean of Dance of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), and, at this time, had been the founding Director of the HKAPA’s Graduate Education Centre for a year.
What makes Tom, an American, unique, is his ability to reach across barriers of language and different culture (for he does not speak Cantonese or Putonghua) to not only work as the longest serving faculty member of the HKAPA but also become a good friend of the entire dance community. His care of his students has continued after they graduated, and whenever they appear on stage or screen he will be thrilled, always remembering everyone’s name. We could all feel from his selfless excitement the greatness of a true teacher, an unsung hero.
In addition, he has unreservedly supported the work of local choreographers in Hong Kong. For example, during the entire programme of Ho Ho-Chuen Dance Organizations, he remained in the theatre throughout -- leaving only for an occasional smoke during the intermission -- watching attentively and applauding enthusiastically. He listened attentively to my giving him background information on the works, as he did to most people. Perhaps his ability to listen to others is another important factor that has made him a leader in the Hong Kong dance community for so long.
With a dance background from the ‘Dance Capital of the World’, New York, Tom Brown danced for the Mexican American modern dance master, José Limón, at the early stage of his career. After he came to Hong Kong in 1985, in addition to being the principal teacher of the technique and choreography of modern dance, he also applied his highly meticulous mind to excel in curriculum development and administration. He is especially regarded for his ability to organize and write reports and other documents. In 2000, he and I were invited by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council to serve as consultants and assess the subsidized dance companies in Hong Kong. I learned firsthand his rigorous standards for drafting a report from this experience. I heard that it was this expertise that resulted, to a large extent, in dance being the first school accredited for the HKAPA master’s programme, before music and drama.
In addition to teaching and academic management, Tom succeeded Willy Tsao as the second chairman of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance, an organization supporting professional dance companies in Hong Kong. He is also the long-term editor-in-chief of Hong Kong's professional dance periodical Dance Journal/HK and contributes greatly to the creativity and criticism of dance in Hong Kong. My work has allowed me to have up-close experience of his sense of responsibility. Whenever he knew I would be visiting Hong Kong, he would always arrange performance tickets for me in advance, and then contact me by e-mail. As a result, I have seen many important performances during my visits and left behind many testimonies about Hong Kong dancers and Hong Kong dance history.
Tsai Li-Hua: A Quiet Devotee to Taiwan Dance
As a dance critic, what I appreciate most about Taiwan dance artist Tsai Li-Hua-- a choreographer and educator -- is how she values dance criticism. In 1994, she funded and founded the first Taiwan Dance Magazine which not only has allowed dance criticism to flourish in Taiwan but has also had a profound impact on history. In August 2007, she invited me to the Cross-Strait Contemporary Dance Forum and afterward the Graduate Dance Programme, where I presented a paper on 50 years of dance reviews in the Mainland and lectured on the theory and writing of dance reviews, both of which presentations were well received by the students.
A knowledgeable and highly accomplished choreographer in national dance as well as an educator – she founded the sixth dance department at the National Taiwan University of Sport – what makes Tsai distinctive is her continued interest in further study. Eight years ago, she willingly gave up the position of Professor and Department Head and headed for the United States to pursue a master's degree. Eight years later, being the professor and head of dance department of National Taiwan University of Sport, she used her paid leave to begin studying for a doctorate at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Tsai’s achievements go beyond these accomplishments. Her greatest pride is in Lin Wen-Chung, her son with her husband Lin Jung-Charng -- a well-known scholar from Hong Kong. Although Lin Wen-Chung is still young, his amazingly adventurous life has already shown that he has not only his mother’s dance genes but also her passion for dance. During his mandatory military service, an infection in his heart required the insertion of a replacement valve made from a space-tech alloy. Rather than giving up dancing, he worked hard to recover and, after a short period of adaptive exercises, was quickly able to return to performing. After graduating from the Department of Modern Dance of the University of Utah in the United States in 2000, he joined the Bill T. Jones Modern Dance Company and spent 6 years with this world-class company. His “cheetah-like elegance and speed”, and “amazing and admirable power and control” won unanimous praise from dance critics around the world. From September 13 to 16, in the full-length production of the Bill T. Jones Modern Dance Company’s Blind Date in Taiwan, he used a monologue to bring out his memories of reading Yue Fei's Soong Dynasty lyric poetry, Man Jiang Hong (The River All Red), as a student, and performed a solo dance with a very strong sense of nostalgia. He not only inspired an emotional response and enthusiastic applause from the audience, but also gave his parents the best reward for their fastidious years of nurturing him.
蔡麗華與林文中 Tsai Li-Hua and Lin Wen-Chung
Lin Hwai-Min: Primitive Offerings of an Intellectual Dance Artist
I learned a lot from my trip to Taiwan, reuniting with new and old friends which always leaves me invigorated. However, what may interest readers most is my meeting with Mr. Lin Hwai-Min.
