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[中][Eng] 舞蹈是人性的表達 — 訪香港舞蹈年獎得主 唐婭及李涵 Expressing Emotion through Dance – An Interview with the 18th Hong Kong Dance Awards Recipients Tang Ya and Li Han

由香港舞蹈聯盟主辦及藝術總監Mandy Petty傾力製作的「香港舞蹈年獎2016」剛於四月底在葵青劇院圓滿結束,14個舞蹈團體以及舞蹈家於這場盛大的頒獎禮中獲得肯定。也許,在眾多獎項裡最令人感到尤其珍貴的便非傑出男、女獎項莫屬。今年,傑出男女舞蹈員由香港舞蹈團參演《倩女幽魂》的唐婭和李涵獲得(另一位獲得傑出男舞蹈演員的是參演《羅密歐與茱麗葉》的沈傑)。在一個晴朗的上午,我們專訪了兩位獲獎者,聊演出的心得、獲獎的感受以及對舞蹈的追尋。

 

The outstanding achievements of 14 remarkable dance artists and organizations were recognized at the Hong Kong Dance Alliance 18th Hong Kong Dance Awards during a scintillating Gala Performance and Presentation Ceremony that was produced under the artistic direction of Mandy Petty to a sold-out house at Kwai Tsing Theatre in late April of this year. Among the many awards, perhaps those for outstanding performances by dancers are most cherished by the artists who are central to the art form. This year, the awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer and Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer went to Tang Ya and Li Han, respectively for performances in the Hong Kong Dance Company production of L'Amour Immortel. In a rare occurrence, the polling for the Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer resulted in a tie, and Shen Jie also received the award for his performance in the Hong Kong Ballet production of Romeo and Juliet. Zhu Yongxiao of dance journal/hk was able to sit down and talk with Tang and Li about receiving these prestigious awards. 

 

1. 唐婭於《倩女‧幽魂》飾演聶小倩
L’Amour Immortel, Dancer: Tang Ya
攝影Photo Credit: Henry Wong
 

2. 李涵於《倩女‧幽魂》飾演寧采臣
L’Amour Immortel, Dancer: (in white changshan) Li Han

 

 

把握角色就是把握靈魂
唐婭和李涵都是中國舞的舞者,唐婭習古典舞,李涵習民間舞。去年,他們被選中參與舞劇《倩女‧幽魂》的演出。《倩女‧幽魂》的人物角色偏中國舞形象,屬柔美型。而聶小倩是有故事的人,性格鮮明、愛恨強烈,唐婭還記得電影版《倩女幽魂》裡,王祖賢飾演的聶小倩因為見到有人受難而流淚不忍,「我覺得她是善良的,是個有情意的鬼。」李涵則把電影看了無數遍,感受張國榮爐火純青的文弱書生形象,一面問自己,怎樣同時做到借鑒和突破。

 

在舞蹈的世界裡,如何表達角色?這是讓很多外行人比較困惑的問題。因為無法借助語言來傳遞人物所思所想,一切就只有誠實的身體,在燈光的照耀下裸露出內在的靈魂。唐婭說,這麼多年來,作為舞蹈演員已經習慣了不說話而在舞台上傳遞信息,而舞劇和舞蹈又確實是不一樣的,舞劇有「戲」的成分,因而對人物刻畫和塑造的要求更高。在排演《倩女‧幽魂》時,唐婭和李涵分屬AB組的聶小倩和寧采臣,各自在和搭檔合作的時候,想了很多動作來傳遞人物思想情感。「每一段都會想一個主題出來,這一段要表達什麼。就像有了骨頭一樣,然後就是填肉和血的過程,這個過程很艱難。」李涵說。他曾經和搭檔試著排演了幾段,導演看了以後說:「嗯,動作都對了,但感覺沒有。」 「我們內行有個術語,叫『心裡沒有,身上白走』」唐婭說,「我必須理解那個角色,她才能在我身體裡面,我才能表達她。」唐婭最終用她擅長的刻畫性格的舞蹈表達,演活了這個具有人性的鬼魂形象,難怪香港舞蹈年獎評審給予唐婭的評語寫道:「唐婭在劇中向我們展示了出色的中國舞技藝,並以她自身的可塑性、對情感抒發的掌握和靈動性,突顯出這次作品的編舞,生動地演繹出聶小倩如何從一個冷漠無心並欲誘惑寧采臣的鬼魂,轉變成那個為了救他而甘於犧牲自己性命的大無畏情人。」而李涵亦在不斷地摸索思考中總結出:「劇是有跌宕起伏的,有那個度,要把握得恰到好處。」我們在香港舞蹈年獎評審對他的評價中也可見他的深度演繹:「李涵的動人演繹將寧采臣的戲劇化和憂愁感表現得淋漓盡致,完全表達出他的年少無知,他對聶小倩至死不渝的愛,以及當她消失時的那份傷痛。他的舞蹈充滿流動性和與生俱來的優雅氣質,展現出完美的精準、強度和控制。」

 

The Soul of the Character
Both Tang Ya and Li Han have a Chinese dance background; Tang studied classical Chinese dance and Lin studied Chinese folk dance. The characters they portray in L'Amour Immortel are based on classical Chinese literature; the contours of their movements are elegant and refined. Nie Xiaoqian, the main character is self-assured and both loves and hates passionately. Tang recalled the character was played in the movie version by Joey Wong who gave her a soft-hearted quality,  “For me, she is such a kind and good-hearted ghost”, Tang said. Li, who dances the character of Ning Caichen, added that he had repeatedly viewed the movie and observed the way Leslie Cheung depicted his role of the frail scholar. While using his observations as a reference, at the same time, Li asked himself how he could achieve a breakthrough in this iconic role. 

