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[中][ENG] 周書毅眼中的香港 Hong Kong in the eyes of Chou Shu-yi - 錯位的相遇 共時的閱讀 Encounters from the Outside Readings from the Inside

周書毅眼中的香港 Hong Kong in the eyes of Chou Shu-yi

 

錯位的相遇   共時的閱讀

Encounters from the Outside   Readings from the Inside

 

 

尉瑋Wei Wei

翻譯 Translation: Caesar Choi

 

《無用》never-never land ;編舞:王榮祿Ong Yong Lock、周書毅 Chou Shu-yi;照片由周書毅提供 Photo provided by Chou Shu-yi

 

記得第一次見到周書毅時,是2008年他受東邊舞蹈團《亞洲舞蹈家匯演》之邀,來演自己的小作品《從身體出發》,那也是他真正意義上第一次來香港演出。當時的感覺是:跳舞的男生都是這樣嗎?一邊訪問,一雙腳似乎總不能安放,抓到一點機會就要做個拉伸,整個人挪來挪去動個不停。轉眼十來年過去,書毅來香港,又離開,又再來。看他數次與香港不同的舞蹈家合作,往往帶著一個外來者的好奇,不停地觸碰這個城市的秘密;有時身影俐落,有時惆悵低迴,香港似乎也見證了他的人生起落,與他的生命越纏越緊。最近剛好待在香港的他更是與這城市一起經歷了關鍵時刻,在陡峭的時局中,他不停反思,也忍不住發問:藝術是什麼?劇場還有沒有力量?

 

I remember when I first met Chou Shu-yi, he was invited by E-Side Dance Company for A Showcase of Asian Dancers, to perform his own short piece Start with the Body in 2008. That was the first time he officially came to Hong Kong to perform. My response at the time was: are all male dancers so energetic? During our interview, his legs never stayed still, he took every chance to stretch, his body never stopped moving around. Shu-yi has now been coming to Hong Kong, leaving and coming back again, for a decade. When I look at his collaborations with different dance artists in Hong Kong, one can see him unveiling the secrets of this city with the curious eye of an outsider their destinies entwining more and more tightly. His most recent stay in Hong Kong also happened to come at a critical time for the city. In the midst of turbulence, he did not stop thinking, much less refraining from exploring broader questions: What is art? Can theatre still have any impact?

 

周書毅與香港的相遇 Encounters of Chou Shu-yi with Hong Kong

 

缘始 Encounter

 

「最開始對香港的印象喔,表演空間怎麼在街市的上面?很有趣欸,好像和生活離得很近。」書毅舒展了下肩膀,說起剛開始時見到「文娛中心」的好奇。「然後也發現這裡的票房還是難,發展現代舞還是不容易。有挑戰,有挑戰就想再來。」這是創作者周書毅與香港緣分的開始,而觀眾周書毅與香港舞蹈的緣分,則可以追溯到更早的時候。

 

“Oh, my first impressions of Hong Kong... Why are there performance spaces in the same building as wet markets? This is so interesting, as it seems to draw us closer to daily life.” Shu-yi stretched his shoulders as he mentioned his curiosity about the “civic centres” in Hong Kong when he first saw them. “Then I realised that there are still struggles with box office here. Cultivating contemporary dance is not easy. It's challenging. And I returned for the challenges." This marked the start of the connection between Hong Kong and Chou Shu-yi the creative artist, while that between Hong Kong dance and Chou Shu-yi the spectator may be traced back even earlier.

 

將近20年前,雲門2創團,時任藝術總監的羅曼菲邀請《男生》赴台,當時還是中學生的周書毅就在觀眾席上。「那時看到這個香港的作品,很興奮,覺得它很開放。裡面一個男生穿著鳳冠霞披走出來。並不是因為男生穿女裝很開放,而是因為這個作品可以一演再演,被邀來台灣,這個東西很開放——它並沒有被『limit』(限制)住。」那個台灣版本的舞者,有布拉瑞揚,也有後來旅德的孫尚綺。沒想到18年後,周書毅參演《男生》的復刻版,跳的就是當年孫的角色。「一摸到把桿的時候,所有的記憶湧過來!」他笑,「我還記得當年自己心裡的激動,也在想我要怎麼去達到那個時候自己心裡的激動。」

 

