CCDC is committed to promoting the development of contemporary dance and supporting artists with potentials and uniqueness to focus on their dance research and creative projects. We cultivate a dynamic and open platform for contemporary dance by connecting the young forces among Hong Kong, mainland China and East Asia regions.
In order to encourage artists to deepen their study and practice on dance, CCDC set up the first ‘Fellowships for Contemporary Dance Creation and Research’ to support promising artists to develop their research projects. The Fellowship offers a platform for selected artists to exchange ideas through exchange sessions, workshops, performances and other presentation formats.
The fellows were selected by a group of panelists. Each project receives HK$100,000 to support its research process and presentation. The Fellowship started in July 2021, and the research or presentation will be held in November 2023.
Panel (Arranged by surname)
Cathy LAU (Executive Director, CCDC)
Yuri NG (Artistic Director, CCDC)
Kevin WONG (CCDC Dance Centre Director)
Dominic WONG (Associate Artistic Director, CCDC)
‘Expressive Sight’ – The Sights of Femininity
‘Expressive Sight’ is a series of artistic experiments developed by dance artist Wu Hui, which is also a long-term research project. Her interest for this research stems from the project Cracks – One place times Four artists（《裂隙，何東圖書館之遊園》）in Macau Fringe Festival in 2018. In this project, the artist created ecological relationships between humans and the environment by morphing individuals, beings, non-humans to different spatial frames.
Sight is an important concept in this research project. What is Sight? Is it a scenery, a scene, a view, a landscape, or a spectacle? How to create a Sight? How to enrich expressions through Sight? Those are the questions addressed in this project.
Ecology is another key word in the research. Through the study of plants, the artist thinks beyond anthropocentric mindsets to establish ecological and symbiotic relationships of mutual dependence and influence. In these relationships, ecological embodiments are both independent and interconnected, and grow organically into embodied ecologies as a Sight.
The Sights of Femininity is a project under the research theme ‘Expressive Sight’. It reflects Sight from the perspective of women. The image of women in this work is inspired by the survival strategies of plants – that is the knowledge obtained through evolution over time to adapt to the environment, survive and reproduce. The Sight is also constructed by traditions and norms. The body responds and challenges the stereotypical ideas about gender and femininity in social life.
The Sights of Femininity uses oriental aesthetics and speculative choreographic ecologies to rethink and re-imagine femininity through unexpected and expressive Sights.
Wu Hui is an independent dancer and choreographer based in Guangzhou. Wu Hui’s works carry a unique female perspective, using different methods to evoke imagination and emotion. She has recently been interested in ecological bodies. As a kind of knowledge acquired from evolution, the plant’s body is both an expression of the environment and a display of its survival strategies. The embodiment of ecology reveals another way of perceiving, imitating and responding to the world.
Wu Hui’s featured works including Self-Portrait, The Moving Canton Tower, Me Here, Cracks and The Great Wave. Wu has performed in Guangdong Modern Dance Festival, Beijing Dance Festival, China Dance Forward (Hong Kong), Documentaries of Chinese Performance Art (Macau), Shenzhen Fringe Festival, Macau Fringe Festival and Fabbrica Europa in Italy. In February 2018, she formed a duo artist group Guo Guo and Hui Hui with Guo Rui.
Wu Hui is currently working on her long-term research project ‘Expressive Sight’.
Constructing Identity (Working title)
— A Contemporary Dance Research on Chinese Folk Dance
Solo Exhibition | Photo by: Centre Intermondes, La Rochelle, France
In the society I live in, identities are told. Studying Chinese folk dance made me realised the possibility of embodying multiple identities in one body.
In folk dance, identity is to be understood as characteristics of a certain ethnic group. It is expressed through a dancing body, and the dances were extracted, characterised, and transmitted by authoritative dance institutions. Identities are constructed through dance. Individuals in Chinese folk dance are always passive in the construction of these identities, meaning that “I” cannot choose the identity of “I”. The majority of Chinese society accepts and recognises these constructed identities as their own, as authentic; which tightly bounds together the constructed to the common. This way of constructing identity has a strong stylised character, which defines and dictates the identity of an individual that belongs to a certain ethnic group.
Is it possible to actively intervene in the (re/de)construction of identities through choreography by re-visiting the process of how identities were built in folk dance?
Through this research, I am going to experiment folk dance as a way to emancipate from pre-determined hegemonic constructs of identities in Chinese society.
Constructing Identity is sponsored by Fellowships for Contemporary Dance Creation and Research by City Contemporary Dance Company in Hong Kong.
Guo Rui is a freelance artist living in Guangzhou, China. He studied dance in Beijing Dance Academy, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Brussels (PARTS, Performing Arts Research and Training Studios).
Through the comprehensive knowledge of Chinese Folk Dance, Modern Dance and Contemporary Dance, Guo Rui has a complex and trans-cultural understanding of the body, movement and dance, as both cultural and sociopolitical expressions. These are topics that he continuously and rigorously researches in the specific contexts of China and Europe, using dance in different formats as an attempt to establish a connection between dance and anything else.
In 2018, Guo had started to work with Wu Hui as a dual artist group entitled Guo Guo and Hui Hui.
This is a Process
‘Pǔ luó saì sī’ is a destination? A person? An archive of a moving body? An avatar of a place? This process is like a serial drama about moving and experimenting. It is an echo, a march, where the body travels across different cultures and when different cultures flow through.
Starting from the experiences of an individual, this project explores how personal experiences are transformed to be creative materials. A new space is constructed collectively by combining continuous two-dimensional images and the present body movement – when it is immersed in the present moment, it comprises new imagination as well.
Liu Qingyu is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and the Resident Choreographer of Ergao Production Group. She was born in Chongqing and currently based in Guangzhou.
Liu was as a full-time dancer at Guangdong Modern Dance Company from 2009 to 2017. Liu studied in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts from 2018 to 2020 for a Master of Fine Arts in Dance Choreography. In 2021, she joined Ergao Dance Group as Resident Choreographer.
In recent years, Liu has shifted the focus to choreography study and reflects on her growth process. In her creations, Liu pursues using body to respond individual thinking about “The self”. To her, creating is a process full of imagination and original force of motion. As a creator, she believes that reminding herself to think independently and staying rational with the reflection on humans are important nowadays.
In 2021, Liu participated in the Art in Residence and Cultural Exchange Project co-presented by CCDC and Macao Cultural Centre as a guest dancer. Liu’s creations: This Is a Swimming Pool (2014), Dance Karaoke (2016), One Person’s Karaoke (2017), This is a Process (2021-2023).
20QQ – ‘Technology x Corporeality’ Experiment
The creative experiment featured technology and corporeality. To connect the body transformation or shifting between virtual reality and real space, the project further explores the relationships among human body, technology and corporeality.
20QQ is part of an ongoing creative series. It began with Phase 1 ‘Sympathetic Vibration Online Lab’ from February to August 2020 and Phase 2 ‘Future Social Bodies’ from October and November 2020. Phase 3 focused on cross-disciplinary practice, consisting of artists and scholars from different backgrounds in related fields and subjects to join this residency from May to November 2022.
Chinese born Yu Yanan is an independent dancer, choreographer and dance educator, currently based in Guangzhou Wuhan. She had worked in Guangdong Modern Dance Company. She received her MFA (Teaching Fellow) at Bennington College in the U.S. in 2018 with scholarship. She focuses on choreography and teaching through an interdisciplinary approach.
Yu’s works explore bodily knowledge conditioning and corporeal history which she is aware of through her studies of the somatic practices prevalent in post-modern dance concepts. By mixing her dance background with visual art, Yu constantly explores the function of the body in relation to performing arts and expands the possible ways of experiencing body with contemporary art. Her recent work 20QQ was selected as one of the recipients of the Young Artist Platform for Dance programme, supported by Chinese Dancers Association.
‘Boiling Bo’ Series – Mom
Through the exploration of the irreplaceable relationship with her mother, will Bobo discover new perceptions of the form and existence of dance? Will it be more compatible or contradictory?
