The 45th Dance Season Opening Performance Ode to Joy Evolving— Pursues Happiness in a Programmed Realm. Exquisite Dancing Bodies Meeting Fervent Classic Tunes in a Tug-of-War Between Autonomy and Manipulation

(Hong Kong, 6th May 2024) Last month, City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) unveiled the theme of the latest dance season ‘An Ardent °Fall’, along with an array of season-exclusive and anniversary productions. As the prelude to the dance season, Ode to Joy Evolving will guide the audience through the distinctive contemporary dance vocabulary of intermediate generation choreographer Justyne Li to enter a programmed realm in pursuit of happiness. The production will be performed at the Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre from 10 to 12 May 2024. Tickets are now available at URBTIX, CCDC website and art-mate; advance booking of CCDC Dance Season 2024/25 is also available on CCDC website and art-mate until 9 May 2024 with discounts of up to 25%.


Classical Music ‘Ode to Joy’ Weaving an Impassioned Dance Space to Echo Our City Today

After the debut of the short work Ode to Joy in 2021, Director and Choreographer Justyne Li has refined the work to express completely different meanings on stage. Li explains, ‘This performance is about transformation. The past few years brought significant changes to the world, which has changed people. I then expanded on these imaginations.’

Interlacing the dance work is the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, ‘Ode to Joy’. The score begins with a soft, tranquil piece of music, before gradually ascending to the majestic chorus at the end. The lyrics were taken from a poem about happiness and fraternity, written by German poet Schiller in 1785. Despite Beethoven’s harsh living conditions, ranging from deafness to financial difficulties, he managed to compose this inspiring piece of music, firmly conveying his pursuits for peace, freedom, and happiness.

Aspects of classical times cast light on those of the contemporary era: the annual happiness rankings published around the world differ and fluctuate from time to time. The various emotions among the members in a society may also affect one another. Amid expeditious advances in science and technology, the transmission of all kinds of information and emotions has become faster and more direct. Is this bringing a good or bad impact on people’s pursuit for happiness?


The Invisible Struggle Between Technological Development and Human Autonomy Manifested Through Dance

Since the beginning of the 21st century, artificial intelligence (AI) technology has progressed at an unprecedented pace, and may even be on the verge of developing self-awareness. The divide between human and machine consciousness has begun to blur. Technology is even capable of taking the place of humans in thinking and decision-making. Li reflects on how the body utilises and contends technology, ‘Living in an era of technological explosion, everything moves too fast. With a mobile phone in hand, our brains can process information while our feet are still walking. Such disarray is a common phenomenon today, leaving the internal and external states in chaos.’

On stage, a dozen of dancers – CCDC dance artists and guest dancer Tanki Wong – will discover the potential of every part and joint of the body with exquisite movements. Under the interference of ‘external commands’, dance and consciousness gradually evolve into two extreme conditions, leading the audience into a futuristic imaginary world with a dance language beyond imagination.

When the flesh meets invisible mysterious scientific force, a battle for sovereignty is about to break out. To reveal the inextricable connection between human autonomy and the ever-evolving technology, choreographer and director Justyne Li will open the ‘Pandora’s Box’ of artificial intelligence for the audience, inviting them to enter the stage and search for the joy and fervency that marks the year 2024.


Performance Details

Date & Times 10-11.5.2024(Fri – Sat)8pm


Venue Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre
Ticketing $320, $240, $180
Book Now Advance Booking: ; URBTIX:
Media Resources


Creative and Performance Team

Choreography and Direction: Justyne LI

Dramaturgy: Melissa LEUNG

Set and Lighting Design: Lawmanray

Costume Design: Cindy HO

Sound Design: WAN San Hong

Performance: AN Tzu-huan, Felix CHUN*, Suyi HON, Felix KE, Eric KWONG, Genie LOK*, SHUM Pui-yung, Nini WANG, Tanki WONG, Skye YAO, Simpson YAU, Tally ZHUANG


* The ‘Dance Artistic Internship Scheme’ is supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council


Creative Team

Justyne Li (Choreography and Direction)

A Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts School of Dance graduate, Justyne Li is an independent dancer and choreographer. She previously danced with the Hong Kong Ballet and Tanz Graz (Austria) and was a soloist with Ballett Bremerhaven (Germany) before establishing Neo Dance HK with Wong Tan Ki in 2010.

Her choreographies/projects include Solo Together (Neo Dance HK); Ode to Joy (City Contemporary Dance Company); Galatea & Pygmalion (restaging for the West Australian Ballet & the Hong Kong Ballet respectively); Division (CDE Springboard 2017, Yokohama Dance Collection 2019, M1 Contact Festival 2019, the 7th Jerusalem International Choreography Competition, the 34th International Choreographic Competition Hannover); Come Rain or Shine (Jumping Frames International Dance Video Festival 2019 & numerous international dance film festivals); Transfigured Night (Hong Kong Sinfonietta); Bleed-through (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Hong Kong Soul); The 3.5th Dimension (City Contemporary Dance Company); Human Internship (Hong Kong Dance Alliance) The Shift (Hong Kong Choreography Festival, Hong Kong Dance Exchange, CDE Springboard, Odoro Akita); Soul Casting & Galatea X (Neo Dance HK).

Her choreographic work Division received first prize at the 7th Jerusalem International Choreography Competition, and her dance film Come Rain or Shine received several awards at the InShadow Festival(Portugal), Light Move Festival(Ireland), and Manifest Dance Film Festival. Other accolades include numerous Hong Kong Dance Awards, like Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer for Galatea X and Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for Galatea & Pygmalion.

About City Contemporary Dance Company

Founded in 1979, City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) is the flagship of contemporary dance in Hong Kong. Ever since, CCDC has presented more than 200 highly-acclaimed original works, bringing professional dance productions to the city. The Company undertakes to blaze the path of contemporary dance scene with extraordinary performances representing contemporary Hong Kong culture.

Since 2021, Yuri Ng has taken up the role as CCDC’s Artistic Director, committed to fostering the development of local contemporary dance with his substantial experience with the Company. Actively engaged in global cultural exchange, CCDC has appeared in extensive global touring and hosted local international dance festivals and movement-image festival. The Company aspires to share the transformative power of dance on a global stage, enriching Hong Kong with multi-faceted dance experiences.

Concurrently, CCDC is dedicated to both cultivating talents and making dance more accessible. For the past three decades, CCDC Dance Centre has unceasingly conducted dance courses and pre-professional training, while organising outreach programmes to promote dance to different organisations and the general public.

City Contemporary Dance Company is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


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