Almost 20 years ago, Cloud Gate 2 was founded and Lo Man-fei, then the artistic director, brought Yuri Ng’s Boy Story over to Taiwan. Shu-yi, still a secondary school student at the time, was among the audience for the show. “I was very excited when I watched this Hong Kong production at the time because it was so open. In it, a boy came out wearing a fengguanxiapei[1]. It was open, not because of a male performer wearing female costume but because the production had been performed again and again, and even been invited to Taiwan. The mentality of the work was open -- it was not limited by any restraints .” The Taiwan version of Boy Story featured Bulareyaung Dance Company, and Sun Shang-chi, who later went to work in Germany. Who would have thought that 18 years later in the revival of Boy Story, it would be Shu-yi who would take the exact role which Sun performed back then. “All the memories poured in as I touched the barre!” He laughed. “I still recall the thrill I felt at that time, and I’ve been wondering how to achieve that kind of thrill again.”

 

[1] 編按:鳳冠霞披為中國女子的傳統出嫁裝束

Editor’s note: a traditional Chinese wedding shawl for women

 

《男生.男再生》Boy Story.Reborn;編舞 Choreographers:伍宇烈Yuri Ng、王榮祿Ong Yong Lock;攝 Photo:Maurice Lai

 

少年誠可貴,因為年少的你不知道什麼時候就突然遇上開啟人生軌跡的一點火花。「年輕人真的很重要。」他想到現在的香港。「作為一個大人,真的很容易看輕他們(年輕人)的可能性。我知道是因為我十五、六歲就已經離開家去唸書,自給自足地去工作,看作品就是自己去買票。你不會知道那個時候會開啟生命的什麼,我最刺激的『energy』(能量)都是從那個年紀開始的。18年後學《男生》的時候,我會完全想起我那個時候的衝動,想起看完後,撞擊到自己的生命歷程,讓我很想去追尋一個什麼,可能就是更確定要去走舞蹈這條路。」

 

What makes teenage years so precious is their numerous chance encounters, some of which can unexpectedly catch fire and open up a potential path of life. “Teenagers matter a lot.” He thought of Hong Kong today. “As an adult, it’s is easy to underestimate the possibilities that teenagers hold. I understand this because I’d already left home for school when I was fifteen or sixteen and was living a self-sufficient life by then, buying tickets for dance shows myself. You don’t know when something is going to open up in your life or what it will be. The most thrilling energies of my life started from that age. Eighteen years later, learning Boy Story reminded me vividly of how it made me feel back then - the impact it made on my own path of life, how it drove me to aspire to something. Perhaps that was what further affirmed my dedication to dance.”

 

年少的周書毅遇上伍宇烈30來歲時創作的作品,然後在自己30來歲時重訪這個作品的世界。「我自己有一個感覺,我和香港,好像一直在靠近這群(舞蹈)中堅份子最有能量的年紀,也就是我自己現在這個年紀。」

 

Shu-yi came across Yuri Ng’s work, produced in Ng’s thirties, at a young age and revisited the world of the work when he himself entered his thirties. “I feel like both me and Hong Kong happened to have been approaching the age, at which these Hong Kong core (dance) artists are at their most energetic, and which is also the age I am at right now.

 

 

體驗逼窄 Experiencing the Cramped Space

 

和伍宇烈與香港小交響樂團合作《拉威爾1875 vs 拉威爾2012》,和王榮祿與不加鎖舞踊館合作《無用》、《男生.男再生》,再到為城市當代舞蹈團編創《Almost 55 喬楊》,在黎海寧的經典作品《春之祭》中飾演關鍵角色,書毅待在香港的時間越來越長,他也有意識地打破原本演出的製作模式,希望在香港常駐來增加創作體驗。「要這樣我才知道這個地方是怎麼樣的,不然都是假的。這個地方的藝術圈很小,其實不大容易進入,並不是因為它封閉,而是你要怎樣進入這個環境?不是只是帶自己的演出來,演完就走。」從《無用》開始,幾個作品下來,他在香港住了半年半年又半年,「一路住住住,住出了感情。」他笑,「在這個地方生出作品,就好像種一棵樹,每天看著它,跟你在台灣做完帶過來完全不一樣。這裡變化很快,如果每次都是『in and out』(進進出出)不斷地走,好像沒有什麼收穫就要告訴大家我做完了。一個藝術要成『家』很難,可是現在藝術家太多了,這麼多的藝術家,我想讓自己完全地『slow down』(慢下來)——作品都沒有很滿意的時候怎麽能就走?」

