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[中][ENG] 舞蹈家文慧 Dance Artist Wen Hui 以身體介入歷史 記憶永不消散 The Body intervenes in history The memory never disappears

文惠 Wen Hui; 攝 Photo: Ling You-juan

 

 

尉瑋

Wei Wei

 

 

「我的身體裡有很糾結的東西。」舞蹈家文慧說。她成長於文革年代,又接受西方文藝思潮的洗禮。她對那紅色年代有著直觀的身體記憶,又在理智上不斷衝破、叛離,尋求自由。她曾任職於中國最頂級的主流歌舞團,又在90年代初成立了具有先鋒意識的舞蹈工作室。她把普通人的聲音記錄在劇場中,一次次用身體介入歷史的洪流。

 

“I have struggles inside,” dancer Wen Hui said. She grew up in the time of the Cultural Revolution (the Red Era) and at the same time was influenced by western ideas. Her body has instinctive reactions to the Red Era. She felt a need to break out, rebel and be free. She once worked in the foremost mainstream dance ensemble. But she also set up a dance studio in the early 90s that has been pioneering in dance-making. She took the voice of ordinary people into theatre, working with the body to write the history of the people.

 

她說:「藝術是改變不了社會的,我們還是在努力。」

 

“Art does not change society. We are still trying,” Wen Hui said.

 

 

從國家到個人

From the National to the Personal

 

文慧出生於1960年,成長在文革年間,她的舞蹈故事不可避免地暈染上時代的印記。文革年間的忠字舞是她對於舞蹈最早的「街頭記憶」;從小聽聞的「文藝為工農兵服務!」是腦中揮之不去的時代之音;而會選擇讀藝校,也是因為父親希望她能夠逃離知識青年上山下鄉的大潮。

 

Wen Hui was born in 1960. The Red Era inevitably influenced her relationship with dance. This started with the popular “Zhong-zi dance” on the streets during the Cultural Revolution and this became her earliest "memory of the streets" . "Art for the service of workers, peasants and soldiers" – during her childhood this slogan was deeply rooted in her mind. Her father wanted her to study at an art school because he did not want her to fall victim to the national practice whereby young intellectuals became working labour in rural areas.

 

1989年從北京舞蹈學院編導系畢業後,文慧加入東方歌舞團成為舞蹈編導。作為文化部直屬的三大院團之一,對外肩負著政治宣傳與文藝交流任務的東方歌舞團,集合了國家最優秀的文藝人才,是當時中國民眾眼中的歌舞「天團」,也是多少人夢寐以求的金飯碗。然而回憶起在舞團編伴舞的日子,文慧卻笑著說:「很無聊,很壓抑,很鬱悶。」

 

After graduating from the Faculty of Choreography in Beijing Dance Academy in 1989, Wen Hui joined Dong-fang Ensemble (Dong-fang) as a choreographer. As one of the three major performing groups directly under the Chinese Cultural Department, Dong-fang was responsible for political propaganda, and art and cultural exchanges. Having the most talented artists in the country, Dong-fang was regarded as the top performing dance group. Most dancers wanted desperately the opportunity of working for Dong-fang. Thinking now of the time when she worked there, Wen Hui laughed, "It was boring, oppressive and distressing."

 

這種苦悶來自於舞團對藝術創作的局限。「忘了是哪一年,我編了一個爵士舞,結果剛好那個時候中美有一個對抗,當天晚上演出就被拿下了。我那時很年輕,很傻,在後台一直哭。」舞團的政治性質決定了編舞不可能自由表達自己的東西,於是每次當團員們傾巢而出各地巡演時,對著空落落的宿舍樓,文慧總幻想著有朝一日能夠擁有自己的舞團,而轉折發生在一趟美國之旅之後。

 

She felt that this boredom stemmed from her perception of Dong-fang's limitations in making art. "I don't remember exactly which year. I had choreographed a piece of Jazz dance. It was the time when China and the US were in conflict. On the first night my work was immediately taken from the programme. I was very young and naive at the time. I could not stop crying backstage." The political nature of Dong-fang meant that choreographers had no space for personal creativity. At times when many of the company members went on tour and the dormitory was almost empty, Wen Hui dreamt of her own dance group in the future. Her life then took a turn after she travelled to the US.

