The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) today announced the second residency exchange programme “Creative Meeting Point” for dance artists in Hong Kong and Australia, in collaboration with Dancehouse in Melbourne. In addition to collaborating with the Finnish dance organisations, the Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Australia offers six residency exchanges between Australia and Hong Kong which runs from 2017 to 2019. With a focus to foster artistic dialogue and exploration, and support artistic research and development, the three-year programme supports dance works co-produced by Hong Kong and Australia. It will help showcase local dance artists on a global stage.

A total of four artists, two from Hong Kong and two from Australia, have been selected for the programme. The first residency exchange starts today, with Hong Kong dance artists─ Kenneth Sze and Mayson Tong (greenmay) setting out on an exploratory journey to Melbourne, Australia. The two dance professionals will participate in various shows, classes, events, visits and specific encounters carefully planned by Dancehouse to maximise their exposure. The second exchange is scheduled for November 2017, when two Australian dance artists ─Victoria Chiu and Gülsen Özer will visit Hong Kong for two weeks to exchange ideas and explore Hong Kong’s dance scene.

Throughout the programme, the participating artists will take turns to visit both cities to attend major arts festivals and events. These will include the City Contemporary Dance Festival (with the East Asia Dance Platform), the World Cultures Festival and i-dance Festival in Hong Kong, and the Melbourne Fringe and the Melbourne International Arts Festival in Australia. The programme will focus on themes of identity, politics and authorship in relation to their articulation in local and global contexts as mediated through culture and dance practice. At the end of each year, the WKCDA and Dancehouse will carry out an evaluation with the artists which will help direct planning for the next year.

“We are honoured to collaborate with Dancehouse, the premier centre for independent dance in Australia, to promote the development of Hong Kong’s dance sector,” said Anna CY Chan, Head of Dance, Performing Arts of the WKCDA. “In this second joint effort between the WKCDA and an international dance institution, we hope to provide artists from both places with a multinational environment of a very high standard to support them in their artistic research, and to encourage possible co-productions. We believe the collaborative experience with overseas dance institutions will be a great opportunity for those involved to contribute to the success of the dance sector in Hong Kong.”

In line with its mission to promote arts and cultural development in Hong Kong, the WKCDA has been actively identifying collaboration opportunities with different domestic and overseas cultural organisations. Apart from this residency exchange programme with Australia, the WKCDA has also signed a MOU with Finland and a partnership agreement with Shanghai in 2016. By 2021, the WKCDA plans to set up cooperation arrangements with four to five cultural institutions from different countries.

Remarks

About West Kowloon Cultural District

Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, the West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and M+, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two kilometre waterfront promenade.

Dancehouse

Established by a working group of independent dance practitioners, Dancehouse is the only presenter in Australia dedicated solely to contemporary dance. From its base in Melbourne, its reputation and influence has crossed state boundaries to shape the art form nationally and internationally. Through its programmes of research, performance and artist development, Dancehouse creates an environment where creative risk, independent career paths, collaborative relationships and diverse practice and presentation can flourish and proliferate. At the vanguard of contemporary dance, Dancehouse presents rigorous, cutting-edge research and performance, thus playing a significant role in the development of innovative dance practices, new audiences and ongoing artistic enquiry. Dancehouse is also a crucial link to a network of movement practices, artists and organizations, in Australia and internationally.

