“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.