I was amused reading your article ‘Dance the night away’ by Adam Chan where there’s a mention about ‘the 30-year-old [Daniel Yeung] who must be the youngest’ among the choreographers in My Life as a Dancer – the evolution, the dance programme of the 35th Hong Kong Arts Festival. If anyone among the 16 choreographers is as young as 30, we should be more optimistic about the future of modern dance in Hong Kong. (For the writer’s information, Xing Liang is the youngest among them who should also be stepping into his mid 30s.)
I could no longer be amused when I read the episode which the writer associates with Willy Tsao’s ‘interviewing aspiring dancers at the CCDC dance center’. Even the writer doesn’t know much about how the Dance Centre affiliates with its mother company which is the biggest modern dance company in Hong Kong, it is not difficult to do so by surfing their website.
The whole article goes without mentioning nearly half of the participating choreographers (including Abby Chan, Edwin Lung, Ong Yong Lock, Andy Wong, Yeung Wai-mei, Mandy Yim and Jacky Yu who deserve a credit here), which makes it hardly an unbiased review. Even upon the mention of the more popular names, there is no real critique on the artwork itself based on its choreography or lighting etc. It doesn’t need the writer to recite Tsao or Lau Siu-ming’s credentials that are clearly laid down in the house programme, but a bunch of adjectives do not help getting into the depth of critique either. Without the knowledge in modern dance in Hong Kong, one may not know that the piece with Francis Leung’s feminne movements in front of a mirror that Mui Cheuk-yin ‘looked on and responded in a strange, poetic way’ is alluded to Mui’s masterpiece ‘Awakening in a Dream’ which was created in 1986.
I’m amazed that an article demonstrating a lack of knowledge in the art form and research efforts on the piece being reviewed can appear in your magazine and particularly this column. It’s true that we lack dance reviews in Hong Kong, but it doesn’t mean that we should compromise with the quality.