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[Eng] A reportage on New Works Forum: Screendance (20 July to 1 Aug 2015)

Nineteen participants, gathering dance artists and filmmakers across Hong Kong, China and Taiwan

participated in this inaugural New Works Forum: Screendance co-presented by West Kowloon Cultural

District and City Contemporary Dance Company. It was an initiative to promote the hybrid creations

between dance and film in Hong Kong. The intense and intimate twelve days included lectures,

workshops in the first five days followed by consultation, production, experimentation and sharing in

the next five days; leading to a creation of a final 3 minutes trailers to pitch to the designated panelist

for possible commission. The 19 participants were Abby Chan, Adrian Yeung, Chiu Chih-hua, Chloe Lao

Cho-wa, Ho Qi-wo (Er Gao), Hugh Cho, Ivy Tsui Yik-chit, Jessy Tsang Tsui-Shan, Jolene Mok, Li De, Lin I-

pin, Peng Hsiao-yin, Remu Iwai, Sigo Tseng Huan-shin, Trista Ma Ka-yue, Yuh Egami, Yun-ting Tsai, Ziv

Chun and myself.

The experience of this forum is still surreal and resonating with me now. It was a meaningful encounter

in finding our very own way of meeting, viewing, learning, sharing and creating dance film within a

collective setting among the invited film and dance artists. As one of the participants, the twelve days

process has triggered me to further question my own journey and philosophical discourse of dance film

creation in many layers. Who is the author of a dance film? (between the director or the choreographer)

How can a choreographer be a dance filmmaker and vice-versa, how does a filmmaker play

choreographer? What will happen to the liveness of dance after being captured by the camera? What

comes after is perhaps the memory of the dance through intervention of film medium, is it? After all,

what still lingers vividly in my thoughts is this very essential question, what is dance film? or what could

dance film be?

There were a few propositions and statements presented during the workshop. One of the mentors in

this forum, Noemie Lafrance, urged us to think further about the INTERSECTION between dance and

film. The other mentor, Maurice Lai, stressed on the importance of “dance” as the STARTING POINT (or

materials) where the “film” is the medium to present the final work. I value both points of view at the

same time I am contemplating the need of context to learn about both mediums before the

INTERSECTION and STARTING POINT.

The forum was led by four mentors: two veteran international dance filmmakers: Noemie Lafrance from New York/Canada and Sue Healey from Australia; two Hong Kong very own award winning

choreographer Yuri Ng and dance filmmaker Maurice Lai. Together with the mentors, there were three

other guest lecturers including cinematographer Kwan Pun-leung, action director Jack Wong and MV

director Susie Au. The faculty members are experienced and highly respected in their field.

Beside the richness in the programs and workshops, the forum was also well planned and supported administratively and production aspect as a whole. Twelve full-time dancers were hired, three producers and cinematographers together with an editor at the end to facilitate the editing process for the 3 minutes trailers. The collaboration between artistic, production and administrative teams was truly remarkable. The attentiveness and physical presence from the organisers being in the daily process was one touching encounter for me. There are also many observers from the industry of journalism sharing the space with us giving reflective feedbacks to the whole process. Looking at this forum in a wider picture, it clearly showed very strong commitment and vision from the organisers in effort to cultivate the medium of dance film for the community.

Coming back to the question: what could dance film be? I would like to share my summary on Raymond

Wong’s presentation regarding the meaning of terminology between Dance Film, Dance for Camera,

Dance Video and Screendance. He is the Managing Director for CCDC, and is also one of the key persons that initiated the Jumping Frames Video Dance Festival in Hong Kong.