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[中][ENG] 環亞舞略 Dance Curating in Asia: 關於「在地」的背後理念 — 談當代舞蹈藝術平民化之必要 Behind On Site – Why it’s important to popularize Contemporary Dance in Macau

環亞舞略

Dance Curating in Asia

 

黃翠絲 Tracy Wong(香港 HK/澳門 Macau)、毛維 Mao Wei(香港 HK)

「在地」藝術節策展人 Curators of On Site art festival

 

翻譯Translation: Tiffany Wong

 

 

[中] 關於「在地」的背後理念 —— 談當代舞蹈藝術平民化之必要

 

澳門的當代舞蹈藝術發展起步比較晚,近年願意投入其中的新血也寥寥可數,多數由外地邀約到澳門的好作品都只在劇場呈現,而大部分人對當代舞蹈藝術的了解不深,甚少有人願意花錢買票入場。有見及此,我們希望倡導當代舞蹈藝術的平民化,讓更多的人看到藝術的同時,看到澳門的人文地理,增添當代藝術於普羅大眾間的認受性。

 

今年我們在1月9-13日策劃及舉辦了第二屆「在地」(On Site)小型藝術節[1],當中包括不同部分:如演出、工作坊、街頭快閃拍攝、交流平台及記錄等。我們希望通過不同角度讓觀眾可以觀賞和閱讀,藉此打破傳統觀念,並讓本在劇場演出的作品走入群眾,捨棄華麗的舞台燈光與佈景,透過免費的戶外演出還原舞蹈中的身體主權。我們希望借助這個節,聚集澳門與海外的藝術家們交流,提升澳門當代藝術的包容度與多樣性,慢慢培養澳門觀眾的藝術修養,以致未來可以形成澳門獨有的當代藝術氛圍。

 

第二屆「在地」藝術節;照片由黃翠絲提供

 

想做的事真的很多,但這個節是我們不得不做的事。作為年輕一代,能看到這一代藝術家們所需要的,也更能感受到我們所欠缺的。當代舞是一種小眾且獨特的藝術,每個人對它都有不同的閱讀和理解,從而形成無形的門檻,但也是它的魅力所在。作為土生澳門的當代舞蹈藝術新生代,我們希望帶入新的理念和衝擊,展現年輕一代對當代舞蹈藝術的理解與追求。過去幾年,我們經常在歐洲進行演出、駐場計劃、文化交流計劃等等活動,深入瞭解到一些歐洲國家的藝術氛圍;相比之下,澳門實在落後許多,而當中可引伸至一個嚴重的結構性問題:澳門的藝術家留存率。

 

澳門只有中專,許多人才在中專畢業之後只能去國外、內地,或者香港就讀大學。而畢業後的人脈與關係網,大多位於大學所在的城市,所以通常選擇留在當地,或者到藝術生態更為完善的歐美國家繼續留學或入團。為什麼沒有人願意全心全意回澳門呢?或者說,我們回澳門又能做什麼呢?

 

澳門有兩大藝術節:澳門藝術節和澳門城市藝穗節。每年這兩個節皆能吸引一部分當代藝術家回流一段時間,活動結束後卻又再離開。政府投入了很多資源來舉辦演出,但是肯付費進場的群眾往往都是同一群人。我們常常抱怨劇場觀眾群太小圈子時,我們又能否嘗試解決這些問題呢?由此引伸出澳門的第二個問題:澳門觀眾群的擴展與推廣。越是接觸民眾,越明白有時候不是他們「不喜歡」,而是他們「不知道」。很多人對於當代舞的第一個反應就是:太深奧了、很抽象、看不懂。我們看到藝術與民眾之間的缺口,並深諳現行氛圍下對觀賞當代作品的抗拒,而劇場的冷清往往令本土藝術家難以產生回流的意欲。

 

第二屆「在地」藝術節;照片由黃翠絲提供

 

