Anna CY Chan - Dean of The School of Dance at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

The epitome of a multifaceted dance artist, Anna CY Chan has brought her years of experience in the studio, on stage, backstage and behind the scenes to her current position as the Dean of The School of Dance at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Conveying to us all that every experience and opportunity counts, Anna is all about pursuing your dreams in dance with passion, perseverance and commitment. Of course, any dream requires you to work hard and master your craft. So to learn from the dancing masters yourself, you gotta hit the classrooms or better yet the studios!

Hong Kong has an amazing dance scene, and many of the active dance professionals in the community are former graduates of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts! Studying dance is not limited to learning movements and steps, there is so much more to discover. The world of dance is expansive and continuously growing, so here to give you all the know on Hong Kong’s highly esteemed performing arts academy is Ms. Anna CY Chan herself!

Covering your most burning questions, Anna discusses the various types of programs offered at The School of Dance, as well as tips for prospective auditioning students. Plus, we give you an inside look at the classes taken by the Bachelor of Fine Arts dance students, as well as some of their performance productions. So throw on your backpack, because we are going back to school with The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts!

Director and Producer: Lon Ting

Interviewer: Melinda Gaskin

Translators: Christy Chan, Ivy Tang, Yankei Lam

Videographer and Video Editing: Manuel Wong Ho

Production by: MWH Studio

Yang Yuntao - Artistic Director of Hong Kong Dance Company

“We all know that Hong Kong is a very open international city, but at the same time we must not forget that it is also a very oriental and elegant place.” -Yang Yuntao

Many would say that the dance world is a small world, but when you open your eyes to the many types of dance styles out there, and the culture and history behind it, it is much broader than you could ever imagine.

In this exclusive interview with the Artistic Director of Hong Kong Dance Company, Yang Yuntao, we learn about Hong Kong’s journey of preserving traditional Chinese Dance, while also developing the traditional art form to adapt to the current culture.

Despite Hong Kong’s diversity and modernity, it is amazing how Hong Kong Dance Company (HKDC) follows the flow of the country---upholding traditions, while excelling and innovating in our current modern day.

Hong Kong Dance Company is named so for a reason and a purpose. Not only for the obvious fact that they are closely related to the society or the city of Hong Kong, but from the dance perspective, it shows everyone the value of preserving traditional dance.

Yang finds it crucial to preserve traditional dance, as he believes that amongst the freedoms of performance and creation with its greatest freedoms, still requires extensive learning.

Traditional dance is not as easy as most people would think. Like all dance forms it requires immense training, but it doesn’t stop there. Unlike ballet or contemporary dance, a dancer of traditional dance cannot just move as he/she pleases in a way of expressing themselves. It takes not only interest and enthusiasm, but most importantly a steady mind in learning about it.

So much for a steady mind, but this doesn’t mean that Chinese dance can only be learned by grown ups, or a mature mind. It is also something children can learn. The big question, however, is “Why should they be learning it?” But I suppose, it would be the same question to ask a even grown up. Understanding oneself and where we are from is what Yang claims, but there is so much reason and meaning behind learning this form of dance that is basically equivalent to treasure---and that we have to discover.

Find out what else Artistic Director, Yang Yuntao has to say not only about Hong Kong Dance Company, but how it influences and is influenced by the city, and the country it is in.

Willy Tsao - Founder, Artistic Director of CCDC

Establishing one of the pillars of Hong Kong’s dance scene, is Willy Tsao, the founder of City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC). More than an icon, Willy Tsao began as a young talented dancer, only to become a well renowned choreographer and to what we now know as China’s “Father of Chinese Modern Dance”. Purely influential, Tsao is an inspirational gem of Hong Kong.

A recent interview with Tsao, made me realise how much of a true artist he really is---a realist. Explaining what contemporary dance is about, his journey in life, and how his experience with society influences his choreographies and contributes to contemporary dance.

Willy not only makes us reflect on society, moreover, he provides his beliefs on the universe based on his evocative perspective. A man with very deep thoughts, transforming it into movement, letting us understand consummation through movement and music.

Speaking of which, the company under the masterful leadership of Tsao is currently in preparation for their upcoming premier of  “Season(s)” this June 1-3. Bringing a group of phenomenal contemporary dance choreographers*  comes a two-year project across Hong Kong and Australia and after which will be traveling to Brisbane and Darwin after the full production’s premier in Hong Kong.

Willy doesn’t only make us think about what is happening in the “real” world called life, through the form of dance, instead, he gives us a wake up call in each of his creations. Through each of his masterpieces, he does not force us to view things from his perspective, but rather awakens our senses to question and reflect on what is happening, and what has happened in society and everything around us.

 

SEPTIME WEBRE (Part 2) Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet

Bursting with creativity and passion, is a man full of inspiration and drive to effectively move people with art. Septime Webre has a lot to offer the people of Hong Kong when it comes to ballet. Not only are we talking about ballet, but dance and professionalism as well. Being a director in a prestigious ballet company is a tall order, but Webre is all about working together with his team and embracing the unique beauty of Hong Kong.

Get comfy and sit one on one, as we talk with Septime Webre, HK Dance Moms’ first ever Center Stage guest artist.

SEPTIME WEBRE - Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet

The most recent genius behind Hong Kong Ballet talks about “The Nutcracker”, and his criteria for selecting kids into the productions.

A great influential leader of his time, Septime Webre is at the top of his game. Sharing his soul through creativity in a ballet company that consists of amazing, talented, young dancers alongside a creative team reaching out to an audience of not just dance lovers, but supporters of the arts.

Before the year ends, let's take an inside look at Hong Kong Ballet's adaptation of the classic, all time favourite holiday ballet, "The Nutcracker".