Creating dance pieces

In this public seminar, internationally acclaimed choreographer and director Helena Waldmann, and dance journalist Arnd Wesemann, editor of Germany’s leading dance magazine tanz, share their experience of dramaturgical craftsmanship in dance making and their observations of international touring. Looking at some of the most intriguing concepts and developments emerging in contemporary dance, they also explore how work can perturb and provoke audiences in ways that excite and stimulate the mind, the body and the soul.

Date:
6 January 2019 (Sunday)

Time:
3:00pm – 5:30pm

Venue:
Dance Studio 1, 4/F, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
(1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)

Speakers:
Helena Waldmann
Arnd Wesemann

Co-Moderators:
Anna CY Chan
Dean, School of Dance, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts; and 
Dance Advisor, West Kowloon

Janice Poon Sze Wan
Senior Lecturer (Playwriting and Dramaturgy) and Academic Project Officer, School of Drama, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Language:
Conducted in English with simultaneous Cantonese and Mandarin interpretation

Target Participants:
Dance and theatre professionals and those with an interest in dance and theatre

Registration:
Free admission. Limited capacity on a first come, first served basis. Please register in advance.

Enquiries:
(852) 2200 0841, pa1@wkcda.hk

The organiser reserves the right to change the programme content and speakers. All changes will be announced on the website.

Overseas participants must shoulder their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Adverse weather arrangements:
If a black rainstorm warning, or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force 3 hours before the start of the event, the event will be cancelled.

About the speakers:

Helena Waldmann

Photo: Tina Ruisinger

Born in 1962, Berlin-based Helena Waldmann is a freelance director and choreographer whose radical work has received international acclaim. The political force of her choreographies, made in collaboration with German and international theatres and festivals, creates total works of art that go beyond traditional dance-theatre. Her award-winning productions have toured extensively in Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, Africa, South America, East Asia, India and Bangladesh. Her travels have also inspired new works, such as: Headhunters – Cutting the Edges (2004), produced in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; Letters from Tentland (2005), produced in Tehran for six Iranian women; Return to Sender – Letters from Tentland (2006), a commentary on European immigration policy performed by six exiled Iranian women; and Made in Bangladesh (2015), a piece on the economic parallels between conditions for workers in the garment industry and those for artists in the West. Her latest piece, Good Passports Bad Passports (2017), is a cross-border work involving dancers, acrobats and local volunteers that examines how we take the existence of borders for granted, and how nationalism prevents freedom of thought and choice.

Arnd Wesemann

Photo: Bettina Stoess

Journalist and editor of Europe’s leading dance magazine tanz, Arnd Wesemann is an expert in dance and dance criticism. He has published a number of books on politics and aesthetics, including Immer Feste Tanzen (The Dancing Feast, 2006), a German-language collection of essays on the history of dance and dance as antidote to work, and Made in Bangladesh, an essay on how the lives of cultural workers and workers in the garment industry are impacted by society’s expectation that everything should be available at a bargain price.

About the co-moderators:

Anna CY Chan
Dean, School of Dance, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts; and
Dance Advisor, West Kowloon

Dean of the School of Dance at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Dance Advisor to the West Kowloon Cultural District’s performing arts team, Anna CY Chan was Head of Dance, Performing Arts at West Kowloon from 2014 to 2018. As the district’s Head of Dance, Anna shaped West Kowloon’s artistic direction and dance strategies and led the launch of a series of New Works Forum programmes, including “Dance Dialogue with Wayne McGregor”, “Screendance”, “Writing Choreographic Process”, “Multimedia and Dance Dialogue”, “Dance in Alternative Space” and “Dance Dramaturgy”, exploring innovative forms of creating and performing, and new ways of discussing and thinking about topics related to contemporary performances. She also co-curated West Kowloon’s annual Producers' Network Meeting & Forum and was Chief Producer for the ON VIEW: HONG KONG and Look Two Ways dance productions.

In 2007, Anna became the Vice-President (East Asia) of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific. She was also the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance from 2006 to 2011 and has acted as Dance Advisor to the Hong Kong Arts Development Council since 2008. She was awarded the Hong Kong Dance Award in 2004, the City Contemporary Dance Laureate in 2016, and in 2018 the prestigious Hong Kong Dance Award for Distinguished Achievement in recognition of her significant contributions. Anna serves on the American Dance Abroad inaugural advisory council, and was a jury member of the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award in Australia and the 2017 Seoul International Choreography Festival.

Janice Poon Sze Wan
Senior Lecturer (Playwriting and Dramaturgy) and Academic Project Officer, School of Drama, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Janice Poon is a senior lecturer in playwriting and dramaturgy and the 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 and a veteran theatre artist and cultural practitioner engaged in cross disciplinary playwriting, directing, dramaturgy, curating and theatre making, focusing on play development and text-based cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural theatre. Her work is heavily loaded with socio-political issues and concerns, and has been recognised with the Asian Cultural Council Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government’s Chevening Scholarship. Devoted to cultural exchange between Hong Kong and the international theatre scene, Janice has been a resident artist at The Lark Play Development Center in New York and the Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark, and is a frequent speaker and facilitator at international theatre conferences and festivals. Her works have been presented in major cities in Europe, the US, China and other regions in Asia. And Then, I Float (2013) was recognised with four major awards, nominated for the best play award at the Hong Hong Theatre Libre, and invited as part of a cultural exchange project at the Schillertage festival in Mannheim, Germany (2015). Small Waisted (2016) won the Multi-cultural Short Plays Competition organised by the International Theatre Institute of UNESCO.