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[中|Eng] 官僚與舞者的為與不為 CroXXing

許俊傑的新作《交界記憶》在九月中於北潭涌渡假營泳池上演。早在五年前,一水之隔的澳門已有水上滙演《水舞間》。今天,香港猶未有在泳池的舞蹈演出。筆者八月底訪問許俊傑,了解其籌備及排練作品之點滴。

The House of Dancing Water, launched five years ago in Macau, claimed to be the world's newest water show. Till now, there haven’t been any similar water performances in Hong Kong. However, Cyrus Hui's new choreography, CroSSing, for DanceArt’s Dialogue of Space Series, at Po Leung Kuk Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp, Swimming Pool in September changed all that. Hui was interviewed in August and talked about the preparation and rehearsal process for the work.

攝影:Jasmine Forest

官僚不能或不為

許透露選擇泳池作舞蹈演出,乃一次經過被抽空池水的泳池而萌生之想法:倘大的空置地方,又屬康樂及文化事務署(下稱康文署)管理之場所,是否可能變為表演場地?及後許投計劃書予康文署文化節目組,惜了無音訊。本以為泳池屬康文署管理會較易辦理,卻發現管理表演場地與水上運動設施屬不同部門,於公眾泳池製作表演節目涉跨部門事宜,官僚的辦事方式難以撼動。許更一度認為此想法會胎死腹中。直至動藝「對話空間」系列出現,泳池編創之想法終得以實現。許望藉此嘗試開拓新的表演場地及賦予空置地方新的意義,同時證明泳池可以做演出。

Bureaucracy's Inability or Inaction

The idea of creating a performance in a swimming pool was inspired by a swimming pool empty of people. Hui thought such a huge empty space could be suitable for performance. Add the fact that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), to the Cultural Department of which Hui had submitted a proposal, manage public swimming pools. Unfortunately, he did not receive a reply to his proposal. At first glance, the administration of his inquiry seems straightforward. But, in fact, two separate departments manage performance venues and land sport venues. Creating a performance in a swimming pool requires cross-departmental collaboration within LCSD, which to some degree, is very difficult in a bureaucratic system. Hui had almost given up his idea, when DanceArt’s Dialogue of Space Series supported the proposal. Through the possibility of presenting a performance in a swimming pool, Hui’s idea to discover new performance spaces and give meaning to abandoned spaces came to fruition.

筆者翻查康文署網上的資料,全港共43個公眾游泳池場館屬其管理範圍,其中17個無暖水池設備,須於每年11月至3月期間暫停開放。康文署將此時段列為「配合每年維修工程的暫停開放時間」。言似合理,惟參考其他備設暖水池的場館,主池每年的維修工程約需時兩個月。換言之,無暖水設備之泳池每年被丟空將近四個月。而現時大部分舞蹈劇場作品排練加入台,亦不過三至四個月的準備時間。假設上述17個被丟空的泳池可轉為表演場地,編舞及舞者即可全程進駐排練;加上大部分公眾泳池設有看台,儼如現成的演出場地;觀眾於看台上俯瞰泳池裡的表演,無疑也是一種嶄新的觀賞經驗。若假設成真,實為表演藝術界不可多得之喜訊。

According to the LCSD official website, there are a total of forty-three public swimming pools under its management. Among these, seventeen non-heated swimming pools are closed annually from November to March for maintenance. Heated swimming pools only close two months for annual maintenance. Which means non-heated swimming pools are practically abandoned during most of the maintenance period. Given that the production time for performances is roughly three to four months, hypothetically these non-heated swimming pools could be turned into performance spaces. They could provide the time and space for a choreographer and dancers to create work on-site fully during the vacancy period. Some existing fixtures such as seats in viewing stands could provide an innovative watching experience. If this hypothesis could be realized, it might be good news for the performing arts community.

