Tai Kwun has announced its new performing art series On Stage Online, which features a line-up of over 10 free online programmes to be launched on September 13. The pandemic has brought many challenges to the local performing arts scene, with many shows cancelled and postponed. Yet the hurdle has also brought various art groups together in responding to the changes in everyday life and making breakthroughs in conventional modes of art-making. Tai Kwun––the former police station and prison complex revitalised into exhibition halls and art spaces––will support the art scene by presenting a variety of events which includes dance, drama, music, online interactive theatrical performances, and many other forms of performing arts events.
Drama theatre enthusiasts will have an immersive new show to look forward to. Local playwright Yan Pat To will put on stage A Poem in Jail, an immersive theatre inspired by a bed-board with a love poem found in a women’s cell at Victoria Prison. The production, some of which are excerpts from a full show to be staged next year, features artists across disciplines, including media installation artist Kingsley Ng, video artist Adrian Yeung, dramaturg Jass Leung and lyricist Chow Yiu Fai. Through the performance, they reimagine Central then and now.
Another theatre piece, which resonates with the city shrouded with the pandemic, is See You Zoom Again. The See team conceived the show during the ups and downs of Covid-19 as a way of coping with the new trend of online theatres. It presents different Hong Kong stories. Inspired by the practice of ethnotheatre, a theatre-making method based on ethnographic research, the work is manifested via Zoom and invites the audience to join in on real-time interactions.
Dance is another major category in this series. Co-presented by Jockey Club New Arts Power, We Are (digitally becoming) Spectacle(s) is the sneak peek of choreographer Joseph Lee’s dance piece Unfolding Images: We are Spectacle(s) which is planned for the stage next year. As performers move around different corners of Tai Kwun, the show––which is in the form of an open rehearsal––decodes bodily postures to experiment with possible relationships of seeing and being seen.
The second dance production is A Lover’s Concerto by City Contemporary Dance Company. Created and performed by couples who met at the dance organisation, the choreography tells the stories of their encounter and memories.
Home-grown dancer Rebecca Wong is concerned with the relationship between carnal desire and society, and between culture and power in her recent works. In the wait for the presentation of Under∞Line next year, Tai Kwun is showing the documentary of its making process.
Along with the dance performances, Yat Po Singers will bring back a cappella theatre programme, This Victoria Has No Secrets, which was first premiered in May 2018 for Tai Kwun’s opening, with re-run performances taking place last year. Three melodic songs are selected from the nostalgic production, which spotlights Victoria Harbour in the times of the “Victoria City”.
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