Review-Imagination Boom- E-Side Dance Company


By: Matthew Gillespie


E-side Dance Company’s presentation of “Imagination Boom” was a diverse and engaging presentation of Contemporary Dance.  E-Side Dance Company was founded in 1988 by Jacky Yu and has endeavored to develop ‘creative dance theatre’ in Hong Kong for over 25 years. This performance was part of their Contemporary Dance Series which aims at providing a platform in which young choreographers can explore and present their unique concepts and styles.  Jacky Yu has a great eye for talent and assembled six outstanding choreographic artists.


“Self ~ Magazine”
Choreographer:  Ming, PAK Wei Ming

One selfish society
One role in self communication
One moment that has no self reflection
One person that loses all five senses

 Ming is one of those quiet unassuming artists with a large voice. Each piece he creates has a clear vision and insight which evokes a strong emotion. “Self ~ Magazine” was billed as a range of emotion and artistry, from rhythmic poetic spoken word creating the ‘music’ for the center of the dance piece, to breaking the fourth wall, to intricate and well-synchronized movement that doesn’t seem overly choreographed but comes across as nearly spontaneous, all interwoven with projected images and poetic phrases. He has a keen eye and uses his space to its fullest. He works closely with his performers and is able to get the best out of them. It was clear that this was a collaborative effort as the dancers were fully committed to the piece, remained focused on each moment and delivered the emotional content with conviction.  Ming is a choreographer to look out for. My only suggestion is that he try varying his pace more and use a few more pauses to give his audience a moment to take it all in as he has a lot to say.

Choreographer:  Tracy Chan

“Disorder” seemed to be a piece that explored the interaction of people, objects and space. This ensemble worked well together and it was well paced.  Overall, it had a great arc to it.  One great thing about contemporary dance is that it doesn’t often need a strong voice or point of view, but is often more about the celebration of movement and expression.  For me, this piece fell into that arena. It was beautiful celebration of some talented performing artists.

“Stubborn… ing”
Choreographer:  Katie Yau

Whatever, facts are stubborn
However, just a flawed being

“Stubborn… ing” begins with a bottle of water and a ‘dog’, well, a man-dog. I was excited and interested when this began as it was something new and innovative, but somewhere along the way I lost the vision of the artist.  Contemporary dance provides a platform in which artists can explore human nature and the world from different points of views and I believe this is what Ms. Yau was attempting to do with this piece.  However, for me, it seemed to be an exploration that was still in process and hadn’t been fully realized yet.  Ms. Yau is to be applauded for taking chances and trying something new.  Once she hones her vision, I will be eager to see the outcome.

Choreographer:  Vivian Chan

The outside environment distracts our daily rhythm, the gait of our life
To listen within or to be leaded

“Gait” began right out of the gate, so to speak. Ms. Chan put together a finely choreographed piece that didn’t stop from beginning to end.  Borrowing from jazz, modern and even little hints of hip hop, it was clear that the performers and choreographer worked closely together in order to build this piece.  She began with a premise and stuck to it. It was clear, evocative and well performed.

Choreographer:  Ivan Chan

Finally, a contemporary dance piece that has a bit of fun and playfulness.  The main problem with contemporary dance choreographers is that they take everything too seriously.  They feel they must show some visual masterpiece or make a political statement or explore the inner core of a breaking heart, but rarely do they allow their artists to show the lighter side of the human existence. Ivan Chan has done this. While the piece wasn’t all fun and games, it was flirtatious and lighter than the others and allowed the audience to relax a little. The interplay between the two performers was a joy to watch.

 “Exotic Territory”
Choreographer:  Terry Tsang

This piece talks about the survival form of an unusual creature which inhabits a space different from ours.  

The final piece in the presentation began with a pile up of bodies and the projection of a giant ant moving across the stage.  My personal take on this, as all dance is subjective, is that everything is just a point of perspective - one creature's nuisance is another creature's fight for survival.  While using an innovative viewpoint, Mr. Tsang was able to help his artists find a way of moving and dancing and attacking the piece that brought the audience into this odd world.  We experienced their journey, which was a great visceral treat.  

Overall, this was a rewarding afternoon. Each artist who performed and created these pieces was an honor to their craft. Jacky Yu put together a fine group of young choreographers. Some are certainly ready to step out of the young choreographer category and move into the professional arena. Special accolades  should be given to Ms. Coco Chung for her lighting design, which greatly enhanced each performance. If you get a chance, be sure to see E-Dance’s next performance. With their low ticket prices and ability to present innovative voices, there is no reason to miss them.  

Imagination Boom has now closed. For more information, click here.

Related articles:

dance, review, hongkong

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 5.0


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