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[中] [ENG]《舞蹈手札》的早期作者群象 Writers of dance journal/hk in the Early Years

 

上期我們回顧了《舞蹈手札》誕生的背景,以及於草創階段的一些高低起跌,今期我們就會把焦點從早期的編輯,慢慢轉移到另一班同樣不可或缺,而且勞苦功高的朋友們——作者和評論人身上。

 

In the last issue, we reviewed the birth of dance journal/hk and the ups and downs during its infancy. In this issue, we will slowly shift the focus from former editors to a group whose great contributions are equally indispensable – writers and critics.

 

曹誠淵Willy Tsao; 攝Photo: WORLDWIDE DANCER PROJECT

 

一份刊物是否成功,除了定位清楚,設計及編排有序,亦絕對取決於其內容是否豐富精彩,作者是否言之有物,這樣才能吸引讀者持續取閱。正如前文中,創刊總編輯曹誠淵(Willy)提到,最初創辦《舞蹈手札》的時候,資源相當有限,實在難以邀請到具份量的評論家直接供稿,因此早期的編輯們,往往都要親自出手撰寫文章。另一方面,他們也會嘗試透過自己的人脈,誠邀業界內的好友們執起筆杆,為《舞蹈手札》供稿。希望鼓勵他們利用自身的專業知識及獨特眼光,去與讀者們分享一些舞蹈資訊,又或者談談近日之觀演經驗。

 

To measure the success of a publication, apart from its editorial positioning, design and layout, the critical elements that keep readers coming back are the abundance of content and if writers actually have something to say. As in the previous article, the founding editor-in-chief Willy Tsao said that resources were so tight when he started dance journal/hk that he could not invite contributions from renown critics. Editors at the time had to write articles themselves. At the same time, they also tried to make use of their network and invite their friends in the industry to write for dance journal/hk. They were encouraged to share dance-related information or reviews of dances, out of their professional knowledge and unique perspective.

 

 

Susan Street with Tom Brown與白朗唐的合照;照片由受訪者提供 Photo provided by Susan Street

 

另一位創刊功臣白朗唐(Tom)就指出,《舞》的主要內容除了演出評論以外,專題文章亦佔一重要位置。他記得Willy就曾撰寫過好幾篇深度文章,包括一篇分析香港舞蹈特色,以及另一篇談及現代舞價值的文章。Tom自言即使不能憶起前者的全文內容,都不會忘記文章中提到香港舞蹈作品中的輕盈(lightness)特質,也因而啟發他為《舞蹈手 

札》寫了上下兩篇題為《笑中之言⋯》的深度文章,談論香港傑出編舞家作品中的「輕」;而後者的主題到了今天仍然值得深思,所以他對這兩篇文章特別有印象。

 

 

Another originator of the journal, Tom Brown said that performance reviews aside, feature articles were also a key pillar of dance journal/hk at the time. He recalled a few in-depth multi-part features by Tsao, including one analyzing the characteristics of Hong Kong dance, and another one looking at the value of contemporary dance. Brown said he’d forgotten the full content of the former article, but he could not forget Tsao’s identification of “lightness” as one of the characteristics of Hong Kong dance. It prompted Brown to write his own in-depth two-part article in the journal entitled “Things Said in Jest” on lightness in the works of leading Hong Kong choreographers. For Tsao’s latter article, Brown still thinks it’s worth contemplating. These two articles left a great impression on him.

 

而時任香港演藝學院舞蹈學院院長的Susan Street(Susan),也在Tom接手總編輯一職後,獲邀寫了三篇有關芭蕾舞的英文篇章。Susan憶述當時Tom希望《舞》的內容能夠盡量涵蓋不同舞種,所以希望Susan可以寫一些有關芭蕾的文章,故她就以自己的藝術碩士論文內容出發,分三篇文章,深入淺出地說明有關古典芭蕾的歷史發展與特色,並探討與叩問芭蕾舞的本質。


Susan Street, the then Dean of Dance of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA), was invited to write three pieces in English about ballet when Brown was the editor-in-chief. Street said at the time, Brown strove to cover different dance genres in dance journal/hk, so he asked her to contribute articles about ballet. Based on her dissertation in her Master’s degree, she illustrated the history, features of classical ballet, and dug deep into its nature in her three-part series.