 

How does a dancer create his or her characterization for a dance role? To many non-practitioners, it may seem quite difficult.  Because thoughts are most often expressed and communicated through spoken language, without words, dancers must rely on the honesty of their bodies to serve as the vessels to convey their thoughts; while on stage, the naked soul is revealed under the theater lights.  Tang explains that as a result of all the years she has been a dancer, she is used to communicating on stage without words.  The difference between dance drama and dance is the dramatic element in the former, it requires extensive effort in sculpting the character. In rehearsals, Tang and Li were in different casts, with different partners with whom they created the nuanced movements and gestures expressive of the soul of their characters. Li said, “I would have a theme for each segment of the dance. The process [of creating my character] was similar to first forming the bone structure and gradually filling in the flesh [of the character]. It's a very difficult process.” On one occasion, he and his partner showed some material they had rehearsed to the director who commented “The movement is great, but it lacks soul.” Tang pointed out, “There is an expression we have: ‘without heart, it’s wasted.’” She continued, “I have to understand the character and let her grow inside my body then I can truly express her.” Tang specializes in depicting the soul of a character through dance, her outstanding performance gave life to this humane ghost. The citation for Tang’s award read, “Tang gave a superb display of Chinese Dance technique, illuminating the choreography with her plasticity, lyricism, and lightness.  She vividly conveyed Nie Xiaoqian’s emotional journey as she evolved from the heartless ghost who sets out to seduce Ning Caichen to the fearless lover who sacrifices herself to save him.” Li concluded, “In this dance drama, there is a climactic moment that requires to be handled with great care.” The citation for his brilliant performance declared “Li’s heartfelt portrayal of Ning Caichen brings out both the comic and poignant aspects of the character, perfectly embodying his youth and innocence, his unfaltering love for Nie Xiaoqian, and his grief when she ends her existence.  He dances throughout with glorious fluidity and innate elegance, combined with immaculate accuracy, strength, and control.” 

 

 

十年一覺舞蹈夢
唐婭和李涵都是大陸出生長大,畢業於北京舞蹈學院,因為機緣巧合來到香港,從此開始在這個海港的築夢之旅。如今他們都已是香港永久居民,回顧過往來時路,仍是滿滿的辛酸記憶。在這次提名香港舞蹈年獎的傑出年度男演員時,李涵曾自嘲地跟朋友說:「我不會是萊昂納多吧?」(美國電影演員,數度提名奧斯卡最佳男演員未果)。他之前也曾被提名過幾次都沒有拿獎,加上這次提名的人選都很強,他想自己應該又會失之交臂,因此當聽到自己的名字時,還是有些驚訝的。他說自己只高興了一個晚上,跟家人電話報了個喜,第二天就如常工作了。「為什麼這麼淡定?」年輕的李涵平靜地回答:「這麼多年,我想的問題只是到底是什麼在支撐我跳舞。如果不是更深的東西,那麼拿到獎項以後,有些東西就會破滅了。」

 

那麼,更深的那個東西是什麼?

 

多年以前,因為嫌家中管教太嚴,12歲的李涵隻身出走學習舞蹈,只為擺脫家裡的負擔。初嘗自由的滋味他覺得興奮又激動,然而這種感受迅速被舞蹈訓練的艱苦和痛楚摔了個粉碎。「每天早上六點起床,綁著沙袋踢腿,每天不間斷。太辛苦了。」第一年舞蹈學校放假回家,李涵才獲得了短暫的休息。到假期最後一天,本應下午出發返回學校,當初主動逃離家庭的李涵竟然裹在家中的被窩裡到中午都不動彈。媽媽看到他的樣子,說了一句讓他終生牢記的話:「如果你這次決定回去,選了這條路,就要堅持走完。」他最終選擇回歸舞蹈,直到現在。回歸的起初兩年,他仍然充滿掙扎,糾結於自己的選擇是否正確、畢業以後會不會沒有工作等等。直到三年級時,可能是某一天或者甚至某一個瞬間,他突然覺得自己開始喜歡上舞蹈了,也許是因為最艱苦的訓練階段已經完成,又也許是他突然明白了舞蹈的意義。唐婭有著幾乎一致的經歷:「前兩年就像是挖地基一樣,打基礎的時候很辛苦,很痛,會偷懶。後來就慢慢喜歡上了。」李涵還記得有一年,改編自曹禺知名劇作的舞劇《雷和雨》在北京演出,當時還在上學的他坐在台下,驚訝於舞蹈竟然也能塑造角色和傳遞情感。「我才明白了舞蹈也可以是人性化的」,這是他至今眷戀舞的原因。
兩人從那個熱愛舞蹈的瞬間開始,一路堅持到現在,收穫北京、香港和海外的學習經歷,對舞蹈的熱愛在不斷加深。在香港舞蹈年獎2016宣佈最佳女舞蹈演員的那一刻,唐婭從後台慢慢走上去,接過獎盃,表達了一番感謝以後,哽咽地說:「我來到香港十一年,為了這個獎,我努力了十一年。」唐婭至今還有練功留下的胯傷和其他傷病,但她看得很開:「這個職業必須承受的吧!」唐婭和李涵都把自己的生命理解為「學會和傷痛共存的舞者」,在回答何時會停止這份工作這個問題的時候,兩人都說,舞蹈是值得堅持下去的事業,自己也不會給自己設限,即使有一天離開舞台,也會繼續從事和舞蹈相關的工作。至於何時才會停止跳舞?兩人的答案出奇得一致:會一直跳下去,跳到不能跳為止,跳到「傷患使得你不得不停下來為止。」