 

文慧 Wen Hui; 攝 Photo: 黃大志 Ricky Wong

 

1994年,文慧到美國拍紀錄片,「我那麼想學現代舞,怎麼不留下來?」抱著這個念頭,她改了簽證就留在了紐約。英文不好,她找來朋友送的舞蹈雜誌,跟著後面羅列的studio地址一間一間去看。兜裡沒有錢,她精打細算挑選課程和演出。「上課都是現在窗戶外面扒著看,喜歡這個老師了,就先買一節課試試,喜歡了再買。看演出就是Off Broadway的,百老匯的都是哪個朋友來了請我看,歌劇就更不會去看了,除非朋友請就看。」她笑著說。

 

It was in 1994 when Wen Hui went to America to film a documentary. She asked herself, “Why don’t I stay here? I want to learn contemporary dance.” She changed her visa and got to stay in New York. Her English was not good. She looked for dance studios in the magazines her friends gave her. She then went to the listed addresses one by one. Without any cash in her pocket, she carefully picked the courses and performances she wanted to attend. “I went to watch the class from outside at the window. If I liked the teacher, I would take a lesson. I would take more if the lesson was good. I usually watched off-Broadway performances. I would never go to a real Broadway performance unless my friends brought me the ticket. The same was true for musicals; it was only when my friends had a ticket for me that I would go.

 

對她來說,紐約之行帶來的最大衝擊,不是多元的舞蹈風格和各式各樣的訓練課程,而是那種自由自在的生活狀態。「在那裡,會覺得是什麼都可以做的,哪怕你裸體走在路上也沒人覺得你奇怪。90年代初我們都是在編伴舞,總幻想有一個自己的舞團,但那個時候就覺得沒有錢,沒有劇場,沒有燈光,什麼都沒有,怎麼可能有自己的舞蹈團?但在紐約的時候,就覺得你什麼都可以做,重要的是你這個主體,是你這個個人。只要想做,不需要一個劇場,公共汽車上、地鐵上、大橋上,想演就可以演。」

 

In New York, it was not the different types of dance or various training courses that impacted on her the most. It was the freedom that struck her. “In New York, no one cares what you do. You can even walk on the streets naked. Choreographers always want to have their own dance group. But how can it happen without budget, a place to perform or lighting? What is possible when you have nothing? But in New York, you would think everything is possible. What matters is you, yourself as an individual. If you want to do it, you can do it everywhere, whether on a bus, on the subway or on a bridge. Just do it.”

 

文慧形容,這次紐約之行猶如是給自己「開了腦洞」,回國後,她與吳文光一起創建了「生活舞蹈工作室」,從此由東方歌舞團規整絢爛的「歌舞昇平」,闖到了粗糙真實的現實血肉中。

 

Wen Hui saw this journey in New York as an “eye-opening inspiration”. When she returned to China, she set up Living Dance Studio with Wu Wen Guang. There was no longer the ornate orderliness she had had in Dong-fang. It was now the time to face the rough reality of running her own studio and company.

 

記錄每個個體的聲音

Hearing every individual voice

 

「從東方歌舞團到生活舞蹈工作室,是一個願望成真的過程。前者是執行一個國家的任務,你的人是國家的人,所有的都是交給國家;現在的工作室,則完全是自己想做的,和個人有關,和社會有關,和時代有關。」文慧說。

 

She describes her early journey as follows: “From Dong-fang to Living Dance Studio, it has been a process of a dream coming true. I was working for the country in Dong-fang. Now, I am doing what I want, working for myself, for the society and for this era.”

