Ah-Lock instructs a workshop at the Asian Performing Arts Market
in Setouchi 2016 at Ogijima.
攝影 Photo Credit: 羅雪芬 Georgina Lo
最近這一兩年，我差不多每隔數月也總會到不加鎖舞踊館於新蒲崗的排練室，並不是排練學舞，而是去欣賞一些小型演出或是正在創作中的片段展演。如果大家一向有留意不加鎖舞踊館的活動，便會發現舞團近年甚為積極地與不同藝術範疇，及來自不同地區的藝術家合作。有演出，亦有工作坊，好不熱鬧。今年四月，舞團作品《男生‧男再生》便取得香港舞蹈年獎傑出獨立制作，再次肯定其藝術成就。七月中，舞團亦舉辦了《Le Phare X Unlock 法港交流展演及分享會》，特別邀請了勒拉佛爾－諾曼第國立舞蹈中心（Le Phare）的總監－法國編舞家艾曼紐．汀（Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh）來港，一方面展現三月時在法國跟四位香港舞者合力編作的新作品，另一方面就繼續深化自去年10月起所進行的雙邊研究與交流。
In the past two years, I’ve been a regular visitor to Unlock Dancing Plaza’s rehearsal studio located in San Po Kong - not to attend dance rehearsals but to go to performances and informal showcases. If you pay attention, it’s not hard to notice that Unlock Dancing Plaza has been active organizing various kinds of artistic activates such as collaborations with overseas artist, performances, and workshops, all these make the studio a bustling place in Kowloon. Unlock Dancing Plaza was awarded Outstanding Independent Dance Production at the 18 HongKong Dance Awards. In July, the company invited Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh, Artistic Director of Le Phare, Centre Chorégraphique National du Havre Haute – Normandie for Le Phare X Unlock – France & Hong Kong Exchange: Showcase & Sharing Session. It showcased a new work made by Vo-Dinh and four Hong Kong dancers in France this March, what's more, the sharing session continued the dialogue begun last October to discuss further research and exchange opportunities.
Although, as the artistic director of the company, Ong Yong-lock (Ah-Lock) wasn’t directly involved in performing and creating this new work, he took the two-week exchange opportunity and went to France with the administration team and the four Hong Kong dancers. While there he attended performances, exhibitions, and visited various performance venues and dance companies. Ah-Lock smiled “At the beginning of the rehearsal process, I wondered why the four Hong Kong dancers repeatedly had the same kind of responses to the choreographer’s instructions. But, after a while, I started to notice unexpected responses from the dancers and could see differences within their repeated movement patterns.”
Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh at the Work-in-Progress Showing and sharing.
攝影 Photo Credit: 周金毅 Elsie Chau
Ah-Lock is an artist known for being passionate about innovative artistic practices. This trip to France came at the right time for him to broaden his artistic vision and see other ways of creating. He confesses that in his past creative practice he was voracious in combining many ideas without having a concrete artistic direction; in the future, he wishes to concentrate on a more reflective approach to discover his artistic direction. Hence, he has decided to join the four Hong Kong dancers when they visit France again in October. Besides observing the overseas exchange project’s progress, he will also hold workshops with the French dancers and choreographers during the visit.
談到不加鎖舞踊館的未來動向，阿祿指舞團的發展主要會有兩大方向：一個是繼續策劃Unlock Body Lab系列的活動，跟不同的朋友探索身體及舞蹈的多樣性及可能性，另一方面希望與不同的伙伴作交流及合作，併發火花，例如這次法港合作，就是從工作坊內慢慢發掘表演素材再去發展，而並非從一開始已是以表演作為終極目標，事情就變得有意義多了。
Speaking about future plans for Unlock Dancing Plaza, Ah-Lock pointed out there will be two major directions; one will be the continuous effort to develop Unlock Body Lab series with the aim of discovering the body and the multiplicity and possibilities of dance with different people. The other direction will be to foster overseas exchanges and collaborations with different kinds of partners and organizations. This French and Hong Kong exchange is a great example of the fusion that emerges from collaboration in which time is given to devise choreographic material through workshops instead of starting with the goal of producing performance. Comparing the two different approaches, for Ah-Lock, the former is much more meaningful.
3. 四位與艾曼紐．汀創作的舞者。(左至右) 丘展誠、黃翠絲、李偉能、李嘉雯。
The four Hong Kong artists who worked with Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh. (left to right) James Yau, Tracy Wong, Joseph Lee,Carmen Li
攝影 Photo Credit: 王榮祿 Ong Yong lock
In terms of choreographing for the company, Ah-Lock says that in the past, he was driven to produce performances in order to fulfill his interest in performing and choreographing and the work suffered without a clear artistic direction, and his creative efforts were in vain. He opined that some dance companies and artists in Hong Kong have similar opinions that producing performances one after another eventually leads to an excessive level of production that can only attract friends for support. It results in a small circle where everybody circulates only within this inner circle. Looking forward, with the two major directions that are the company’s focus from now on, Ah-Lock is motivated to organize more interesting projects in the future.
4. 攝影 Photo Credit: 周金毅 Elsie Chau
In the next half year, Unlock Dancing Plaza will embark on European and East Asian artistic exchanges. Besides going back to France to continue developing and refining the new dance Simon Says with Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh in October, the company will travel to Japan for Setouchi Triennale 2016 and perform on the island of Ogijima and in the city of Takamatsu in July and August where they will join with Hong Kong Dance Company 8/F Platform X, to invite nmatu-posus*, a sport-art team from Miyazaki, Japan, and Professor Rumiko Takahashi from the Faculty of Education and Culture of the University of Miyazaki, to lead an intensive 4-day workshop and showcase.
Ah-Lock acknowledges that this kind of exchange is more in-depth than those that invite an international choreographer to create a work in Hong Kong. In fact, the cost for an in-depth overseas exchange trip is much higher, most often the funding organization only supports travelling expenses such as air-ticket or transportation, unless the exchange project eventually includes producing a performance or a showcase. Otherwise, this kind of exchange project hardly ever gets funded and is likely to be self-financed. Ah-Lock believes that the process of exchange can provide a ground for artistic growth and is not necessarily only for the purpose of creating a show. Therefore, he wishes there would be more opportunities for, and openness to, such kinds of observational exchange trips and, most importantly, that funding organizations would support and recognize the value of these types of exchanges.
In the end, Ah-Lock thinks that in order to improve Hong Kong’s dance ecology, everyone needs to be actively cultivated in Art. Travel to different places and to experience the world is considerably beneficial; without it, it would be hard to become an outstanding artist knowing only the local context. He stresses that it is important to travel with different people, especially those from the field of dance who are passionate about discovering the essence of dance with you along the journey.
*nmatu-posus is the name of a group formed by three artists from Miyazaki, Japan, who possess athletic training background.