Courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

The West Kowloon Cultural District is delighted to introduce “Cypher” this autumn at Freespace – a three-month cross-genre dance-theatre series, taking place live and online, from October to December 2020. After months of lockdowns and venue closures, “Cypher” will bring us together again, crossing artistic boundaries and inviting everyone to experience the joy of Hong Kong’s diverse performance communities and special international guests.

Signature events include With/out Umeda, a live online showcase of works by avant-garde Japanese choreographer Hiroaki Umeda, with a new experiment collaborating with a gaming artist; Hong Kong Dance Company’s online world premiere Convergence and virtual reality (VR) video, offering new perspectives on movement through the lens of Chinese dance and martial arts; and The Battle, a cross-genre blend of dance off and theatrical performance choreographed by local artist Kenny Leung and co-curated with Freespace. Tickets are now available for public sale.

Karen Cheung, Head of Dance, Performing Arts of WKCDA, said, ‘“Cypher” is about coming together to show off your best and learn about others. It calls for you to reach beyond your own clan and connect with people from other practices and backgrounds. Audiences will be delighted by rhythm, movements and stories told and performed in different ways.’

“Cypher” also invites all culture-lovers, families and friends back to Freespace for a range of master classes, movement and graffiti workshops, seminars and more. Check out www.westkowloon.hk/cypher for the latest updates and ticketing information.

Shake off the lockdown and release yourself in a new boundary-pushing dance scene!

Appendix 1 – Cypher Programme Highlights

With/out Umeda (Online ticketed event)

Internationally acclaimed choreographer and multidisciplinary artist Hiroaki Umeda – one of the leading figures of the Japanese avant-garde art scene – joins Freespace live from Tokyo with a specially curated online presentation of his works. With/out Umeda explores the spectrum of Umeda’s creations in the context of new possibilities for performance in recent reality of lockdowns, travel restrictions and social distancing.

The online event covers three of Umeda’s works across diverse art medium, including real-time performance extracts from a new and on-going experimental collaboration with an artist from the world of gaming, Umeda’s solo work Intensional Particle (new adaptation) and a screening of Holistic Strata Screen (2011). Umeda will also greet local and international audiences through a conversation about his creative process. He will also attend a live Q&A session with local dance artist Daniel Yeung and new media artist Keith Lam.

Live-stream: 11 October 2020 (Sunday) 8:00pm
On-demand viewing: 14-17 October 2020
Tickets: HK$80*
*HK$5 per ticket will be additionally charged as handling fee for tickets purchased through the online ticketing system POPTICKET
Website: www.westkowloon.hk/withoutumeda

HKDC in Residence 2020: Convergence (Online ticketed event)

As part of Hong Kong Dance Company (HKDC)’s 2020 residency at Freespace, HKDC presents Convergence – a new performance that captures the transient state between stillness and motion and between Chinese dance and martial arts. Headed by the HKDC Artistic Director Yang Yuntao, a group of dancers explored the essence of dance and martial arts over the course of three years, extracting new perspectives on movement and the fluidity of expression between ideology and physical gesture.

Premiere: 18 October 2020 (Sunday) 8:00pm
On-demand viewing: 19-24 October 2020
Tickets: HK$80*
*HK$5 per ticket will be additionally charged as handling fee for tickets purchased through the online ticketing system POPTICKET
Website: www.westkowloon.hk/convergence

HKDC in Residence 2020: VR Video (Live event)

Moving between the real and the imaginary, the 15-minute VR video Convergence – A Journey of Chinese Dance and Martial Arts is a record of the three-year exploration into the movements, gestures and practices of the two art forms. By wearing VR headsets to view the video, audiences are able to enjoy an immersive experience of HKDC’s new dance production that integrates actual physical movements with 360° panoramic VR effects and motion capture technology.

Date and Time: 8-10 December 2020 (Tuesday-Thursday) 5:00pm-9:30pm
11 December 2020 (Friday) 5:00pm-10:30pm
12-13 December 2020 (Saturday-Sunday) 2:00pm-10:30pm
Tickets: HK$30 (available from www.westkowloon.hk)
Venue: The Studio, Freespace, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Website: www.westkowloon.hk/hkdcvrvideo

The Battle (Live performance)

Part dance off, part choreographed performance, The Battle is a cross-genre mix of street dance, contemporary dance, theatre and storytelling. In this immersive and interactive experience, audiences are invited to participate as spectators and judges, or even as competitors in an experimental dance battle to win the Grand Battle Prize.

Acclaimed regional and local judges and guests such as Faye Leong, Xing Liang, Man of God and Chester Wong are invited. Without planned choreography, pre-chosen music or any dedicated style of dance, battlers will first attend the closed-door pre-selection while finalists will fight their way through a series of playful themed challenges on the same day evening, embrace the moment and echo to the beat instantly, battle it out to win over the audiences and the judges and to take home the ultimate prize.

Date and Time: 12 December 2020 (Saturday)
1:00pm (Closed door pre-selection. Battlers only)
8:00pm (Ticketed performance and battle, free seating)
Battlers quotas: 100 participants
Tickets: HK$210 (available from www.westkowloon.hk)
Venue: The Box, Freespace, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Website: www.westkowloon.hk/thebattle


About Freespace
Freespace is Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performance in the heart of the Art Park in the West Kowloon Cultural District, presenting multi-genre performances and events. It produces boundary-pushing collaborations and promotes new ways of seeing and experiencing performance. Freespace houses The Box, one of the largest black box theatres in Hong Kong, a flexible space for cutting-edge performances. Two multi-purpose spaces - The Room and The Studio - are designed for creative exchange and artistic collaborations. Lau Bak Livehouse is an intimate bar café presenting live music from Hong Kong and around the world. 

About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.