 

From collaborating with Yuri Ng and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta on Ravel the Time Traveller, and with Ong Yong Lock and Unlock Dancing Plaza on never-never land and Boy Story.Reborn, to choreographing Almost 55 and taking an important role in Helen Lai’s Rite of Spring, Shu-yi has spent more and more time in Hong Kong over the years. During these times he has consciously broken away from the usual way of creating productions, and sought to accumulate creative experience through residencies in Hong Kong. “This is the only way I can get to know this place. Or else it’s illusory. The art circle here is small and it’s not easy to fit in. It’s not easy, not because it’s closed or exclusive, but how are you going to enter their [Hong Kong artists] context? It’s not about just bringing my performances here and leaving.” He has stayed in Hong Kong to create works many times since never-never land. “I stayed and stayed. And an attachment grew,” he smiles. “Developing my piece here is like growing a tree. Here I can take care of it every day, which is entirely different from bringing a ready-made work from Taiwan. Changes are rapid here. If I come and go, in and out, then I would need to tell people my work is completed even if I hadn’t achieved much. It’s not easy to develop an art work fully as an artist. Yet there are too many artists nowadays. Among so many of them, I just want to let myself slow down completely -- How can you just leave when you’re not entirely satisfied with your work?”

《無用》never-never land ;編舞:王榮祿Ong Yong Lock、周書毅 Chou Shu-yi;照片由不加鎖舞踊館提供 Photo provided by Unlock Dancing Plaza

 

創作《無用》時,書毅住在佐敦的一個小房間,「大概是人生中住過最小的地方!」每天從細小的窗戶看外面的車子,感受城市獨特的密集,吐槽素食者覓食的艱難,感嘆那些不能隨便上去的大樓屋頂,還有驚嘆在這狹窄空間中混雜的各種不同……這林林總總間,似乎能摸到香港不斷跳動的脈搏,看到創作能量從何而來,也體驗到外來的藝術家常駐的困難。「外來的藝術家要能夠在這裡生存和創作,相信要有很高的一筆資助。當下我就覺得這對,也不對。」對的,是經濟和藝術的平衡其實非常重要,不代表要有很多錢,但起碼要有資源去進行;不對的,似乎是藝術的創作並不應依附或受限於資助的體系,而應該有更多的可能。「這幾年,看到香港很多藝術家出去交流,感覺藝術的資助很多。我在台灣剛開始創作的時候,比較沒有什麼資助,當然每個時代不能這樣比較。我只是很好奇,香港有沒有那種沒有資助又繼續做的人?這其實有很大的差別。像我之前碰到一些人都會說:還是可以做呀,沒有劇場可以在『studio』(工作室)做『showing』(展演),沒有『showing』可以『talk』(座談)。但是在這裡一切的安排好像都有一個『system』(體系)。其實這個『system』久了,就像在一個紙張上一直沿著一個黑線畫圈,久了,那個紙會破掉。你一定要畫別的。」

 

When he produced never-never land, Shu-yi was living in a small room in Jordan district. “Probably the smallest place I’ve ever lived in!” Looking out from the tiny window at the traffic outside, feeling the unique intensity of the urban environment, ranting about the lack of options for vegetarians, yearning for those visible yet inaccessible rooftops, surprising himself with the capacity for diversity in such a cramped space… Amid this multitude of shifting images, he seemed to have felt the pulse of Hong Kong and seen the spring of creative energy here, as well as experiencing the difficulties faced by foreign artists living here. “For a foreign artist to survive and create work here, one must come with a generous sum of subsidies, something which I think is right in one way and not right in another.” It is right, he explains, because the balance between the economy and the arts is in fact really important; and while subsidies do not necessarily mean an enormous sum of money, they should at least afford the necessary resources for the artist to work. It is not right because artistic creativity should not rely on or be limited by a system of subsidies, but be exposed to far wider possibilities. “In these few years, a lot of Hong Kong artists have been abroad for exchanges, where they seem to have been generously subsidised. I didn’t have much financial assistance in comparison when I first started choreographing in Taiwan. Of course, we can’t compare one generation to another. However, I am curious. Are there people who are still making work without subsidies in Hong Kong? That makes a very big difference. I’ve met people who say, yes, you can still do it. Without the stage you can do a showing in the studio; without the showing, you can do talks... But it seems like everything here follows a system. Over time, sticking to this system becomes like drawing the same circle again and again in the same place, on the same piece of paper. Eventually, the paper will tear. You need to draw different circles.”