 

A Ten Years of Dream and Dance
Tang and Li both grew up on the Mainland. Both graduated from Beijing Dance Academy and both came to Hong Kong by chance. Since then, Hong Kong has become the place where they have built their dreams and they are both now Hong Kong permanent residents. Looking back on their journey they agree it has been filled with hardship. When the Hong Kong Dance Awards announced nominations early this year, Li joked with his friends, “I hope I will not be like Leonardo DiCaprio (the American film actor with several unsuccessful Oscar nominations for best actor). Since he had also had several unsuccessful nominations before and because there were very strong nominees in this category, he was prepared for another miss.  He was surprised to hear his name called out on stage for the award. He was so overjoyed the whole night and proudly told his family all about it, but was back to work as usual the next day. “Why am I so calm?” he said, “All these years, I ask myself, ‘What is it that supports my dream to dance?’ and I realize it has to be something deeper that cannot be destroyed by a single award.”

 

So, what is this deeper thing?

 

Years ago, the 12 year-old Lin felt emancipated from his highly disciplined family when he was allowed to study dance at boarding school. At first, he enjoyed the taste of freedom, but very soon, the difficulties he encountered and pains he suffered from the strenuous requirements of studying dance, shattered his illusions. “I woke up at 6am every morning, tied sandbags on my legs to do high kicks with no pause in between. It was really hard”, he said.  He gained a short break at home during school holiday every year. On the last day of one holiday, he refused to go back to school, he wrapped himself in a blanket at home and did not move until noon. His mother spoke to him with words he has kept with him since that time, “If you have decided this path, persistence is the key for completion.” In the end, he chose to return and has stayed with dance to this day. Lin recalled the first two years in school, he was filled with struggles and entangled with thoughts of whether he had made the right choice and the anxieties of job opportunities after graduation and so on.  Not until his third years in school did he realize he had fallen in love with dance. Perhaps the hardest training period was over or he suddenly found the meaning of dance. In sharing her similar experiences, Tang recalled, “The first two years were like digging the ground for the foundation, building a foundation is really hard and painful, sometimes, I became lazy. Eventually, I slowly fell in love with it.” Li remembered seeing a dance drama in Beijing based on Thunder and Rain, a well-known literary classic by Cao Yu. Even as a student he was amazed by the power of dance to communicate and express the emotions of the character being portrayed. “I finally understood that dance has soul.” This is the reason for his love of performance. 

 

That moment of falling passionately in love with dance has resonated to the present. It has matured through learning experiences in Beijing, Hong Kong, and overseas.  In 2016, when the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer was announced, Tang Ya walked up to the stage, received the award, and began her speech of acknowledgement choking back tears, “I’ve been in Hong Kong for eleven years, and for this award, I devoted eleven years of hardship.” Tang has carried on even with hip and other injuries from dancing, she is optimistic about it saying, “It is part of this profession.”  Both, Tang and Li are dancers who have learned to coexist with pain. When asked about whether they would consider retiring, both replied, they would continue, dancing is a worthy career, and they will not think of stopping. Even if one day they leave the stage they would continue to engage in dance related work. As to when this might happen, their answers were surprisingly consistent - they will continue dancing until their bodies are no longer able to and injuries require them to stop.

3. 唐婭為了舞蹈願意忍受傷患的痛楚
Tang Ya in MSGM, Acne Studios, Venilla suite @ I.T


 

4.    李涵在訪問中訴說小時候刻苦的練舞經歷
Li Han in LEWIS LEATHER, 5cm @ I.T

 

相片由香港舞蹈團提供
Photos provided by Hong Kong Dance Company 
創意總監Creative Director: Yuman Ng@III-WORKSHOP
攝影Photo Credit: Devil Woo@III-WORKSHOP

 

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