With performance venues across the city temporarily closed, City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) is presenting its two latest projects online. Screendance versions of the two shows will be available to stream on-demand for a limited period.

Co-created by CCDC resident choreographer Sang Jijia and playwright Janice Poon, Mr Blank is a cross-media theatre experience featuring a blend of dance, video art and digital creation. The on-demand screendance version, directed by Hong Kong dance film director Rita Hui, weaponises its claustrophobic setting as it contemplates the power dynamics of surveillance.

In the age of mass surveillance, the world has morphed into a huge film studio, and the proliferation of surveillance technologies is turning our daily lives into a Kafkaesque existence. Even in the virtual space, our privacy and security are constantly violated, our personal information stolen and exploited.

Filmed in a confined space with multiple cameras, the digital version forces audiences to get up-close and watch the dancers from different angles–each one of them a “Mr Blank”, someone who looks so strange yet so familiar to us. The experience is designed to inspire viewers to look inward and confront their own realities of living in a world of surveillance.

Social Distancing Theatre “Joyeux Noël” is Noel Pong’s first solo work, choreographed and performed by the CCDC resident artist herself. In a small room resembling a black box, Pong gradually narrows the distance between the stage and the audience. Filmed live in one continuous take by a handheld camera, the on-demand digital version of the show captures the nuances in Noel’s movement and provides audiences with a socially-distanced yet remarkably intimate theatre experience.

CCDC in Residence is part of West Kowloon’s commitment to long-term partnerships with local and international arts organisations. Via this residency, Freespace joins hands with CCDC in bringing a diverse range of dance experiences to audiences of all ages. 2020 marked the second of the three-year programme. CCDC in Residence 2020 was originally scheduled to take place in December 2020 under the theme of “I/YOU LOOK AT YOU/ME” and with the intention to explore the topics of social-distancing, surveillance and privacy. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, live performances were cancelled.

Language:
Mr Blank contains a small amount of dialogue in Cantonese without surtitles.

Artistic Team:
Mr Blank (Screendance version):

Choreography: Sang Jijia
Dramaturgy: Janice Poon*
Director (Screendance version): Rita Hui
Original Music: Dickson Dee
Video Direction: Oliver Shing
Set and Lighting Design (Original): Leo Cheung
Set and Lighting Design: Lawmanray
Costume Design: Cindy Ho Pui-shan
Sound Design: Anthony Yeung
*By kind permission of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Social Distancing Theatre “Joyeux Noël” (Screendance version):
Choreography / Performance: Noel Pong
Direction and Videography: Ziv Chun
Lighting Design: Lawmanray
Executive Lighting Design: Ho Fu-lung
Stage Management: Ming Wong

Date and Time:
On-demand viewing:
Social Distancing Theatre "Joyeux Noël": 10 February 2021 (Wednesday) 00:00am HKT – 23 February 2021 (Tuesday) 11:59pm HKT
Unlimited viewing expires 48 hours after first view or on 23 Feb 2021 11:59pm, whichever is earlier.

Mr Blank: 5 March 2021 (Friday) 00:00am HKT – 18 March 2021 (Thursday) 11:59pm HKT
Unlimited viewing expires 48 hours after first view or on 18 Mar 2021 11:59pm, whichever is earlier.

Duration:
Mr Blank: Approximately 1 hour
Social Distancing Theatre "Joyeux Noël": 17 minutes

Tickets:
Mr Blank: $80
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Social Distancing Theatre "Joyeux Noël": $50
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Package Discounts:
Purchases of tickets for Mr Blank and Social Distancing Theatre "Joyeux Noël" in one transaction: $100
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Programme Enquiries:
(852) 2329 7803, info@ccdc.com.hk

Co-presented by:

City Contemporary Dance CompanyCity Contemporary Dance Company is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Design Partner (Social Distancing Theatre “Joyeux Noël”):

Noiseless Design

Promotional Partners (Mr Blank):

Eslite Bookstore

Performing Arts Review

Storyteller

About the Artist:

Mr Blank (Screendance version)

Sang Jijia
Choreographer

Sang JijiaPhoto: Vivien LIU@Studio UNIT

CCDC Resident Choreographer Sang Jijia has won numerous international dance awards and was awarded the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship to study in the US in 1998. In 2002, he was chosen by the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative to study choreography under William Forsythe in Germany, where he remained as assistant choreographer and dancer at Ballet Frankfurt and the Forsythe Company until 2006. Since returning to China, Sang has created a number of full-length works for BeijingDance/LDTX, Guangdong Modern Dance Company and CCDC. He has also received commissions from a number of renowned dance companies across the world, including Carte Blanche in Norway and Spellbound Contemporary Ballet in Italy. Sang is celebrated for his extremely physical and emotional movement language and his use of electronic music to interpret abstract concepts.