當代藝術在澳門的發展還是處於起步階段,要打造當代藝術氛圍相當不易。或許過去的當代藝術給人比較深奧的印象,但近年的當代藝術開始跨界,融合戲劇、音樂、影像、各種舞蹈等等,觀賞性越來越高,相應的審美門檻就越來越低,有望打破觀眾對於當代藝術的固有態度。借當代藝術的跨界趨勢,以及平民化的免費戶外表演藝術節,說起來有模有樣,但其實我們並沒有太多先例可循,也仍然在不同實際操作中試驗著。如楊春江指出其策展的「香港比舞」藝術節是「一個實驗…… 純屬試驗性質,並不知道最終效果如何」,我們對「在地」也抱有相近的看法,也認為這是一場貼近當下當代藝術發展的實驗,希望在不同嘗試中拉民眾與當代藝術的距離。我們十分相信我們讓很多的人看到了讓他們有興趣的作品,但是真的能走到最後一步,步入劇場的人又有多少呢?甚至於,澳門的觀眾會否真正明白我們做戶外演出的意義呢?或許我們這樣做有太多的不確定性,但藝術氛圍的形成也非一朝一夕的事情。

 

談到「在地」的定位,我們既會站在藝術家的角度去思考怎麼做,也會站在觀眾角度去思考:我想看什麼? 觀眾需要藝術家的作品,而藝術家的作品都需要觀眾的支持。作為首次試驗,選擇既要合適而安全的,也要具說服力且高質量的作品。我們身體力行,把這幾年到國外演出時看過聽過,時下較為身體性且高水準的作品都集合起來並;同時發掘澳門本土的藝術家與其出色的作品。我們相信透過這兩個方向達到平衡,且循序漸進提升作品的深度,留住觀眾。

 

「在地」還很年輕,我們還在繼續完善我們所欠缺的,加強我們做得好的,發展自己的一套模式,成為一個將藝術帶入群眾的藝術節,一點一點讓澳門可以建立出獨特的當代藝術文化與氛圍。

 

希望有一天,在澳門看當代舞蹈藝術演出,就像看一部電影一樣簡單。

 

 

 

[1] 「在地」藝術節由「澳門城市藝穗節」資助及「穗內有萃」項目計劃(即節中節計劃)支持。

 

[ENG] Behind On Site – Why it’s important to popularize Contemporary Dance in Macau

 

The development of contemporary dance in Macau started late, and even today very few young dancers are willing to devote themselves to it. Most of the time, when renowned foreign companies are invited to perform in Macau, only a small audience will pay to see them as most people don’t know much about contemporary dance, and thus are not willing to spend their money on it. In view of this, we hope to make contemporary dance more ‘’popular” by displaying the art form in the context of Macau’s own human history and geography, and at the same time fight for stronger awareness of contemporary art among the general public.

 

From January 9-13 this year, we curated and organized our second On Site arts festival[1], which consisted of various elements: performances, workshops, flash street shooting, exchange platforms and documentation We’re seeking to break away from conventional thinking in festivals by offering our audience the chance to look through a different lens and gain a new kind of appreciation. Through hosting free entry and outdoor events and abandoning the traditional glamour of stage lights and setting, we hope to restore sovereignty to dancing bodies, to expose what usually happens inside the theatre to the general mass of people outside. In addition, we hope that through this art festival, local and foreign artists can gather and interact, to improve the diversity and inclusiveness of Macau’s contemporary art scene, increase artistic appreciation among the public, and eventually build a unique contemporary art environment in Macau.

On Site arts festival 2020; Photo provided by Tracy Wong

 

There are a lot of things we want to do, and this festival is something we are determined to make happen. As part of the young generation, we see clearly what the artists of this generation need, and we feel what they lack. Contemporary dance is a niche and unique form of art, each person sees and interprets it differently, which is precisely where its beauty lies. As local-born new blood of Macau’s contemporary dance sector, we hope to bring in new ideas which will have an impact to promote the development of the genre in Macau, to show how we understand it and why we pursue it. In the past few years, we have performed and participated in artistic residency and cultural exchange programmes in Europe, gaining a deeper understanding of the arts environment in European countries. That has made us realize that Macau has fallen a long way behind. This leads us to a significant problem: the difficulty of keeping our artists here in Macau.