Participating artists from Hong Kong

Kenneth Sze

Kenneth graduated from the School of Dance, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors) Degree in Contemporary Dance. During his studies, he received a scholarship to visit and perform at the Shanghai Expo. His work as a performer includes Unlock Dancing Plaza’s Chopin VS Ca, 27 by Ivanhoe Lam chun-ho which included artists from Sweden, Croatia and Netherlands. Helen Lai and Victor Ma‘s Frida/Suddenly, Chloe Wong‘s Heaven Behind the Door. Recent years, with the interest in text and movement, Sze is involved in more drama productions as an actor includes Theatre Du Pif’s The Actors' LAB 2014, The Will To Build 2015 (Hong Kong/Canada), Artocrite Theater’s Bad Time Stories, Ho Bit Goon’s Shooting Soul, Reframe Theatre’s A Concise History of Future and Radiant Vermin. He was the choreographer for the opening ceremony of Art Basel (HK) in 2013. His choreography includes a short piece Hold On, which was invited to the Beijing Dance Festival and a full-length work Dark Aroma curated by CCDC and Hong Kong Dance Alliance. Besides, in collaboration with Ivy Tsui, he created two site-specific pieces named Breath and Incoming. Sze acted as a movement consultant and performer in Poetics of Dwelling. He is currently a freelance practitioner, capoeirista.

Greenmay

Hong Kong dancer, life modeling and hand percussionist. In 2012, he founded Body Lab for Priori Tropism, attempt to research on decolonizing thinking on performing, liberatiness among institutionalized improvisation statuses, practice live-structuralized improvisation with intention and horizon reflection, implementable re-embodiment on expressional body, dispositive of the multiplex proprioception and historical consciousness on local body quality. In 2016, greenmay finished practicing the book “Dispositif of Body: Merleau-Ponty at the limits of phenomenology “written by a Taiwan phenomenology researcher Jow-Jiun Gong through separated himself from the society. He wants to combine his experiences in sense of “movement”, ”time” and “consciousness”, thinking about how homogenization and simplification on gender and logic restricting our autonomy on oneself/community from the dictatorship. He uses his dance, body, behaviour, visual and music to express the story of Hong Kong which included Rustling of Discourse (2012), Habitat Here (2014), Habitat here... and there (2014),The Great Wall of Memories(2015) and A Possible Path to Isonomia (2015 till now).The Great Wall of Memories was a life practice, behaviour, record and protest that lasted for a total of eleven months beginning in early 2015, to record the ideological impact of the social movement and show it as a result of being confused and distracted by actions and voices. Showing the confused and trapped in the form of law and living conditions. Body Lab for Priori Tropism has just toured to Low Fat Art Fest in Thailand March 2017 and will tour to the Body.Radical (International Performing Art Biennial) in Hungary in September 2017.

Participating artists from Australia

Victoria Chiu

Victoria Chiu was born in Sydney, graduated from VCA, Melbourne, Bachelor of Dance. In Australia she has worked with Fiona Malone, Bernadette Walong and with Australian Dance Theatre for TV show Superstars of Dance filmed in LA. Her first full length work was a Sydney/Geneva collaboration with Cie József Trefeli called StarStruck. Victoria was Dancehouse Housemate XI in which the work Floored was presented in August 2013.She has been in residence at Footscray Community Arts Centre since September 2013 while working on last work Do You Speak Chinese?, this work premiered with critical acclaim in March as part of the 2015 Malthouse season for Dance Massive, toured to Shanghai International Arts Festival RAW!Land October 2015. Victoria has received the Lydia Hao Emerging Artist Award 2013, a Playking Foundation Asian Performing Arts Travel Grant 2015. In 2016 she performed in Cate Consandine’s film and currently working with PHD research and multimedia creation.

Gülsen Özer

Gülsen Özer is an Australian born inter-disciplinary performing artist and choreographer based in Melbourne. Her work is rooted in contemporary dance, somatic technique and socially engaged practice. Özer uses the power of live performance to facilitate a re-enchantment of embodiment, relationship, and presence. Following her university training, Özer worked in small ensembles, as performer, actor, dancer, director, lighting operator and ultimately works now as a choreographer and dancer. Her recent collaborations include working in residence with New York artist Yanira Castro and Bessie Award-winning lighting designer Margie Medlin (Dancehouse 2016). Less recently Özer worked in Istanbul and had some time in exchange with Turkish artists via the Gören Festival at CATI Dans. During this time, Özer learned more about her own family history and dance in folkloric and contemporary Turkish culture. Özer’s current projects include the development of a participatory installation, ‘Dance X’; commissioned by the Yarra Ranges Museum of Art and some multimedia dance performance.