Brexit has been a hot topic widely discussed on social media such as Facebook with much speculation about its effects on artistic exchange and on the situation for artists from the UK and the EU. I didn’t get a chance to travel much since my last column, so as a tangent to the Brexit discussion, in this issue I would like to talk about two major UK dance initiatives.
1. 在香港舉行的Big Dance Pledge 集體跳出Akram Khan 作品。 Big Dance Pledge in Hong Kong performing Akram Khan’s choreography.
攝影 Photo Credit: 西九文化管理局 West Kowloon Culture District Authority
Big Dance 是由英國倫敦巿長於2006年發起的雙年「跳舞」節。以倫敦為中心，推動英國各地區以至海外的人一起於不同的地點包括學校、商場、停車場、公園和公共空間等參與跳舞的大型舞蹈活動。每兩年邀請一名英國著名的編舞為此節編排一段舞蹈和策劃一系列的跳舞活動。今年是「跳舞」節的最後一屆，主辦邀請享譽國際的英國編舞（Akram Khan）艾甘．漢編了一段3分鐘作品，並編製了教材，推動不同年齡、舞齡、階層、能力、專業和非專業舞者至普通市民等學習大師作品，於5月20日以全球同時集體跳Akram Khan作品的大型活動Big Dance Pledge作跳舞節的頭炮，更策劃了Big Dance Bus Tour和七月的 Big Dance Week等。
我特別喜愛這個以「共舞和跳舞」為中心的舞節，相比一些以戶外表演節目，邀請不同團體參與表演的推廣舞蹈的節來得更實在，更親民，更深入。今年西九便領航伙伴CCDC舞蹈中心、香港演藝學院的舞蹈學院、表演藝術教育中心、EXCEL和舞蹈學院校友會、社區文化發展中心共生舞團及新約舞流參與Big Dance Pledge 。召集了120位由青少年到70歳的參與者於西九項目辦公室天台，與全球40個地方43000人跨領域國度時空共舞。此120位參與者將是香港的舞蹈種子，我們策劃以「Everyone Can Dance」 的目標，於九月至明年二月的「自由約」計劃裡延續Big Dance Pledge的精神，帶動「跳舞」普及化。
In 2006, the Mayor of London initiated a biennial dance event entitled Big Dance. Based in London and extending to different parts of the UK and with international organizations, it holds massive dance events in various locations such as schools, shopping malls, car parks, parks, and other public spaces. Every two years, the festival invites an established UK choreographer to produce a dance piece or to organize a series of dance events. As it happens, this is the last year of Big Dance, so the festival appointed the internationally acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan to choreograph and create the learning materials for a three-minute dance. The materials were disseminated to dancers of different ages, backgrounds, social classes, abilities, to both professional and amateur dancers, and even to the general public so they could all learn the dance. Eventually, it led to a global collective performance called Big Dance Pledge on 20 May 2016 to launch the festival. In addition, the festival organized Big Dance Bus Tour and Big Dance Week in July.
2. Big Dance Pledge 希望帶動「跳舞」普及化。
Big Dance Pledge “Everyone Can Dance”.
攝影 Photo Credit: 西九文化管理局 West Kowloon Culture DistrictAuthority
I really like the festival’s idea of collective dancing as a core strategy to promote dance. Compared with some outdoor performance events with similar objectives that end up being just an assortment of performances from different dance groups, Big Dance seems more concrete, in-depth, and more meaningful to the general public by engaging their participation. Guided by the passion to promote dance through collective dancing, WKCDA partnered with City Contemporary Dance Company Dance Center, the School of Dance and EXCEL (Extension and Continuing Education for Life) of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Performing Art Education Centre, and, HKAPA Dance Alumni Association, the Centre for Community Cultural Development-Symbiotic Dance Troupe, and Passoverdance to participate in Big Dance Pledge. A total of 120 participants aged from 17 to 70 gathered to dance on the rooftop of WKCDA offices at the same time as 43,000 people in 40 locations around the world also performed the work. These 120 participants are the seeds of collective dancing in Hong Kong; WKCDA will continue the Big Dance Pledge spirit to promote dance through participation and reach the objective of “Everyone Can Dance”, more events will be organized in our upcoming Freespace Happening event from September to February 2017.
Please click the following links for more details about Big Dance:
3. 在倫敦舉辦的Dance Umbrella 國際舞蹈節。
Dance Umbrella in October at London.
具38年老牌歷史的Dance Umbrella 是一個每年十月於倫敦舉辦的國際舞蹈節。兩年前認識剛上任、具遠見的藝術總監Emma Gladstone。Gladstone為前Sadler’s Wells Theatre 的製作人，具代表性的計劃如New Wave Associates（TAO Dance Theatre 便是得Gladston 和Sadler’s Wells 支持) 和 2011 創辦的 Sadler’s Wells Summer University 都是出自她手。猶記得當天見面時，她分享一些所面對的挑戰：如何在重重的寄望中，突破歷史和固有的模式，將已被定為卓越的Dance Umbrella 打造為一個更具創意、可開鑿當代舞更深遠的層次，又能接觸更多新的觀眾等等問題。她的一句說話：「我想將一些倫敦未展現過的節目和藝術家帶進Dance Umbrella」，已表達了她求變和冒險的精神。
剛剛在香港與Emma 短聚，她介紹第3年所策劃的節目，只聞其大概已覺得充滿驚喜。有希臘著名編舞家Dimitris Papaioannou 的《Primal Matter》；法國編舞Jerome Bel 和20個倫敦巿民的《Gala》；一個與CNN Ballet de Lorraine合作、打破觀眾先入為主觀賞作品的匿名編舞者節目等等。那將是我十月必行之外訪！
In October, the long-established annual International Dance Festival – Dance Umbrella will hold its 38th season in London. Two years ago, I met Emma Gladstone when she was appointed Festival Director. Gladstone was formerly a Sadler’s Wells Theatre producer and her remarkable projects include New Wave Associates that supported Beijing’s TAO Dance Theatre and Sadler’s Wells Summer University created in 2011. I recall in our first conversations discussing the challenges she faced at that time. Among other things – aside from high expectations – she wondered how she could make a breakthrough with something that has such a long history as Dance Umbrella and transform its established internationally recognized model into something even more innovative and at the foreground of contemporary dance - while reaching out to larger audiences! She emphatically stated “I want to bring in artists and artistic events to Dance Umbrella that people in London have never seen before.” Her comment shows how strongly committed she is to bringing new initiatives to the Festival.
Recently, we met briefly in Hong Kong and she talked about the 3rd edition of the Festival since she took over. The program promises to be filled with surprises and excitement such as acclaimed Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou’s Primal Matter; French choreographer Jerome Bel’s work Gala done with 20 people from London, and a project with CNN Ballet de Lorraine by an anonymous choreographer that aims to break down the audience’s preconceptions of dance. With such an exciting lineup, I look forward to visiting London in October!
Please click the following link for more details about Dance Umbrella: