Hong Kong Ballet | Interview with Kinsun Chan

October 22, 2011

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ballet logoHong Kong Ballet

Moments In Time – two world premières by Chinese choreographers  

 

The Hong Kong Ballet commissioned three of today’s most promising contemporary choreographers, Peter Quanz, Kinsun Chan and Fei Bo to create new ballets for the Company – the result is a trio of powerful, thought-provoking ballets. The creative process continues as Kinsun Chan and Fei Bo have started rehearsals in Hong Kong to share their vision with the dancers. All three works will be featured in Moments In Time, to be staged at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre’s Grand Theatre from 4 to 6 November 2011.

The Hong Kong Ballet is delighted to host two Chinese choreographers who are rapidly gaining recognition on the world stage. Fei Bo, who is the Resident Choreographer of the National Ballet of China, and Kinsun Chan will both be presenting WORLD PREMIÈRES at Moments In Time. Kinsun Chan has established a reputation as an outstanding choreographer, working in North America and Europe and he has strong links with Hong Kong, his parents’ home town. Fei Bo, a 2011 Asian Cultural Council Grantee, recently took his production of The Peony Pavilion to the Edinburgh International Festival. The third ballet is a restaging of a work by Canadian Peter Quanz, who has worked with the Kirov Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Ballet, and three of his works have just been staged at the legendary Bolshoi Theatre.

Q: What’s the most exciting aspect of this commission?

Fei Bo: It’s fantastic that The Hong Kong Ballet believes in our talents – the support helps us to grow artistically. I relish the opportunity to create a ballet piece forHong Kong, a city with many “cultural clashes”, between East and West and also between different art forms. The idea of using a Western art form to express Eastern emotions has always been attractive to me, so I can’t wait for the piece to be performed! It has been a joy working with The Hong Kong Ballet dancers, they are supremely professional, and they have a bright, youthful energy that I love.

Q: How do you hope to affect the audience with your work?

Kinsun Chan: I would like to awaken the senses of the public to the inspiration of this work, the colour black. I hope the audience embraces this opportunity to experience the use of classical ballet technique in a wider, more extreme format, so that their minds are open to a dialogue with contemporary ballet. 

Q: How do you feel about working with The Hong Kong Ballet?

Kinsun Chan: I am very excited to have this opportunity to work with The Hong Kong Ballet. This is my first work for a dance company in Asia, an important stepping stone for me. On one hand, the company is a wonderful group of technically trained dancers as well as excellent artists, an inspiration for a choreographer. When Madeleine invited me to create a new work for the company, I knew that the company was the right place to present the world première of Black on Black. On the other hand my family ties are well rooted inHong Kong, it’s a real honour and pleasure to choreograph a new work in the home town of my parents and many relatives, it’s a sort of homecoming for me.

Peter Quanz: The Hong Kong Ballet is a refined mix of artists from around the world. The company can boast many strong dancers, but more interestingly, they are fascinating people. I loved how dancers wove their personal histories into the choreography of Luminous. They referenced traditional Chinese dancing and found ways to make my movement adopt the fluidity and elegance of the best calligrapher. I was profoundly moved by the dancers’ way of working, and the emotional vulnerability that they offer to the public. It was an inspiration to serve these dancers, to reveal new aspects of their artistry and I hope that it will not be long before I am collaborating with the company again.

Q: Tell us about what you are currently working on

Fei Bo: My next project is an educational trip to theUnited States, which is funded by the Asian Cultural Council. I am really looking forward to taking part in a residential program at the Mark Morris Dance Company and meeting leading choreographers inNew York and across theUnited States.

Peter Quanz: The past six months have been an extraordinary period of creation with new ballets for the Buryatian National Ballet in Russia and for my own company, Q Dance. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens premiered my new full length story ballet called Rodin/Claudel in Montreal on October 13. And just before that, the Buryatian National Ballet performed three of my ballets at the legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. It was a champagne problem to have these two dream projects scheduled in one week!

Q: Why did you invite these three choreographers in particular?

Madeleine Onne, Artistic Director of The Hong Kong Ballet: Each of these choreographers is a striking and unique artist. Kinsun shares our vision of the male dancer as a central element of the dance, rather than just a partner – we are lucky to have fantastic boys in the Company, so we are proud to show them off! We seek to strengthen our ties with the Mainland, and Fei Bo, resident choreographer at The National Ballet of China, helps us to do just that. Anyone who saw the excerpt of his ballet at Galaxy: International Ballet Gala earlier this year felt the emotional and psychological impact of his work. Our dancers have worked withPeter Quanz before, he’s an inspirational choreographer, and we are pleased to showcase his work again. While these three creators have all had great success already, we believe they still have untapped potential, and by commissioning them we hope to support and encourage the next generation of choreographers.

The Hong Kong Ballet’s dancers will lead the audience through a sequence of different moments in time. Tickets are available NOW at all URBTIX outlets and via the URBTIX website.