在此,我們需討論體育設施成為表演場地之可能。康文署管理的表演場地除各大小劇院外,還有香港體育館(下稱紅館)和伊利沙伯體育館(下稱伊館)。紅館及伊館無疑屬於體育設施,尤其紅館更是當年市政局興建的一座符合國際標準的室內體育館。兩個場館舉行過不少國際體育賽事。然而,普羅大眾對此兩場地的認識及關注,恐怕非歌手演唱會及樂壇頒獎典禮莫屬。當要進行演唱會時,便在場地搭建舞台; 當進行排球或羽毛球等賽事時,便依照要求舖上木地板或膠地蓆,彈性運用場地。若然泳池採取上述兩館的運作模式,亦可成為體育設施兼作表演場地之例。

To further expand this discussion of the possibility to transform land sport venues to performance venues, under LCSD management there are two iconic sport venues: the Hong Kong Coliseum and Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Despite having been built as Urban Council sport facilities that fulfill International standard indoor stadium criterion, and having hosted many International sporting events and competitions, both venues are better known for other uses, such as concerts by pop stars and the Top Ten Chinese Gold Songs Award Concerts. Whenever there is a concert, the stadium installs a stage. When there is a volleyball or Badminton competition, the stadium puts down a wooden floor or rubber mats accordingly. If such flexible arrangements can be applied to swimming pool facilities, they could double as performance venues as well.

外國不少房屋配有泳池。人們喜愛於泳池舉辦各種活動及聚會。故外國不乏公司專門為顧客於泳池水面鋪上各種地板,或是玻璃或是舞台地膠木地板等。假如香港引入同樣技術,那17個每年空置四個月的公眾泳池即可兼作表演場地。此舉一來令表演藝術受惠,二來使香港公共的剩餘資源被充分運用。

In some other countries, many houses have swimming pools that are used for gatherings of all kinds. There are specialized companies that provide custom made flooring such as glass or vinyl tile to facilitate different uses of swimming pools. If this specialized technology could be introduced to Hong Kong, then the vacancy period for the seventeen non-heated swimming pools could be used for performance. This use can benefit the general community and the performing arts as well as maximize public resources.

即使沒有於水面上鋪上地板,外國亦有舞團早於多年前以泳池作舞蹈演出。2004年,美國的Headlong Dance Theater 於一個酒店泳池編創了作品《Hotel Pool》。由該團上載片段可見,舞者時在水裡舞動,時在池邊雙人舞,穿梭於水裡水外。舞者於池邊相擁,然後毫無顧慮地平躺跌入水中。除非罔顧舞者安全,此系列動作難於普通劇場實現。惟有藉著水的緩衝,方可安全地展現。同時,水花四濺本來便相當有視覺效果。翩娜包殊的《月滿》、雲門舞集的《水月》和香港舞蹈團近年的《風雲》等,亦有將水池融入舞台設計。然而,要在一般劇院呈現水花四濺之畫面,牽涉不少舞台技術,費用之龐大非小型舞團經費容易負擔。

In 2004, the American Headlong Dance Theater presented Hotel Pool in a hotel swimming pool even without any special flooring equipment. The online video excerpt shows a group of dancers dancing in a pool and a couple dancing by the poolside. The couple hugs and then the two dancers fall into the water without hesitation. This kind of effortless fall can only be achieved when there is something like water to break the dancers’ fall. Pina Bausch, Lin Hwa-min, and Yang Yuntao have used the spectacular effects of water splash screens in Full Moon, Moon Water, and Storm Clouds, respectively. In fact, these productions also integrate swimming pools into their stage set designs – albeit very shallow ones. A water splash screen involves extensive stage technology and can easily impose a huge financial burden on a small dance company.

攝影:Jesse Clockwork

冰冷與熾熱的排練

《交界記憶》的團隊面對康文署耍手擰頭,惟有改為發信予一些私人泳池,包括學校、私人屋苑會所、酒店等。多次的石沉大海,終得一回音,也是唯一。保良局北潭涌渡假營表示可在他們的泳池做演出。許形容:「場地主管人很好,聽見新穎想法時他會回應:『未試過,試下啦。』他的思維開放又十分配合。」縱使場地與製作團隊偶有意見不合,但至少製作團隊展示相關資料後,場地一方也願意參考。許續說:「至少他們肯傾。」

Cold and Hot Rehearsal

In the end, the team of CroSSing received a disappointing response from LCSD, so they turned their focus to private swimming pools such as those at Schools, Club Houses, and Hotels. Eventually, they received only one positive response from Po Leung Kuk Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp. Hui said, “The manager is great and open to new ideas, he told me ‘We’ve never tried something like this, Let’s try.’ I found his openness matched mine.” Although, occasionally the venue management and the Artistic team had some disagreements Hui said, “At least they were willing to listen and negotiate.”

攝影:Jesse Clockwork

由於《交界記憶》是環境劇場舞蹈表演,惟有當場地確定後,許方可投身編創作品。訪談中,他分享了排練水中段落之辛酸。預先與舞者在排練室試練的動作,搬進水裡後發現水阻太大,動作難以準確完成。水中動作必須在水裡編創,許只好推倒重來。他們試過在公眾泳池排練,惟動作稍大即被救生員吹哨子剎停。然而租用泳池所費不菲,製作單位只能負擔寥寥數次作排練,每次更只能使用四小時,使得許和舞者於水中的排練爭分奪秒。炎炎夏日,四小時內近乎沒有休息地試動作。許說:「排完個個都曬黑了。」舞者的拼搏,令該段落之編創相當有效率。

Hui shared his experiences on the difficulties of rehearsing the water scene in his piece. Since CroSSing is conceived as a site-specific dance performance, it needs the location in order to rehearse Unfortunately, the rental fee is expensive and there is a minimum four-hour rental period so the team could only afford limited rehearsal. Therefore, they had to find an alternative and rehearse partial movement sequences in the studio. But once the dancers tried the movement in the water, they discovered the pressure from the water altered their movements and the way they moved. The only way to experiment was to go from the studio to a public swimming pool. One can imagine the dancers’ stretching out or sudden movements catching the lifeguard's attention and having the experiment stopped by the sound of his whistle. Whenever the team could rehearse in the venue, it was four hours of non-stop dancing under the hot sun. Hui recalled, “We all got a sunburn from rehearsal.”

許表示近年慢慢清楚自己想做有故事性的作品。乍聽之下,似與現代舞作擺脫故事線的常見做法背道而馳,其實此源於他不甘心來觀賞現代舞的人那麼少,來看的又說現代舞難明。這次創作,許花了不少時間與六位舞者對談,務求從他們第一身取材,勾勒作品雛形。作品裡,舞者有角色,部分段落有文本對白,其他段落藉肢體呈現角色與故事的意象。許透露《交界記憶》的主旨是「被困」:每個角色也被困在某段記憶裡,他們如何面對或走出記憶,構成作品裡的不同選擇。他認為記憶是主觀的,並非真實的全部。許於某些場景並置兩位舞者,讓兩段看似矛盾的記憶碰撞,交界出另一種「真實」。泳池裡不同的空間也是舞者「困之場所」。冷冰冰的泳池和一格格、局促和濕悶得教人窒息的更衣室,都成了各段故事有力的佈景。

Hui noted in recent years, his artistic attempts have been inclined toward narrative based choreography. At first, this seemed in opposition to the common approach of modern dance, which is non-narrative. In fact, his intention was an attempt to change the general perception that modern dance is hard to understand. For this work, Hui spent a lot of time on dialogue with the six dancers in order to draw material from the subjects directly, and this material was used as a sketch for the choreographic structure. Each dancer has a character, in some parts there are paragraphs of text dialogue, other parts use the language of the body to manifest the story. Hui explained, “The theme of "’borderline memory’ is ‘trapped’: each character is trapped in a certain memory; how they confront or escape from memory constitutes the different choices a performer takes in the dance. . . Memory is subjective and this subjectivity obscures part of the truth. In some of the scenes, two seemingly contradictory memories from two dancers collide, at this cross-junction they create another reality". Different parts of the swimming pool became different ‘trapped’ places for these characters. The icy cold swimming pool, the humid suffocating locker rooms, these are intense sets for the dance.

