Showcase of Hybrid Traditional Hong Kong Dance and the Martial Arts
Reviewed by Karina Lawrence
With the celebration of growing support to the arts within Hong Kong the exchange between Sydney Dance Company and the Hong Kong Dance Company took place, breeding innovative ideas for a co collaboration, exchanging of culture and tradition between dance and martial arts.
The event was held a the newly renovated studios at the Sydney Dance Company, which are just beautiful and it was a delight to see the performance from the pre professional year dancers in their home environment.
The production titled “Convergence” was a showcase of hybrid traditional Hong Kong dance and the martial arts of both Northern and Southern China.
The techniques were taught by HKDC’s principal dancers to the SDC’s advance training program.
The exchange program prompted a three year study from this influence and was delivered via the Zoom, online platform with the students for 2months.
The students made comments through a video introduction into the performance that the influence was well received and that although learning via the online platform, they really felt like they were in the studio together and how with the use of technology this exchange was certainly an enhancement to their study.
The focus was to relax and let go through tension, enhancing there endurance and accumulation of energy. It was definitely an honour and privilege to add to their awareness through dance, that certainly benefitted and inspired them.
The clean and simple costuming and staging really allowed you to feel captivated within this energy and the focus displayed from every dancer.
The unified movements creating their own sense of rhythm were well executed through the performance. It was obvious of the focus, the discipline and grounded awareness bought to life from this culture. It was both memorising and alluring.
The interaction also expanding through the influence and exchange of both cultures with the flow and free form integrated within the contemporary dance style.
Clean lines, strength and control from the cast of 25 dancers reminds you of the incredible artistry and discipline that is the gift of dance and how the accumulation of culture and history compliments to its beauty and delicate yet powerful dedication.
The interactive technology was an interesting and beautiful touch. It was as if we were immersed into a 50min film performance with the HKDC. It was delightful to see the interaction between two counties sharing the love of dance together at the one event.
Following the performance we are ale to join a question and answer segment which was live between the creators based in Hong Kong and the students from SDC as well as the invite only audience members.
That in itself seemed just as flawless as the intensional and intricate performance.
It was apparent of the inward focus and awareness this technique certainly influenced from each performer, while also immersing the audience of this almost sacred influence, witnessing the magic of this cultural exchange.
The performance was a little long, particularly being on film, however you felt compelled to continue the journey, with the incredibly disciplined and talented performers from the HKDC.
Initially with no sound the dancers created their own almost internal rhythms that executed through all individuals, creating a oneness and harmony through their unison. This sense of togetherness lead into some clever graphics and alluring music that allowed the performance to build and take the audience on a journey right along side the artists.
The content was beautifully shot showcasing intricate rhythms, athletic poise and grace behind each movement full of control.
It almost felt like the influence of martial arts and dance had its own unique language clearly passed down from an ancestral history and art form connecting the essence of humanity and its beauty right before your eyes.
Beautiful story telling passed through each delicate and articulated moment expanding power and strength in an empowered light.
Birth of new shapes and it’s own unique style. Cultural influences of choreography and a particular piece where the continual and innovative movement was seaming-less and beautifully portrayed by two of the artists from HKDC, where they were continually connected with their arm movements through fluid interchangeable energy.
This was athletics and grace at its best, where the dancers made it look just so simple. Articulately placed worked throughout with absolute precision left you in awe.
It would have been nice to see more of a live exchange and interaction within this performance and really enhance the affect the exchange had on the SDC’s Pre Professional students, however it was apparent during the question and answer session that the students had gained significantly from this influential experience.
The obvious awareness of the “Chi” style energy and connection made with the internal witnessing of oneself, evolving into an outward energy exchange was constantly noted as important and beneficial from some of the students, who spoke with a wonderful sense of maturity, confidence and appreciation this experience had both on their performance and personal enhancement.
It was obvious that being able to explore movement in this way certainly opened different pathways with interactions of energy that affected the students in such a positive way.
It was a lovely exchange to witness and be part of.
How the language of dance really speaks of the same wholeness it offers to these dedicated artists, perhaps only with slightly different dialects and accents.
Certainly a welcomed awareness and positive influence across the seas.