Black on Black, by Kinsun Chan – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A Canadian born choreographer with strong links to Hong Kong, Kinsun began his ballet career inAmericaand continued inEurope, dancing with the Zürich and Basel Ballet before creating his first choreography in 2000. Subsequently he was chosen to attend the Swiss International Workshop in Choreography (SIWIC) and was invited by Reid Anderson to choreograph for the Stuttgart Ballet’s Noverre Society. Kinsun’s interests are in a range of artistic disciplines, including choreography, film and design.

Kinsun Chan’s new ballet explores the timelessness of the colour black, and the dance aesthetics he has created reflect the many facets of black’s symbolism. Kinsun manipulates the space on stage, playing with contrasting movements to reflect the contradictory emotions aroused by the colour black. The choreographer incorporates his intrigue for body language and gestures into this ballet of power, passion and surprise.

Choreography: Kinsun Chan

Music: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64 “Quasi Una Fantasia” by Henryk Górecki

Set & Costume Design: Kinsun Chan

Lighting Design: Goh Boon Ann

 

A Room of Her Own (formerly known as Cello Concerto in E minor), by Fei Bo – WORLD PREMIÈRE

A graduate of BeijingDanceAcademy, Fei Bo has choreographed numerous one-act works for The National Ballet of China, where he is currently Resident Choreographer. He was the recipient of the Choreography Prize at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition, and the prize for Best Choreography at the Shanghai International Ballet Competition in 2007. His full-length ballet The Peony Pavilion was staged at the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2009 and Edinburgh International Festival in 2011.

Frustration, self-doubt, jealousy and torment; these are just a few of the emotions felt by Lu Xi, the heroine of A Room of Her Own. She feels suffocated by her foundering relationship with her choreographer husband, but soon this feeling is replaced by fear and jealousy of her husband’s mysterious friendship with a new colleague. This intense dramatic work, suffused with sadness, highlights the unbridgeable gap between the genders through a profound exploration of the characters’ psychology. The première of a pas de trois excerpt from this new work was well received at Galaxy: International Ballet Gala earlier in 2011.

Choreography: Fei Bo

Music: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 by Edward Elgar

Playwright: Wenlin Xia

Costume Design: Kun Li

Lighting Design: Goh Boon Ann

Luminous, by Peter Quanz

Hailing from Baden,Ontario,Peter Quanzknew he wanted to be a choreographer at the age of nine, and as a result he chose to pursue his creative development and education rather than follow a dancer’s traditional career. Quanz has choreographed ballets for some of the world’s leading ballet companies including the Kirov Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet (Linbury Theatre) and the National Ballet of Canada. He has been a freelance choreographer since 2002.

In Luminous,Peter Quanz speaks through his choreography about the fragility of human relationships, the tension between the genders and the qualities drawn out of a person by each passing liaison. This emotionally-charged piece, dripping with sensuality, will provoke reflection on relationships past and present.

Premièred in September last year by The Hong Kong Ballet, Luminous received great critical acclaim. The Financial Times described Quanz’s choreography as “masterly”, adding that it carries “considerable emotional resonance”. Featuring music by Marjan Mozetich entitled “Affairs of the Heart”, it is a series of duets where the dancers change partners, attracted by the luminous quality of someone new.

Choreography:Peter Quanz

Music: Affairs of the Heart by Marjan Mozetich

Costume Design: Anne Armit

Lighting Design: Mak Kwok Fai

Re-lighting: Goh Boon Ann 

Moments In Time

4 – 5.11.2011 7:30pm

5 –.6. 11.2011 2:30pm

$1000(VIP), $580, $380, $200, $100

Grand Theatre, Hong KongCultural Centre

Ticketing Enquiries 2734 9009
Credit card booking 2111 5999

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Programme Plus!

A Preview of Moments in Time

Artistic Director Madeleine Onne will give an introduction to the whole programme. Two of the choreographers, Kinsun Chan and Fei Bo, will talk about their creative process, and share their thoughts with the audience. There will also be an exclusive opportunity to see a preview by dancers of The Hong Kong Ballet.

18.10.2011(Tuesday) 7:30pm-8:45pm

Venue: Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Conducted in English. Free admission.
Limited audience capacity, advance registration required.

Registration & Enquiries: 2105 9724 / marketing@hkballet.com

 

Pre-Performance Talk

4.11.2011(Friday) 6:50pm-7:15pm

Venue: Level 2 Foyer,Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Free admission with Moments in Time tickets

Conducted in English with Cantonese translation.

About The Hong Kong Ballet

The Hong Kong Ballet is one of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia and is becoming internationally recognized as a world-class institution with an identity that fully reflects the unique vitality ofHong Kong.  The Company turned 30 in 2009, and over time it has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with accomplished dancers, a strong repertoire, and sparkling, technically challenging productions.

The Company’s artistic team of over 40 dancers is led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne. Many of The Hong Kong Ballet’s dancers hail fromChina, but several other nationalities are also represented. The dancers perform a repertoire that combines 19th to 21st century classical masterpieces, acclaimed contemporary works and new commissioned ballets. In the 2010-11 season, the Company’s 42 performances of seven productions attracted an estimated local audience of more than 43,000.

Since 1997, The Hong Kong Ballet has continued to raise its international profile and concluded 21 tours to 10 countries in North & South America, Europe and Asia.