2000年,創刊人曹誠淵和編務助理及排版的黃翠玲獲頒香港舞蹈年獎,頒獎嘉賓為費明儀(中)。Founder of dance journal/hk Willy Tsao and Scarlet Wong, who was responsible in design and layout, receiving Hong Kong Dance Awards in 2000 from Barbara Fei (Center) for their efforts.

 

2000年,在學時A-Hock (Center)(左)與同學Scarlet Yu代表香港演藝學院舞蹈學院在「香港舞蹈年獎」上領獎。In 2000, Ah-Hock and his colleague Scarlet Yu represented the School of Dance, HKAPA to receive Hong Kong Dance Award.

 

至於當年在演藝學院舞蹈學院讀書,來自馬來西亞的郭亞福(A-Hock),本來並沒有想過要去撰寫舞蹈評論文字,但一天,負責協助編輯及排版的黃翠玲(Scarlet)在上課時特地前來問他,指他的功課寫得不錯,會否試試替《舞》寫寫舞評,他才糊裡糊塗的去嘗試。最後他以筆名Ock,為首兩年的《舞》共寫了六篇英文舞評。他笑言當時純粹是因為Scarlet以免費門票及稿費作餌,他才盡量在忙碌的學習中抽空撰文。

 

 

For the Malaysian Aaron Khek Ah Hock, who was studying at HKAPA, he had never thought about being a dance critic, until one day, the then-editorial assistant Scarlet Wong, who was also responsible for design and layout of the journal, came to him before class. She told him his homework was well-written and asked if he wanted to write dance critiques for dance journal/hk. That was when he made his first attempt. With the pen name “Ock”, he wrote six dance critiques in English for dance journal/hk in its first two years. He joked that he squeezed time from his hectic student life to write just in exchange for the free tickets and compensation Wong promised.

 

由於那時候他只是個藉藉無名的舞蹈學生,所以剛開始時也戰戰競競,怕寫得不好,又怕得失前輩。不過Tom就給予他信心,叫他放膽去提出自己的看法,除了髒話外,甚麼也可以寫出來。回看當年的文章,A-Hock 認為他是根據自己的經驗去描述表演,而非去評論表演。他認為當年在學院內的舞蹈分析學習,幫助他了解如何把舞蹈動作轉化成文字;同時他亦指出,舞蹈語言(lingo of dance)實在有很多層次,要去真正了解一支舞作,必須要認識編舞、了解舞者、甚至要親身參與設計會議,而難以單單從演出的成果去作評價。

 

An ordinary dance student at the time, Khek was in fear of writing badly or offending the experienced. Brown encouraged him to voice his views freely and, with the exception of using foul language, the sky was the limit in his writing. Looking back, Khek said he described the performances from his experience, instead of giving a dance critique.  He pointed out that learning to analyze dance in school helped him turn dance movements into words. He also said that, in order to truly know the layers of lingo of dance, he needed to get to know the choreographers, dancers, as well as engage in the design meetings, instead of basing the critique solely on the final performance.

 

 

至於在九十年代至千禧前後,活躍於香港劇場,現居上海的鄭志銳(Afa),當年也有一些文章出現在《舞》,部分是從《信報》轉載,也有一些是直接邀約的。他回想那段時間,香港有一大班像他這樣涉足多個媒介,但非科班出身的表演藝術家,經常會參與跨界的討論及創作,而且報紙雜誌上的空間也比較大,版面及專欄都十分多元,不同背景的作者都會寫不同範疇的文章,例如小說家、電影導演等都會在自己的專欄上發表演後評。

 

 

Active in the Hong Kong theater scene during the 1990s and 2000s, Afa Chiang currently resides in Shanghai. His articles also appeared in dance journal/hk, among which some were shared from Hong Kong Economic Journal and some were direct contributions. He recalled that at the time, there were many performing artists without formal arts education involved in cross-media discussion and creation. The scale of newspapers and magazines was relatively larger, with more diversified pages and columns. Writers with different backgrounds contributed articles for different aspects – novelists and movie directors critiqued performances in their columns.