Bobo Lai graduated in Contemporary Dance from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 2009, she joined Guangdong Modern Dance Company, where she stayed until 2014. She joined CCDC in 2015, becoming Senior Dance Artist in 2022.
Lai has performed in a number of works by renowned choreographers, such as Liu Qi, Sang Jijia, Xing Liang, Pun Siu-fai, Helen Lai, Willy Tsao, Zhang Xiao-xiong, Anh Ngoc Nguyen, Yu Cheng-chieh and Sophie Chiropractic. She has performed around the world, including Belgium, Canada, Israel, Australia, Germany, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Guangzhou and Beijing. Her recent choreographic works include One Plus One Ant; X -85213 and Boiling Bo.
Reconstructing Memories of My First Solo – In Search of the Lost Spirituality and Physicality
Could we recover the somatic memories from our frozen body? Does a solo dance exist without digital recording and archival text?
Through the search of collective and personal archives, retired dancer Elysa Wendi attempts to reconnect her destructed body with the memories of her first solo dance. She invited dance artist Gigi Yang for this collaborative journey, embarking on the quest of body consciousness in this on-going movement of deteriorating body and the identity or gender sensibility in our “danced” body. The duo hope to excavate the elements and substances of the solo dance for further reconstruction. These recollected fragments includes the ritualistic spirit of the dance related to Kagura in Japan, the forest and the calamity of climate disaster, and the struggle of a woman in between love, family and her artistic endeavours. The rehearsals and creation will mainly take place in the forest and natural sites, while the two will travel to Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan for further research of Kagura dance and ritual through residency practice.
In plight of the escalating virtual and technological advancement of 21st century when “art tech” creation and digital world is taking over our life inevitably, the author hopes to re-connect the body and dance in its purest way. Through the reconstruction of her first solo, she hopes to reclaim the long-lost dance, spiritually and physically.
Preoccupied with the abstraction of memory from place, time and biographical traces, Elysa Wendi explores these themes in her live and filmic works. After dancing professionally for a decade from 1998 – 2008, she began experimenting on the notion of choreography through film, performances and curatorial projects. In 2015, Elysa co- founded Cinemovement, a platform to host interdisciplinary film creations and laboratories together with International film producer Jeremy Chua. She was the guest curator for Jumping Frames from 2018, before being appointed as Festival Director in 2022.
Wardrobe: A Critical Approach to Dance Studies in Hong Kong
Whichever aesthetic of performance or research in academia, they underestimate the significance of the wardrobe department in Hong Kong’s performing arts scene. The City Contemporary Dance Company transferred, donated, and recycled its inventory of stage costumes due to the spatial restrictions on storage from 2018 to 2020. While I witnessed the distribution of costumes and participated in re-inventing the costumes in a new stage performance, I have been thinking about the meaning of the wardrobe department to a dance company. How does the wardrobe department affect the dancers’ bodies and dance styles? Can we generate a historical narrative from the wardrobe department? Can this narrative, furthermore, help us understand the holistic picture of dance culture in Hong Kong? And can we innovate the wardrobe department’s operations to encore decolonising practices that Hong Kong arts still need to uphold? Specifically, this research project focuses on two main areas: the structure and function of CCDC’s wardrobe department; and the study of specific dance costumes. As of November 2022, the research has been conducted through interviews of oral histories and research in the institutional documents to broadly identify the operative modes and cultural traditions of wardrobe departments within CCDC’s account of the technical department. The study will continue to digitalise the archival materials — sketches, drafts, photos, and material objects — then integrate the production records of the company’s repertories with a result of a medium-scale database to provide abundant materials for future researchers and creators.
Dong Xianliang (a.k.a. DONG Yan) is a scholar and a theater practitioner. He obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Chinese and History, City University of Hong Kong. He is particularly interested in how various mediums embody the intersectant knowledge of the language, the body, and the materials, ranging from medical books and intellectual culture to theatrical performances and corporeal literacy. He has worked as an academic fellow at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, City University of Hong Kong, and, since September 2022, Hong Kong Shue Yan University. He has also collaborated as a creative writer or a dramaturg with different institutions and individuals in the field of performing arts. He is currently working on several projects collecting and archiving historical materials from dance organisations and artists, aiming to establish the foundation for further research.