 

 

 閱讀香港 Reading Hong Kong

 

書毅說,在香港待久了,那些體驗自然滲透在創作中,例如選音樂時的節奏會與台灣的城市節奏不同,作品中對自然的取態也有變化;而透過在這裡長出的一個個作品,他好像也在不停地“閲讀”香港。《男生.男再生》時,他去讀這班馬來舞者身上混雜的香港痕跡,讀他們身體的歷史和對舞蹈的堅持與放棄[2]。到了《Almost 55 喬楊》[3]與喬楊的合作,則是出於好奇,去尋找一個沒有放棄跳舞的舞者,最終見證了這個身體的「奇蹟」。而到了黎海寧(Helen)所創作的《春之祭》,他好像藉著黎的眼睛潛入過往,那片屬於香港那個年代的吉光片羽。

 

Shu-yi says that he has spent enough time in Hong Kong for his experiences here to be naturally interwoven with his creative process. For example, he may pick songs with rhythms different from that of Taiwanese cities, and take a different stance towards nature in his work -- and, through all these works he produced here in Hong Kong, he seems to be “reading” Hong Kong again and again. In Boy Story.Reborn, he was reading the traces of Hong Kong on the bodies of the Malaysian dancers, reading the history of their bodies, their perseverance and the sacrifices they’ve made for dance[1]. In Almost 55,[2] his collaboration with Qiao Yang, he started from the fascination of finding a dancer who had not given up on dance, through which Shu-yi witnessed the “miracle” of this dancer’s body. In Helen Lai’s version of Rite of Spring, he was diving into the past through her perspective, a fragment of the precious gem Hong Kong was in that era.

 

[1] 編按:《男生.男再生》由兩部分組成:以原班人馬復刻經典《男生》及回顧原作而創新的作品《男再生》。書毅在第一部分中,與曾參與原版《男生》的五位馬來西亞舞蹈演員合作。Editor’s Note: Boy Story.Reborn consists of two pieces, the revival of the classic Boy Story with the original cast and the retrospective complementary work Boy Story Reborn. Chou performed in the first piece, where he worked with five other dancers, all Malaysian, from the original cast of Boy Story.

 

[2] 編按:在《Almost 55 喬楊》裡,書毅為舞齡已超40年的喬楊度身排舞。

Editor’s Note: Almost 55, was choreographed by Chou for Qiao, whose dance career spans four decades.

 

《Almost 55 喬楊》排練Rehearsal of Almost 55;攝 Photo:陳長志

 

 

 

「他們說當年《春之祭》演出時,觀眾的人口更少,當年演兩場,都沒有滿座就結束了。嘩,那個時候藝術家在面對什麼?還可以搞這麼大的節目,我很佩服,佩服Helen的那個力量,用藝術留下了力量。」27年前的香港,27年前的舞蹈,27年前的藝術家,經由Helen的口述來到書毅面前,「每次結束去喝個咖啡,聽她分享很多過去的故事、看過的電影或喜好音樂,每次聽都聽不完。那是就覺得,對,『you have to keep learning』(你要不斷學習)。特別是她說到,她覺得自己還是一直在練習編舞。嘩,你四十多年了,都還是在練習,那我在搞什麼?所以,作為創作者你不能太自負,練習真的很重要。我們經常只是看到藝術家表面的一面,參與了她的創作才會知道,裡面的結構這麼複雜,現在去跳仍然有那麽多的東西可以學。她做《春之祭》時的年紀是四十出頭嘛,你會覺得,你永遠不知道什麼時候的作品是最好的,必須永遠地『practice』(練習)。」

 

