[中][ENG]溫柔的城市文化小革命——身體遊樂場的隨想 A Gentle Revolution In Urban Culture — On Moving Playground
In Search of a Dance Story
攝Photo: Ronnie Lam
Founded in 2017, Moving Playground organizes regular activities with Creative Movement as the backbone, which include games to develop body awareness. Apart from workshops designed for kindergarten to primary school children, it also holds physical workshops for couples, parents and children, and even for three generations to participate together. On the weekend after the super typhoon Mangkhut, I attended one of Moving Playground’s concept-sharing sessions and a pre-Mid-Autumn parent-child workshop.
On September 22, Moving Playground founder Miss Siu Yuet (meaning “the little moon in the sky” in Cantonese) held a sharing session in HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, talking about her experience in the past year and a half, and her philosophy in Creative Movement and children’s physical education. She started the session by comparing the body to a playground — a playground makes us happy, but each person has his own preference on how to play each game; it can be an arena for social get-together, and it may wear you out but not enough to make you leave. Later on, she explained and played videos of exercises they had done in a few of their classes. In one of the exercises, three “leaders” were chosen from a group of primary school children, and the rest of the group were “followers”. “Leaders” could decide what movements to do and “followers” could choose to follow either leader. In the video recording, the leaders made different choices facing the same situation. One of the leaders gave up on his own movement and instead followed the other leader when none of the followers imitated him. A while later, the other leader encountered the same situation but insisted on his own moves until there were followers deciding to follow him. Haven’t we, as adults, all come across similar occasions where we struggled between compromising and persisting on choices nobody approved of? This simple exercise, through physical experience, allowed children to learn to listen to their hearts and to make decisions accordingly.
攝Photo: Ronnie Lam
（左起）雨晴老師、創辦人小月老師、一一老師; (left to right) Tutor Miss Yu Ching, Founder and Tutor Miss Siu Yuet, Tutor Miss Yat Yat) 攝Photo: Ronnie Lam
After Miss Siu Yuet’s sharing, one of the parents shared that she noticed her son communicates better using the body than through speech, hence she is willing to let her son continue in Moving Playground’s activities, and that the parent-child workshops enhanced their relationship. As I sat in the audience, I was surprised and touched by how much this parent understood his child. In school and at work, one’s verbal communication skills are regarded as the crucial ability and an important metric in interviews, exams, and whether or not one will get promoted. The majority of Hong Kong parents have high expectations on their children’s verbal communication skills, but in such a culture, we overlook how the body can also be used to communicate. Not only did this parent not force her son to catch up on his speech; rather, she saw the benefits of her child being good at communicating using his body. Perhaps this open-mindedness toward children and communication methods is the change that Moving Playground silently plants into parents’ hearts.
“I really want to build this culture.” On the day after the sharing, Miss Siu Yuet and I sat on the grass in Nam Cheong Park and talked about her vision of Moving Playground. “Between people, between parents and children, hugging and kissing each other, loving and having compassion. Wouldn’t it be great if we can change the indifference in Hong Kong?” Meanwhile, two other tutors of Moving Playground, Miss Yu Ching (“rain and sun” in Cantonese) and Miss Yat Yat (simply the number “1” in Cantonese) were leading a workshop under the scorching sun, and ten or more parents were holding their kids high to pick fruits from imaginary trees. These tutors experimented with atypical educational methods, putting great consideration in even the choice of the workshop venue. Most Moving Playground activities are held outdoors and in nature, aiming to pull children away from the classroom environment.
攝Photo: Ronnie Lam