 

 

而他在撰寫舞蹈文章時,就往往會以一個朋友、又或者一個編舞家的角度去分析作品。Afa認為他自己編舞及參與劇場台前幕後的經驗,能夠在論述作品時帶來更多的可能,而不會像大部分專業的評論人般,多從觀眾的角度去評論作品。可惜後來Afa工作越發忙碌,無暇多寫,加上紙媒的文化版面亦日漸縮小,演後評論百花齊放的日子也難複見。

 

When he drafted his dance articles, he usually analyzed the performance as a friend or a choreographer. Instead of writing from the audience’s point of view, Chiang believed that his experience in choreography and theater work was able to bring more possibilities to the critiques. Yet, Chiang was lost in the hustle and bustle of life and could not squeeze time to write later. Along with the downfall of scale of printed cultural editorial platforms, the era of flourishing performance critiques is over.

劉建華Jasper Lau; 攝Photo: William Chan

 

當然,除了直接邀約作者供稿,《舞》一直亦歡迎讀者投稿,二十年來也吸引到一些熱衷觀舞與寫作的年青朋友投稿參與。當中為《舞》貢獻 時期最長的,劉建華(Jasper)是其中一位,他在2002至2007年間,都有持續為《舞蹈手札》供稿,可說是持續最久的熱心作者之一。

 

 

Other than inviting writers’ pieces, dance journal/hk has always encouraged readers to contribute. Over its 20 year history, young writers with a passion in dance also submitted many articles. Among the most loyal contributors, Jasper Lau contributed to dance journal/hk from 2002 to 2007, and was deemed one of the keenest writers.

 

Jasper回憶與舞蹈結緣是在中學時期,機緣巧合下欣賞到城市當代舞蹈團到校演出由黎海寧編舞的《女體之感動》(1988)選段,之後到劇場裡看了曹誠淵所編的《地獄變》(1989),驚覺舞台藝術也可以反映社會政治,從而對當代舞產生興趣。不過他的評論寫作,就要到大學時期才展開。Jasper記得他的第一篇評論,其實是在他在中文大學藝術系四年級時,修讀一個劇場表演課時的一份功課,一篇討論「進念.二十面體」演出的文章。然而,真正影響Jasper展開舞蹈評論寫作的,其實是他在新亞書院的師兄楊春江(Daniel)。

 

Lau recalled that by chance, his life tingled with dance during his high school years, when he saw the selected scenes of Some Expressions of the Female Body (1988), choreographed by Helen Lai. After that, he attended Willy Tsao's Hell Screen (1989) and realized that stage performances could reflect on politics. That sparked his interest in contemporary dance. He only started writing critiques during the fourth year of his fine arts bachelor degree at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. In a theater performance course, he wrote his first critique about a performance by Zuni Icosahedron as a homework. The real influence, however, was in his senior fellow at the New Asia College, Daniel Yeung.

曹誠淵作品《地獄變》Willy Tsao’s Hell Screen (1989); 圖片由CCDC提供 Photo provided by CCDC

黎海寧作品《女體之感動》Helen Lai’s Some Expressions of the Female Body (1988);
圖片由CCDC提供 Photo provided by CCDC

 

大學時期Daniel還未開始投入舞蹈創作,但就已經拉著Jasper一同到過藝術中心去報讀由林奕華主講有關歐洲當代表演的講座系列,令其時已經對本地舞蹈演出感到厭倦的Jasper,重新燃起對當代藝術的興趣。其後Daniel開始投身舞蹈圈,Jasper也有持續關注,即使他自覺不懂評舞,但也認為可以用過去在視藝範疇學習的身體理論,去談Daniel當時剛回流香港創作的首個長篇舞作《靈靈性性 ─ 天體樂園》(1999),從而正式進入了舞蹈評論的世界。

 

During university years, before embarking on choreography, Yeung loved dragging Lau along to join the series of workshops hosted by Edward Lam at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. It reignited Lau’s passion in contemporary dance after he got bored with local dance performances. Yeung later started his dance career and Lau kept paying attention. Although he did not think he knew how to critique dance, he reckoned that he could talk about Dance Exhibitionist - A Paradise for Natural Body (1999), Yeung’s first long dance work after coming back, with the body theories he learnt in visual arts lectures.

