YIN YU CHUN FAI《燕宇春徽》| Hong Kong, Cultural Centre

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, some new works are being commissioned which reference the very venue itself. The four Chinese characters of the title reference the four different dance pieces — two solos and two duets — by renowned choreographers and dancers who have a long association with the venue.

Daniel Yeung’s solo HongKongMarch 1989-2019, which closes the show, is earth-shattering: a must-see piece amid an otherwise fairly tame programme. A nude figure writhes across the floor, sometimes pathetically embryonic, sometimes powerfully machine-like. He discovers two hoses that dangle from the ceiling: one sprays him with clear water; the other with black tar. At one moment, discovering the shock of the tar for the first time, he covers his mouth: he is wet and naked, except for what now looks like a black face mask. There is no curtain call, just a breathless audience, who file out in stunned silence.

Yuri Ng’s opening duet 29+50=30, featuring Icey Lam in Chinese “water-sleeves” and Terry Tsang in tight jean shorts and a genderqueer crop top, also depicts the complex play and struggle between two diametrically opposed figures. The ending is clear: Lam centre stage in a triumphant pose from traditional Chinese opera, while Tsang cowers in the corner, his head desperately in his hands.

Mui Cheuk Yin’s solo, “Faces”, uses a patchwork cape to depict many floundering figures, including the outside statue, César’s The Flying Frenchman (1991). There’s no curtain call here either, but a yell out to the audience: “Free Hong Kong!” Dick Wong’s bold duet A Body Research has no movement at all, but rather a Cantonese-language presentation out to the audience on the history of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Playing at the Studio Theatre 11 – 13 October 2019.

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