“They said the audience numbers were even smaller back then. Two performances only, no full house, and that’s it. Wow, what were the artists facing back then? How could they even manage to stage such an enormous production? I’m full of admiration. I admire Helen’s energy, an energy she has preserved through art.” Hong Kong 27 years ago, dance 27 years ago, artists 27 years ago, all these were brought to life right in front of Shu-yi, through Lai’s words. “Every time we went for coffee, I listened to Helen’s stories, the films she watched, or some good music she listened to. I could just go on listening to her stories forever. Then I thought, yes, I have to keep learning, especially when she says she is still practicing every time she choreographs. Wow, she has been doing it for forty years and more, and she’s still trying to improve. What am I doing then? Creative artists cannot be arrogant. Practice matters. We always see just the surface appearance of artists. It was only when I took part in her production that I got to know how complex the structure was within it. There is so much more to learn even if you dive in right now… She was in her early forties when she did Rite of Spring, right? I guess you never know when you’ll create your best work. You need to keep practicing forever.”

 

這段時間停留在香港,自然讓書毅讀到這個城市的另一面。「我自己的感覺,所親身經歷的,是政治環境會如何影響到藝術環境。這幾年,我感受到香港藝術環境非常美好的時刻,演《男生.男再生》、《春之祭》時,都有很多的觀眾來交流和提問。而當近年發生不同事件的時候,我發現它會完全影響到(創作),只是現在我們還沒有創作事情去面對它。」

 

Staying in Hong Kong in the present times has allowed Shu-yi to read another facet of the city. “What I’ve felt and experienced myself, is how political atmosphere influences the art scene. In the past few years, I went through a very positive period in the Hong Kong art scene. When I performed Boy Story.Reborn and Rite of Spring, a lot of audience members came forward to share and ask questions. And then with the different incidents that have taken place this year, I definitely felt how they influenced (the creative processes), it’s just that we have yet to make work to respond to this influence.

 

黎海寧與周書毅在台灣 Helen Lai and Chou Shu-yi in Taiwan;照片由周書毅提供 Photo provided by Chou Shu-yi

 

 

目睹與經歷過激烈的動盪與碰撞,藝術家所關注的生命變化已經完全改變,未來要怎麽變,大家都還在找。「但反思是一定要做的。」他說,「藝術創作者是一個非常奇怪的生命狀態,我們不像一個藥房,在彌敦道上必須要關店。我們沒有關店的時候,哪怕在沒有創作沒有表演的時候。我在香港和台灣都沒有教課,所以生活就比較緊張。但是那個選擇就是,你的整個『full-time job』(全職)就是創作,有錢沒錢都是創作。所以我也很喜歡寫東西,當不能創作的時候,不編舞的時候,不能去教室的時候,還能幹嘛?就是思考,不然你的身分就會消失。現在是比較複雜的時期,有時不一定要用作品去對話,我猜甚至可能會有一段時間將不能用作品去對話,會停擺,會很難賣票,很難做出好東西。」

 

The seismic shifts and conflicts which they’ve been witnessing and experiencing have utterly transformed life and everything they care about for artists here. Everyone keeps searching and wondering how things will change in the future. “But reflection is a must,” Shu-yi says. “ A creative artist is a very strange type of being. We are not a pharmacy on Nathan Road which can close its doors. We never close the door, even when there are no works being created and no performances taking place. Since I am not teaching in either Hong Kong or Taiwan, my living is a bit tight. But this choice that I made means creating work is my full-time job, with or without money. That’s why I also like to write. When I cannot create, cannot choreograph, cannot go to classrooms, what else can I do? I can still think. Otherwise, my identity will be lost. This is a complicated time. Dialogue doesn’t always take place through the arts, and I guess there will be a period of time when dialogue through dance works is not possible. There will be a stagnancy and tickets won’t sell. It will be difficult to create good stuff.”

 

「生命是跟著時局在走的,完全欺騙不了人。」與當下的香港共振,藝術家無從躲避,「真正在現在會去問:現在這個時局上,藝術到底要講什麼?劇場到底還有沒有力量?藝術家去了哪裡?這是非常重要的。」

 

“Life follows the political context. Don’t fool yourself.” Artists cannot avoid resonating with what is happening in Hong Kong. “What should be asked in this situation is this: what should art be about? Can the theatre still have any impact? Where are the artists? These are very important concerns.”

 

《春之祭》Rite of Spring;編舞choreographer:黎海寧 Helen Lai; 攝 Photo:Yu Chung Chen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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