 

 

而Jasper第一篇投稿往《舞》的文章,就是首刊在第4-3期的〈戰亂震央的化毒劑 -以色列巴舒化舞蹈團的《十級地震》與《勒赫林病毒》〉。他坦言那個演出最初吸引他的並非舞蹈,他純粹是衝著《勒》是根據彼得.漢(Peter Handke)的劇場文本《冒犯觀衆》(Offending the Audience)而去看,加上曾在李立亨所寫的《我的看舞隨身書》中讀過有關以色列舞蹈的介紹篇章,故此特別好奇。看畢演出後,他就嘗試綜合自己的一些觀察與想法,寫了文章投到《舞》,並順利獲得刊登。

 

The first article Lau submitted to dance journal/hk was a review of Isreali Batsheva Dance Company’s Deca Dance and Naharin’s Virus. He admitted that what attracted him initially was not dance. Rather, he was just curious about Handke’s Offending the Audience that was adapted in Naharin’s Virus. After a few chapters in Li Li-heng’s book about Israeli dance, and after the performance, he pulled his observations and views together, and sent his article to dance journal/hk, which published his piece.

 

先後投了三、四篇文章後,當時的編輯施德安(Cecil)就問Jasper可否在每一期也固定提供一篇文章,去盡量談及所有在香港的舞蹈演出。因為Cecil希望能夠找一位作者,盡量紀錄大大小小的演出,好讓不同製作也有一定程度的紀錄,結果就造就了Jasper的「舞蹈日記」專欄。他每月都會盡量欣賞不同類型的舞蹈演出,而在每期的文章中也會作綜合點評,後來更曾嘗試以中英對照的方式撰寫,持續了一年多。縱使他到了今天仍然覺得自己並非一個好的舞評人,自己也放棄了舞蹈寫作多年,但無可否認,那些年的文章,在紀錄本港的舞蹈發展歷史上,的確有其重要性。

 

After three to four contributions, then-editor-in-chief Cecil Sze asked Lau if he could contribute a piece for each issue covering all dance performances in Hong Kong. Sze wanted a writer to record all performances, big and small, so that different productions had, to a certain extent, a written record. That gave birth to Lau’s column Dance Diary. Each month, he watched as many types of dance performances as possible and gave a general critique in his article in every issue. He later wrote in Chinese and English for over a year. Although he still doesn’t think he counts as a good critic today and has given up on critiquing dance for years, his articles in those years undoubtedly played a significant role in recording the city’s dance development.

 

 

延伸閱讀 Further Reading
 

曹誠淵Willy Tsao (2000)《現代舞價值》(一、二)“The Value of Modern Dance” (Part I, II), 舞蹈手札dance journal/hk Vol 2-1, 2-2.

 

曹誠淵 (1999)《香港舞蹈有何特色》,舞蹈手札 Vol 1-2.

Willy Tsao (2000). "What are the Characteristics of Hong Kong Dance?", dance journal/hk Vol 2-4.
 

Susan Street (2000) “What is Classical about Classical Ballet?” (Part I to III), dance journal/hk 2-6, 2-7, 2-8.

 

白朗唐Tom Brown (2000)《笑中之言⋯》(一、二) “Things Said in Jest…” (Part I, II) 2000, 舞蹈手札dance journal/hk Vol. 2-8, 2-9.

 

劉建華 (2002)〈戰亂震央的化毒劑 -以色列巴舒化舞蹈團的《十級地震》與《勒赫林病毒》〉, 舞蹈手札Vol 4-3.

 

以上文章可於此連結閱讀 To access the above articles, please visit - 
www.dancejournalhk.com/past-issues 

 

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特別鳴謝以下贊助人支持《舞蹈手札》二十週年紀念專題

Special thanks to the following donors in supporting 20th Anniversary Feature for dance journal/hk
陳寶珠 Pearl Chan
劉燕玲 Stella Lau
龍世儀 Shirley Loong

羅佳娜 Natasha Rogai
施德安 Cecil Sze
譚兆民 Paul Tam
衛承天 Septime Webre
黃建宏 Kevin Wong
吳報釧 Sylvia Wu

 

 

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