 

The highest level of arts education available within Macau is the vocational high school. After graduation, many talented people are obliged to go overseas, to the Mainland, or to Hong Kong to attend university. Once they graduate from university, since they have already built networks and relationships in the city where they were studying, they choose to stay there, or to further their studies or join a company in European or American cities where the arts ecosystems are more developed. Why doesn’t anyone return to Macau? Or should we ask, what can we do if we do return?

 

There are two major arts festivals in Macau – Macao Arts Festival and Macau City Fringe Festival. Every year, contemporary artists return to Macau for a short time to attend these two festivals – then they leave after the events have ended. The government invests a lot of resources in holding performances, but it’s always the same limited group of people that are willing to pay for tickets who get to see these shows. We often complain that the theatre audience is restricted to too small a circle, but how can we try to solve this problem? This points to another issue in Macau – expanding the audience group and promoting the arts. The more you come in contact with the general public, the more you understand that it’s not that they ’don’t like’ contemporary art, it’s that they simply don’t know anything about it. Many people’s first reaction to contemporary dance is that it is too obscure, too abstract and too hard to understand. We see the gap between art and the public, and while we understand their resistance to appreciating contemporary works in the existing arts atmosphere, we also understand that this lack of audience at theatres makes local artists reluctant to return and work here.

 

On Site arts festival 2020; Photo provided by Tracy Wong

 

With the development of contemporary art in Macau still at such an early stage, it is difficult to build a contemporary art environment. While works of contemporary art from the past may be comparatively deep, in recent years productions have begun to cross over among different media, fusing drama, music, images and different kinds of dance, making these works more enjoyable to watch. This added accessibility is gradually lowering the aesthetic barrier to appreciating contemporary arts, with the aim of breaking down the audience’s inherent hesitation to experience them. It might sound nice and simple to take advantage of the cross-border trend of contemporary art and host a free outdoor festival, but we don't have much precedent to follow, and are still experimenting with different options for practical operations. Daniel Yeung described his curated Hong Kong Dance Exchange festival as "an experiment… as there was neither an existing model to follow nor any expectation of successful outcomes.", we feel the same way and think that this is an experiment that is linked closely to the development of contemporary art today, where hopefully we can shorten the distance between the public and contemporary arts through our various efforts. We believe we allow many people to see what interests them, but how many are ready to go all the way and take the final step to the theatre? Will the audience understand the point of our performing outdoors? Perhaps there are too many uncertainties in our way of tackling these issues, but an artistic environment cannot be established overnight

 

With regard to the positioning of On Site, we have put ourselves in the shoes of artists to think about the best way to do it, and we have also thought about it from the audience’s perspective -- what do we want to see? Because the audience needs the artists’ works, and the artists’ works need the audience’s support. For this first experiment, our choices have to be safe, convincing and of a high standard. We have brought together, from what we have seen overseas in recent years, a collection of physical, high quality works to be performed in Macau. At the same time, we’re searching for outstanding work by local artists from Macau, hoping to strike a balance between local and foreign work. We’re also increasing the depth of our choice of works step by step in the hopes of retaining our audience from year to year.

 

On Site is still green, and we are perfecting it step by step. We hope to improve what we have already done well, and to develop our style further. We wish to create a festival that brings art to the public and makes steady progress, to develop a unique contemporary art culture and environment in Macau.

 

Hopefully one day, it will be as common to go to contemporary dance performances in Macau as it is to go to the movies.

 

 

[1] On site art festival is sponsored by Macau City Fringe Festival and supported by the project Crème de la Fringe, where participants curate a mini festival for the Macao City Fringe Festival based on a certain community/ theme.

 

 

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