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[ENG] ATLAS - create your dance trails 2018

Note: Supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Sudhee Liao participated in ATLAS - create your dance trails 2018 Training Programme, a project under ImPulsTanz in Vienna, during 13 July to 13 August 2018.

(前排左一)廖月敏、(前排左二)藍嘉穎、(後排左二) 創作指導 Philippe Riéra及一眾ATLAS成員。

(first from left on front row) Sudhee Liao, (second from left on front row) Blue Ka-wing, (second from left on back row) the coach Philippe Riéra and other ATLAS participants.

ImPulsTanz, one of the world’s largest contemporary dance festival, took place over this summer and I was honoured to be part of it. The five weeks of intensive dance-focused activities have been very rewarding for me as a dance artist. It was exhilarating to immerse myself in such an environment. I felt like a sponge, going everywhere with an open mind and heart.

The schedule was hectic: as part of the festival’s ATLAS training programme, we had 10 credits for workshops and 20 performances to watch. We also had our own workshops, performances and research project to do. Our coach, Philippe Riéra, was one of the founders of the Austrian-French collective, Superamas. He would come to our weekly rehearsals to watch and give constructive feedback, discussing new possibilities. He was very helpful and it was fortunate to have him as an outside eye to the piece.

We worked separately throughout the week, and come back together every Sunday to share with one another our progress and thoughts. I also enjoyed these Sundays because we hardly saw each other in the week. With such a small group (we had seven this year), I truly appreciated the honesty and intimacy of the feedback and conversations we had with one another.

For workshops, I took a research project by Philipp Gehmacher; partnering workshops by German Jauregui; movement research and improvisation by Damien Jalet, Laura Aris and Peter Jasko; political witchcraft by Keith Hennessy; Afro-fusion by Kristina Alleyne and Sadé Alleyne; and ended with a dramaturgy workshop by Guy Cools. I chose these based on what I needed and how they might affect or influence my body or thoughts. I had an amazing time at the workshops and also getting to know the artists in person through workshops, performances and at parties.

As for the performances, the programme lined up was not the most exciting but they had an extensive range of styles from avant-garde to experimental to hip hop performances, and from young choreographers to established ones. It was nice to see what kind of work is presented on this platform. It was definitely an eye opener.

We also had to work on a piece during our time there, leading up to an informal showing. The showing was a small and intimate affair for invited guests we thought were important and interested in our works. Most of us showed a short piece and I presented my 20-minute, untitled work in progress. It was heartwarming to receive constructive feedback from people that came to watch, it was definitely valuable and insightful.

The title of my piece is now called Going live, dancing with the enigmatic perception, with the Instagram name @dancingwithenigmaticperception. The piece is about how social media, mainly Instagram, relates to our society now that so much is based on social connection and relationships, and the idea of being available and unavailable; also the idea that people are made into content, and we are under “surveillance”, with recent statistics suggesting an estimated 80 million images uploaded per day. Taking into consideration social media is now a primary contributor to media consumption, there are potential ramifications of this social problem for current and future generations. The piece involves going “live” on social media and connecting with live and online audiences, and will be showing at Shanghai Power Station of Art till 24 Feb 2019.

It had been an intensive time at ImPulsTanz, finding time for the ATLAS programme’s workshops and performances, and time outside to work on our own research project. At the end of each day I was exhausted, and it was really important to prioritise what I wanted and needed as an artist.

Looking back at the interview which began my journey to ImPulzTanz, I asked myself why I wanted to go and how it would help my career. I feel that as an emerging young artist, the experience has widened my perspective immeasurably. I met dancers, choreographers, musicians and programme directors at the festival who are relevant connections because they care about their craft. I am happy to cross paths with these people and I feel it is just a beginning of something new.

Last but not least, I am grateful to HKADC and the team for this valuable opportunity.

=== With the support of Hong Kong Arts Development Council, another dance artist, Blue Ka-wing also participated in ATLAS - create your dance trails 2018 Training Programme. Please see the following link for Blue Ka-wing's sharing article: 自我介紹的藝術

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