 

生活舞蹈工作室的作品,大多集合了不同領域的創作人,融合舞蹈、劇場、紀錄片、視覺藝術等各種方式,來不斷切入現實的生活。例如《生育報告》,藉由對來自各年齡層、各行各業的有生育體驗的婦女進行訪問調查,來講述女性的生存狀態;2000年的《身體報告》檢視經濟迅速騰飛的中國,社會中所充斥的慾望狂潮;《37度8》則是關於SARS事件。至於曾被威尼斯雙年展展出,也被柏林電影節收藏的紀錄片《和民工跳舞》的大背景,則是2000年申奧成功後北京浩浩蕩蕩的城市改造工程。作品是一場非常規演出的排練過程記錄,由專業的編舞、舞者、視覺藝術家、戲劇演員,與30位在北京打工的四川農民工合作完成。聚光燈下,這群被掩蓋在塵土飛揚工地中的城市「下層人」第一次站到了舞台的中心。

 

The works of Living Dance Studio have creative input from arts practitioners in different fields. They involve various forms of art, including dance, theatre or documentary to represent real life. For example, The Report on Giving Birth focused on the life of women and was based on interviews with women of different ages and from different industries about their experiences of childbirth. The Report on Body in 2000 was about materialism in China reflecting on the booming economy. Report on 37.8 ºC was about SARS. Dance with Migrant Workers played at The Venice Biennale in 2015 and invited to the Forum of the Berlin Film Festival in 2002 and listed as Dance with Farm Workers. The work was created when Beijing underwent considerable urban reconstructions after China’s successful bid for holding the Olympic Games. This production combined the efforts of professional choreographers and visual artists with thirty rural migrant workers who came from Sichuan to work in Beijing. It was the first time that these neglected workers who were used to working in dust and mud performed on a stage.

 

《身體報告》Report on Body;攝Photo: Richy Wong

 

 

也許對文慧來說,所謂的「民間」,就是「每一個人」。她的作品中總彙集無數個人的聲音,而每一把聲音都無可替代。它們成為這個時代的嘈嘈切切之音,紛雜中所呈現的是血肉淋漓的真實。大概這也是為何,人們喜歡用「記錄劇場」來描述她的創作。

 

For Wen Hui, “society” is probably about “every individual”. Her works are the voices of many people. They are the sound of the era and represent the fierce reality. This is why people like using “documentary-theatre” to describe her works.

 

用身體進入歷史

Painting history with the body

 

2008年,是文慧眼中創作的一個分水嶺,從這一年開始,生活舞蹈工作室開始探討歷史與記憶。第一個作品《回憶1》展現的是創作者自身的成長經歷,文慧、吳文光和一位作家用不同的角度去回憶自己的童年。「整個作品持續8小時,我選擇從舞台的幕後走到幕前,一條直線,一個動作,很慢很慢地重複。」《回憶2》是由年輕人去拍攝村子裡70歲以上的老人,聽他們講述大饑荒的記憶;《回憶3》中文慧回家鄉採訪了家族中的三奶奶,拍攝紀錄片,後來又轉變成舞台演出。

 

2008 was the turning point for Wen Hui in her creative practice. From this year on, the works of Living Dance Studio began to explore history and memory. The first piece of work, Memory I embodied the two choreographers’ childhood experiences. Wen Hui and Wu Wen Guang traced back to their past using different perspectives. “The entire work lasted for 8 hours. I went from backstage to front stage in a straight line, very slowly and repeatedly.” Memory II was filmed by youngsters and presented the memories of the elders now over 70 who had survived the Great Famine in China. Memory III follows the life of third “Nai-nai” (Aunt) from Wen Hui’s family. Wen Hui went to her hometown and filmed the documentary which was later staged in theatres.

 

《聽三奶奶講故事》紀錄片中文慧跟三奶奶跳舞的場景 In the documentary Listening to Third Grandmother’s Story, the scene of Wen Hui dancing with her third grandmother;攝Photo:Li Xin-ming

 

 

「我是用身體在書寫,用身體在進入這個社會,用身體來進入歷史。」文慧說。

 

“I am using the body to write, to explore the society, to enter into history.” Wen Hui explained.