Janice Poon*
Dramaturg

Janice PoonPhoto courtesy of the artist

Hong Kong-based theatre artist and cultural practitioner Janice Poon is Senior Lecturer (Playwriting and Dramaturgy) and Academic Project Officer in the School of Drama at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She is also the Artistic Director of Hong Kong Dramatists. She engages in interdisciplinary and intercultural creative work through playwriting, directing, dramaturgy and curating. She is a frequent speaker and workshop master at international theatre conferences and festivals, and her works have been presented in major cities in Europe, the U.S., China and other Asian countries. And Then, I Float won four major awards and was nominated best play at the Hong Kong Theatre Libre (2014), while Small Waisted won the Multicultural Short Plays Competition organised by NESCO/International Theatre Institute in 2016.
*By kind permission of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Rita Hui
Director (Screendance version)

Rita HuiPhoto courtesy of the artist

Video artist and Hong Kong independent film director Rita Hui is currently an instructor at the School of Creative Media in City University of Hong Kong. She is passionate about the ways of presenting expression. Ah Ming, her first short film, was selected as a Work of Excellence at the Image Forum Festival, Japan in 1998. In 2009, her feature film debut, Dead Slowly, screened at the Busan International Film Festival “New Current". Her subsequent feature films Keening Woman and Pseudo Secular, both competed in international film festivals. Her film In the Wild was commissioned by the 2017 Jumping Frames International Dance Film Festival. The film was shortlisted for the 2018 The South Taiwan Film Festival (Experimental Class of Global Chinese Film Competition), the Out on Film Festival 2018 in New York, USA and the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2019 in York, UK.

Oliver Shing
Video Direction

Oliver ShingPhoto courtesy of the artist

Multimedia image designer and video director Oliver Shing graduated from the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a guest lecturer at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and a founding member of Heteroglossia Theatre. He has designed for numerous performing arts organisations, including CCDC, Hong Kong Ballet, the Hong Kong Dance Company and the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, and his designs for Mr Blank were nominated for the Hong Kong Dance Award for Outstanding Lighting and/or Visual Design in 2018. Shing is the founder of creative studio Daaimung, which created and curated the architectural projection mapping project Lights Up in 2020. His recent works include To Someone Alike with Kiwi & Zenzero Studio, Convergence with the Hong Kong Dance Company, and The Copybook of Life Challenge for Apprentice Magician with CCDC.

Dickson Dee
Original Music

Dickson DeePhoto courtesy of the artist

Dickson Dee (Li Chin Sung) is a Hong Kong experienced music producer and sound artist, passionate about experimental music. He set up his own music label Noise Asia in the early 1990s and another personal label Dicksonia Audio to promote new music and curate different cultural exchange projects in Hong Kong and around the world. Since then, he has established himself in the creative field with musical styles ranging from avant-garde and experimental to music concrete, electronic, new classical, industrial noise, dance and electronic world jazz. He has collaborated with various artists and has been invited to perform at many different festivals, including Venice Biennale, Cologne Music Triennale, Yokohama Triennale, Huayi - Chinese Festival of Arts, Taiwan International Music Festival, Fabbrica EUROPA, Bergen International Art Festival, Shanghai International Art Festival, Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, New Vision Arts Festival Hong Kong, Art Basel Hong Kong, International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong, etc.

 

Social Distancing Theatre “Joyeux Noël” (Screendance version)

Noel Pong
Choreography / Performance

Noel PongPhoto: Vivien LIU@Studio UNIT

Noel Pong graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with First Class Honours in modern dance and joined CCDC in 1997. She was promoted to Resident Artist in 2019. She is a homegrown choreographer celebrated for combining elements of dance and drama. Rainy Days and Mondays...(2006), her first choreographic work for CCDC, was restaged at the 3rd Guangdong Modern Dance Festival and Dance Trinity in the Hong Kong Dance Festival 2006. Crime Scene was selected by South China Morning Post as one of the "Best Dances" of 2009 and Off Screen received the 2012 Hong Kong Dance Award for Outstanding Choreography. Happy Birthday? was selected as The Hecklers “Best Dance Show” by HKELD. Noel is regarded as one of “Hong Kong’s most promising choreographers” by the South China Morning Post.

Tickets available at the online platform art-mate from 1 February 2021 (Monday).

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