《此時.彼刻》– 兩位華裔編舞家.兩個世界首演

<香港 – 20111014> 香港芭蕾舞團(港芭)委約3位活躍於世界舞壇的當代編舞家彼得.奎安斯、陳建生及費波為港芭舞蹈員度身訂做三部充滿澎湃張力的當代芭蕾作品。陳建生及費波亦已來港與港芭舞蹈員共同創作出新穎獨特的作品。《此時.彼刻》結集這三部芭蕾作品,將於2011年11月4至6日在香港文化中心大劇院上演

港芭熱烈歡迎兩位在世界舞壇嶄露頭角的華裔編舞家陳建生及中央芭蕾舞團駐團編舞費波。他們將於《此時.彼刻》帶來兩部世界首演作品。陳建生早在美國及歐洲工作時已建立了出色編舞家的形象,而且因為父母的原故與香港有著密切關係。費波為2011年亞洲文化協會藝術獎助得主,他的作品《牡丹亭》最近於愛丁堡國際藝術節上演。第三部作品則由加拿大編舞彼得.奎安斯所編創,他曾為基洛夫芭蕾舞團、美國芭蕾舞劇院英國皇家芭蕾舞團編舞,其三部作品亦剛於著名的莫斯科大劇院演出。

問:這次委約創作最令你興奮的地方是什麼?
費波:我很高興港芭相信我們的才能,支持了我們在藝術創作上的成長。香港是一個充滿中西文化沖擊的城市,用西方人的藝術來敘述我們東方人的情結一直都是非常吸引我的地方,所以我很期待這個作品最終在舞台上的演出。我亦非常喜歡舞團的舞蹈員,因他們充滿朝氣,而且擁有很好的職業舞蹈員質素。

問:你希望怎樣憑此作影響觀眾?
陳建生:啟發我編創此作的靈感源自黑色,我希望從視覺上和情感上喚醒觀眾對黑色的感覺,透過不斷演進的空間和舞蹈員不同的個性及舞姿,揭示出黑色的光、暗面。我希望觀眾能夠藉此機會去體驗這一次突破古典芭蕾技巧的演出,以開放的思想去迎接這段與當代芭蕾舞的對話。

問:可否分享是次與港芭合作的感受?
陳建生:今次與港芭合作實在令我感到十分興奮。這是我首次為亞洲舞團編創新作,對我來說是一個里程碑。一方面,港芭薈萃了技巧純熟的舞蹈員和出色的藝術家,與他們合作能為編舞家帶來不少靈感。當區美蓮邀請我為舞團編創新作時,我就知道這是《黑》舉行世界首演的好地方。另一方面,我的父母和親友們都紥根香港,能夠在這城市創作新舞,實在令我感到非常榮幸,某程度上也算是我的回鄉之旅。

彼得.奎安斯:港芭集合來自世界各地的優秀舞蹈員,組成了強大舞團陣容,而且他們都是魅力十足的人。我喜愛他們把自己的經歷和《明亮》的舞蹈編織在一起。他們參考傳統中國舞蹈,就像書法家般用自己的身體「寫」出流麗與典雅的舞姿。舞蹈員對工作的熱誠及獻予觀眾的細緻情感均令我深受感動。能夠與這些舞蹈員合作,發掘他們的藝術潛能,實在是一件振奮人心的事。我希望很快又再能跟港芭合作。

問:可否告訴大家你近期的動向?
費波:我將在亞洲文化協會的資助下前往美國參與在馬克莫里斯舞蹈團的留駐計劃。我十分期待著與紐約及美國其他城市的著名編舞家作交流。

彼得.奎安斯:過去六個月是一個非常特別的創作期,因我同時為俄羅斯布里亞特國家芭蕾舞團和我的舞團Q Dance編創新作。我剛完成的一齣全新長篇芭蕾舞劇《羅丹與卡蜜兒》已於2011年10月13日由加拿大蒙特利爾大芭蕾舞團首演。在此首演的前兩天,布里亞特國家芭蕾舞團亦已於歷史悠久的莫斯科大劇院演出三部由我創作的芭蕾作品。兩個夢寐以求的製作能於同一星期內上演,令我感到自己是無比的幸運!

問:為甚麼你會委約這三位編舞家?
港芭藝術總監區美蓮:他們每一位都是出色和獨特的編舞家。陳建生和我們有共同理念,認為男舞蹈員也可是舞蹈的中心元素,而非只是一位拍擋。本團有很多一流的男舞蹈員,我們能自豪地讓他們在台上盡顯鋒芒。我們亦希望加強與國內的聯繫,來自中央芭蕾舞團的費波能協助我們達成此目標。任誰看過今年較早前《Galaxy國際芭蕾匯演》中由他編舞的選段,都一定會對其震撼情感和心靈的舞蹈留下深刻印象。我們的舞蹈員曾與彼得.奎安斯合作,他是一位能啟迪人心的編舞家,我們很高興能夠再次演繹他的作品。三位創作者雖已非常成功,但我們相信他們仍有無限潛力尚待發掘,希望能藉著委約他們支持和鼓勵新一代的編舞家。

 

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