Problematics for the Contemplation of the Tenets of Hong Kong Professional Dance Practice
‘Is this dance?’ – while a critical question to be asked in order for the artform to be developed and appreciated, I argue that, in Hong Kong, there is a lack of organised dimensions for the ontology of ‘dance’ to be debated and reviewed. Academic research output on dance has been limited. Dance practitioners who came into the scene in the 20th century were mostly trained in quasi-conservatoire environment. Their notion of ‘dance’ remained somewhat unchallenged until the turn of the century, when dance-makers from diversified academic backgrounds and well-exposed to overseas contemporary dance practices entered the local scene. While the conversation on ‘Is this dance?’ took place, it does not usually happen across generations, creators and spectators, nor technical bureaucrats and critics. In cases when it happens, it may take the form of justification, or worse, still, emotionally-charged defence.
This research explores organised dimensions that will serve as the in-roads to dance problematics in the context of Hong Kong. By ‘Is this dance?’, are we focusing on the stylistic, historical, social-cultural, or ontological/ philosophical? How does the conversation shift through the lens of authorship and that of spectatorship? My assumption is that once tangible, objective, and inclusive pillars are erected, there is a better likelihood for dance ontology to be debated on a shared ground. By then, it will be more meaningful to discuss notions of ‘re-interpretation,’ ‘development,’ ‘digression,’ ‘rejection’ and the like and how these actions reshape the landscape of Hong Kong’s dance.
Lecturer/ researcher/ editor/ critic/ producer/ translator. Learner. Me.
Communication Medium — A Research on Body Languages (Sign Language)
We use different mediums to communicate with each other. Is speech the most effective and touching medium, or is it body language – Dance? What about the other body language – Sign Language?
This research project aims to explore the expressive methods and meanings conveyed through Sign Language, and find out the commonalities in body languages between deaf-blind people and the general public. What are the connections and disparity between Dance and Sign Language? What will happen when these two body languages collide? Apart from body movements, can we stimulate other ideas during the transformation process?
Looking forward to unveiling these mysteries in this research.
Terry Tsang was nominated for Outstanding Performance by Male Dancer in 2019, and Tom Brown Emerging Choreographer in 2022, at the Hong Kong Dance Awards. Premiering his signature work Mo Ngaan Tai in 2019, he received invitations from two local festivals and overseas festivals in Italy and Taiwan.
Graduating from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majoring in Contemporary Dance, Tsang was a full-time dancer of the City Contemporary Dance Company from 2013 to 2019. With CCDC, he toured to different countries and regions, and also has been active in local productions.
Recently he established Labora-Terry Arts, specialising in dance photography. Intensifying his exploration in creation and human body, his choreography and photography have fuelled inspirations for each practice.
My project Chicken Blood proposes to adopt the theoretical tools of performance studies and dance studies to postulate an aesthetic re-interpretation of the contemporary ritual and folk therapy exercise ‘Chicken Blood’, a common practice in China among migrant workers of different regions and professions. The research method is performative and ethnographic.
Millions of migrant workers perform the exercise daily across China, and at different times of the year larger performances occasionally appear (Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, etc). This ethnographic inquiry re-interprets this practice, identifying it as the most important emerging Chinese choreographic style of the second half of the 20th century.
This research will produce one written publication text, composed of both written English text and photographs that demonstrate the formations, poses and movements of the Chicken Blood choreographic practice. This book will constitute the main first fundamental lexicon and vocabulary of the Chicken Blood choreographic practice, analysed with the tools of Performance Studies. The final presentation will be performative.
Prof. Alberto Gerosa is an anthropologist working with film and performance, currently an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He holds a BA in Performing Arts and Social Sciences, a joint master of research in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Ljubljana and Stockholm Universities, and a PhD in Cultural and Religious Studies from CUHK. His Research Interests include Audiovisual, sensorial and performative ethnography practices, performance studies, ritual, theatre and cinema. Since 2017 his work and research on Chicken Blood performances across China has been presented at academic and artistic institutions across the globe.