Amongst Chinese dance artists around the world, Mr. Lin is a considered a veritable ‘flying man’, thus the best way to contact this ‘intellectual dance artist’ is by e-mail. Following his invitation, I frequently contacted the staff of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and my host of this Taiwan trip, Tsai Li-Hua, and finally managed to take an afternoon and evening out of a tight schedule to drive to the Cloud Gate studio in the mountains.
As I approached the studio, I could not help but wonder how Cloud Gate, the flagship dance company considered to represent Chinese culture and even the whole of Oriental culture, could be housed in what looked like a topsy-turvy metal shed used by a primitive tribe. A boy then came rushing out of the front room, and his warm greeting told me that we had not come to the wrong place – his name is Jack Kek, a Chinese Malaysian who originally studied fine art but later found his passion in dance. After graduating from the modern dance department of the HKAPA, he joined Cloud Gate 2. Several years earlier, when he was studying at the Academy, I taught a few classes ("Dance Aesthetics and Criticism" and “Dance Work Appreciation”) as well as giving lectures (“Ballet in Mainland China” and "Female Study of Butoh”).
Soon, Chang Tsan-Tao, the technical director of Cloud Gate, also came out. He gave us a tour of the Cloud Gate studio inside and out while telling us about all the details of the place. He also told us that the headquarters of the company was still located in Taipei, and the building we were visiting was for rehearsal and production. Shortly, Mr. Lin arrived. Wearing black clothes with a schoolbag hanging on his shoulder, he looked like a simply clad gymnosophist. After a brief greeting, we sat behind the railing of the balcony on the second floor and looked down to the first floor where the dancers of Cloud Gate were rehearsing Nine Songs for the upcoming North American tour. Mr. Lin presided over the whole rehearsal, and, from time to time, instructed dancers to fine tune their movements, or adjust a ritual scene. Only when the full dress rehearsal started did he settle down to watch.
Interestingly, we all separately discovered that while he was calm like an intellectual when he was conversing with us earlier, he became charged, as if by electricity, as soon as he stepped on the floor of the studio. His voice, eyes, limbs, body, and even every brain cell seemed to be on fire all at once. And this state and habit of work, or of enjoying work, obviously greatly affected all his dancers.
It was the first time for me watching Nine Songs so closely (even in rehearsal). The power and secret for Cloud Gate conquering the world lies in the fact that since 1996, Mr. Lin has changed the practice of his dancers from the former ‘action’ training of strongly technique-oriented modern dance, ballet and Peking opera, to ‘inaction’ training based on Tai-chi originating from the Chinese traditional philosophy of the Taoist yin-yang, to pursue internal cultivation through meditation and calligraphy. Achieved effortlessly is an enormous range of strengths from maidenly tranquility to dragon-like dynamics, an emotional universe that is able to ‘startle the world and move deities’.
雲門 《九歌》Cloud Gate’s Nine Songs
In the rehearsal, senior dancer Lee Ching-Chun, who performed the role of the Witch, became the sole centre of the dance. Standing out in a bright red dress, she was glowing with red heat, and when male dancers in white robes surrounding her in a circle formation used rattan to hit the floor with accelerated speed, her entire body began to enter a state of madness -- the small rapid steps of her feet moved the gravity centre of her body alternately forward and backward while she spun continuously. After being possessed in this manner for a long time, she eventually collapsed and offered herself to the deity, leading to a wonderfully rendered, symbolic dance of human-deity coupling. The whole scene was filled with the sense of primitive rite that Mr. Lin was pursuing. The strong contrast between the white and bright red costumes worn respectively by male and female dancers, fused with the strong atmosphere created by the simplicity of the space-time arrangements on stage, extraordinarily stimulated the visual, audio, and emotional senses of the audience, creating an impact on their breathing, manner and appearance so powerfully that they would never forget the experience …
編輯手記 Editor's Note
A Researcher, a Supervisor of Doctoral and Master’s Degree students, Director and Course Teacher at the Chinese National Academy of Arts Dance Research Institute, the author of this article, Prof. Ou Jianping, has been in close contact with the Hong Kong dance community for many years. In 1999, he was invited by the Hong Kong Dance Sector Joint Conference (an organization jointly run by the Hong Kong Dance Federation, the Hong Kong Ballet Group, the Association of Hong Kong Dance Organizations and the Hong Kong Dance Alliance) to spend 15 months as the Executive Editor and sole Translator of the bilingual book Hong Kong Dance History, which was published in 2000.
This article was written in 2008. The author used a first-person narrative and his own experiences to introduce four key figures from the dance sector in Hong Kong and Taiwan: Ho Ho-Chuen, Tom Brown, Tsai Li-Hua, and Lin Hwai-Min. The piece provides us with a fascinating glimpse of the dance communities in Hong Kong and Taiwan as they were at that time.
So what has happened to the four exceptional people about whom Prof. Ou wrote in the 12 years since the article was published?