 

而在作品《紅》中,身體與記憶、與歷史的聯結從未如此深刻。《紅》所聚焦的是文革經典樣板戲《紅色娘子軍》,文慧請來曾親身參與這齣芭蕾舞劇的劉竹英與兩個八十後的年輕舞者,四人一起在舞台上分享自己的個人經驗與感受。

 

In Red, the connection of body, memory and history was profound. This was about the quintessential ballet of the Cultural Revolution, The Red Detachment of Women. Wen Hui asked Liu Zu-Ying, who had been part of The Red Detachment of Women, and two post-1980s dancers to share their feelings and thoughts onstage.

 

「用舞蹈來切入歷史,更直接。所有人都說:身體是不會撒謊的,這是一句很老套的話,但是確實是,如果我們用身體去探索歷史,每個身體都是一個個體。」排《紅》的時候,四個不同質感的身體進入《紅色娘子軍》的世界,激盪出不同的真實反應。「就像年紀最大的劉老師,她就像一個活的博物館。我可以去學那些動作,但怎麼學都學不了她的精氣神。她就是她。我則是另外一種,既接觸到80年代以後西方文文藝思潮的影響,又在文革中長大,我的身體中有很糾結的東西。而另外兩個年輕的舞者,她們又找到自己的路徑。」

 

“It is a straightforward and honest approach to use body to represent history. ‘The body does not lie,’ someone once said. It is a cliché but it can also be true. When we use our body to look into history, every physical body holds an individual existence.” In the rehearsals of Red, the four different bodies were explored to manifest the Red Detachment of Women of the Cultural Revolution and four different portrayals were represented. “Liu is the eldest, but she is like a live museum. I can learn her movements, but I can never imitate her inner essence, gesture and style. Liu is herself. We are separate individuals. Growing up in the Cultural Revolution and influenced by western ideas of art and culture in the 1980s, I have my own struggles inside. The other two dancers also found their personal ways to present themselves.”

 

完全地還原歷史,難以企及。但起碼能通過一個個普通個體的講述,不斷地貼近歷史的真實。「接觸歷史後我們才發現,中國很多近代史是封閉的,官方的歷史和真正的歷史是不一樣的。」文慧說。而看歷史也是為了不要遺忘,為了今天。「不是為了回憶而回憶,不是為了回想自己的美好時光,而是希望更多的年輕人去關心或知道真正的歷史。」

 

To fully represent history is impossible. But it is through portrayals by different individuals that we can get closer to the truth. “By approaching the past, we found that the contemporary history of China is not accessible to the public. ‘Official history’ is largely different from true history.” To look into history is for not forgetting and for living in the present. “History is not about remembering for remembering’s sake, nor is it about remembering only the nice parts of the past. I wish that more young people would get to know their true history.”

 

正如同《和民工跳舞》雖然讓民工們站上舞台但其實無力改變民工的生存現狀,文慧對藝術並不懷抱著過分的天真。「藝術是改變不了社會的。」她說,「那為什麼還要繼續做藝術?每次做作品的時候我都會問自己。還是希望社會越來越好,還是希望作品對社會,對我們的環境有一點建設性。我們還是在努力。」

 

Although Dance with Migrant Workers had enabled workers to get onstage and have their say, the work did not change their reality. Wen Hui is not unrealistic about art. “Art does not change society,” she said. “But why do we still continue to create art? I ask myself this whenever I am creating a work. It is because I hope to improve the conditions of society. I hope my works would bring positive changes to society and to the environment we are living in. We are still trying.”

 

會有挫敗感嗎?「時時都有呀。」她笑起來。

 

Has Wen Hui ever felt defeated? “Always!” She laughed.

 

 

文慧與民工 Men Hui with migrant workers;照片由文慧提供 Photo provided by Wen Hui

 

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