Review-Choreographers' Showcase-The Hong Kong Ballet


By: Satoshi Kyo


A total of eight works were featured last night and all were choreographed by dancers of the Hong Kong Ballet for the dancers of the Hong Kong Ballet. While it was a pleasurable evening overall, marked with ample athleticism and technique, there was a definite lack of vision and experimentation. 
The work "Horn", with choreography by Yuh Egami and Ricky Hu, stood out particularly for being the most cohesive in concept and execution. Everything about the work worked. Dancer Yui Sugawara appeared on stage with a tall headgear that came all the way down to cover his face. Xia Jun, with a less flamboyant headgear that also covered her face, joined afterward. Watching them made me think of exotic birds in a courtship designed to dispel ordinary. 
Also a work by two choreographers, Jessica Burrows and Sarah Yeung, was "Swan in the Abyss". This work showcased the male dancers wonderfully in a re-imagined Swan Lake narrative using a remix of the famous Danses Des Cignes by Tchaikovsky with the Abesses by Birdy Nam Nam. The effect was exploratory, contemporary and fun.
Jonathan Spigner choreographed "Wepart", a piece that was supposed to be about "death". While the theme may not have been immediately apparent, the piece was thoughtful and managed to maintain choreographic fluidity despite juxtaposition of very different styles of music. The fact that the choreography was not hyperactive and aggressively showy made the piece more focused.
"Going Home", with choreography by Li Jia-bo, had Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (from the New World) as his inspiration;  I suspect though it was actually more the lyrics of "Goin' Home" by William Arms Fisher that truly inspired Li. While the work moved within a narrow and schematic aesthetic spectrum, it was full of pathos that resonated well with the audience and was appropriately the finale of the evening.
The other four works featured were less successful with a distinct lack of any attempt at innovation or experimentation, be it in concept, music or choreography. While they may not have given us a glimpse of the future, they were pretty and entertaining enough to not ruin the other four.

The Choreographers' Showcase is playing through November 30th. For more information, click here. 

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 2.5


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