業界舞者的雞肋

訪問過後,筆者感籌備超過半年的《交界記憶》將有別於其他本地環境舞蹈演出。後者不少是製作單位(康文署或中型舞團)邀約幾位獨立舞者,將某個場地劃分不同區域,再把舞者各自編創數分鐘的作品拼湊一起。觀眾遊畢幾個區域,就等於看畢一個節目。幾個作品之間毫無關係,宛如零碎事件碰巧發生在同一地方。姑勿論場地對環境運用是否諸多制肘,這種堆砌的節目策劃,實難以做出有深度的作品。

Professional Dancer's dilemma

After this interview, my impression of a work like CroSSing, which was created after nearly six-months of preparation, is different than that of the common site-specific dance performances produced locally by either LCSD or medium-sized dance companies. These others usually operate in a kind of ‘cut and paste’ format, whereby producers invite independent dance artists to create a few minutes of dance and then place them in the sites. Simply put, while audiences walk through the larger locale of the site they pass the fragmentary dance pieces that are happening in the same place - this is the complete performance experience. Irrespective of venue constraints or flexibility, the lack of a sense of totality of the site in this kind of programming cannot possibly provide a platform for in-depth work.

環境舞蹈邀約於舞者而言如同雞肋。筆者所見,獨立舞者接受邀約時,每每正排練其他劇場演出。舞者只花一個月內完成環境舞蹈排練編創,甚至演出當天才即興交貨。環境舞蹈貴乎舞者通過肢體連結觀眾與環境,發掘環境本有之面向及開拓其可能。正如許回看自己環境舊作,亦評如同交功課、不合格。筆者認為許的自嘲也適用於不少環境舞蹈演出。近乎流水作業的創作模式,同一個舞者在不同地方的環境舞蹈竟無大差異。久而久之,舞者與觀眾漸漸形成某種印象:劇場舞蹈比環境舞蹈更高水平。前者值得花錢買票觀賞,後者只淪為免費演出。缺乏票房收入,自然需要高度倚賴微薄的資助。如此,環境舞蹈製作要攞脫惡性循環、水準每況愈下的問題則更難矣。

An invitation to do this kind of site-specific work poses a dilemma for dancers. Based on my observations, when independent dancers accept the invitation they are often in another production or in rehearsals during the same period. They can only spend one to two months to complete the dance or even give semi-improvised performances. The essence of site-specific dance, to use body movement to connect audiences to the environment and explore its possibilities, is neglected under these conditions. In retrospect, Hui commented that some of his past site-specific performances were failures. This self-deprecating assessment might apply to many other site-specific dance performances. The performance becomes a product of an assemble-line mentality. The dancer might even perform the same work at various sites. The audience may gradually form an impression that Dance Theater is more comprehensive than site-specific dance. Therefore, the former is worth spending money to buy a ticket for and the latter should only be free performance. The lack of box office income makes site-specific dance rely heavily on the meager funding support. This vicious cycle of producing and programming site-specific dance leads to deteriorating quality in artistic work and combined, these problem can cause creative gridlock.

訪問尾聲,許擲下一句:「香港其實好多地方可以做演出。」確實演出空間是否足夠,不僅僅是土地問題,更取決於官僚是否開放溝通,舞者是否認真編創每個演出作品。

At the end of the interview, Hui commented, "There are still a lot of places that could be used for performance in Hong Kong". Indeed, the question of whether performance space is adequate relates not only to the lack of land. It depends on open communication at the bureaucratic level and also the sincerity of each creation.

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