To facilitate the professional development of local arts groups through overseas placements, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority together with Hong Kong Arts Development Council initiated a programme called “Overseas Training / Research Programme for Leaders from Local Arts Groups on Future Arts Development in Hong Kong” in 2013. The programme supports five artistic and administrative leaders, namely Sean Patrick Curran, Daniel Yeung, Even Lam, Marble Leung and Mo Lai to conduct visit and training with overseas arts organisations, festivals and centres in the US, Europe and Asia from 2013 to 2015. Not only they can expand their visions through this programme, but they also extend their global networks and enhance practical skills and knowledge, which in return contribute to the WKCD development as well as the future arts development in Hong Kong.
Research focus of the artistic and administrative leaders:
Sean Patrick Curran
Having been known for his perseverance and devotion in the drama scene in Hong Kong, Sean Patrick Curran, Co-Artistic Director of Theatre du Pif, produced numerous impressive Chinese and English dramas in the local market throughout all these years. Sean started his research in Canada in May 2013 and visited established drama companies like The Gateway Theatre and The Banff Centre so as to observe the companies’ daily operations and the coordination of the community-involved programmes. Sean also visited the Luminato Festival and The Montreal Jazz Festival to take reference on the execution of the large scaled festivals.
The multi-talented stage director, choreographer, dance instructor and dance artist Daniel Yeung visited France, Netherlands, Austria, Germany and South Korea for his overseas research trip. His Europe trip was held from June to August 2013 which he conducted venue visits and attended festivals such as Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris Quartier d’ete, Montpellier Choreographic Centre, Avignon Dance Festival and Tanz im August.
His second trip to Seoul in South Korea was conducted in July and August 2014 with a focus on understanding the support and development on small dance theatre, curatorship and audience building. He attended several dance festivals such as Gwang Jin International Summer Dance Festival and initiated discussions and talks with arts practitioners to exchange experience on festivals coordination, programmes planning and organizing audience building activities. He also visited and interviewed independent producers, teachers, education institutes to study support and development on small dance theatre, curatorship and international networking in Seoul in recent years.
Even Lam is currently Artistic Director and Company Manager of Jumbo Kids Theatre founded since 1999. Through this overseas research and training programme, Even wants to deepen his understanding in overseas children theatres’ creation and operations as the references for the company’s further development artistically and operationally. He has visited Polka Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Little Angel Theatre and The Egg Theatre in UK and attended festivals in Edinburgh and Avignon from July to October 2014 and will visit Minneapolis Children Theatre’s Company in US next year in order to get inspired in audience development strategy.
Marble Leung, Head of Programme of Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, has developed his career in theater for over 20 years and has a thorough understanding about how local theatre industry operates. In order to learn from overseas successful company models, Marble selected several well-developed theatres for residency including Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus in Germany and Royal Court Theatre in UK to observe their operations in September and October 2013. In addition, he will also visit regional theatres with outstanding contribution in communities such as Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Shakespeare Theatre in Chicago in fall 2014.
Lai Yan Chi, Mo
The versatile and awards winning movie / theatre practitioner cum the President of the local theatre company FM Theatre Power, Mo Lai, has developed her artistic capacity in various fields in the past years. Having experience of organizing and practicing outdoor performance for over a decade, Mo has been searching for resolution for further development of outdoor performance within Hong Kong context. Mo started her research trip in August 2014 and aimed at analyzing the feasibility of carrying out different kinds of street performance by observing the celebrated Redmoon’s Summer Celebrations and the Great Chicago Fire Festival in Chicago, the outdoor theatre conducted by street performers in the cosmopolitan New York, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe which produces socially relevant theater for public performance.