Hong Kong Dance Company: Dreams of the Past: Ancient Chinese Court Dances Review

(c) Tony Lee

(c) Tony Lee

For three years of living in Hong Kong, why did I only see the Hong Kong Dance Company perform now? I can’t believe I have missed so much in the past three years, but I am glad to finally have seen  them over the weekend, performing “Dreams of the Past:Ancient Chinese Court Dances”.

I have always been interested and loved history, but one of the few I have always found so interesting was the Chinese culture. Seeing HKDC’s performance was such a graceful flashback of history through dance---all with a story to tell.

So here are a few favorites from all the nine dance numbers the company has performed:

Chu-Style Waist Dancing

(pre-Qin Dynasty)

(c) Henry Wong

(c) Henry Wong

According to legend, Duke Ling of the Chu dynasty fancied women with a slender waist, which seemed to set off a trend. Sheer with wizardry and spirits it seemed like these group of performers and technical crew have pulled it off quite well.

As curtains rose, a foggy and somehow eerie set was displayed. In perfect inclination of the dancers’ costume and headpiece that moved smoothly and enchantingly with each whip of their movements. Each back bend, spin, and glide on the floor seemed to give the very eye-catching headpiece a life of its own.

This dance I should say is really one of those really memorable ones of all. From the dancer’s technique, synchronicity and costumes and set giving the Chu kingdom justice as to how it has been described of its rituals and celebration of spirits.

Small Victory Dance

(Tang Dynasty)

(c) Crystal Kwok

(c) Crystal Kwok

Highly climactic, savage, yet remaining elegant.

As a dance created with female dancers in battle at the same time showing off their feminine charms----or what I would like to describe in the now as, “femme fatale”.

Perhaps of all dances, this seemed to be the most technical and most applauded for the dancers countless and fierce but smooth series of turns. But not only that was what made this piece amazing, instead, it was the whole personality of the dance itself, which I think each dancer has brought off perfectly.

Spring Excursion

(Wei-Jin Southern and Northern Dynasties)

(c) Stephen Yau

(c) Stephen Yau

Creating rhythm as the feet hobbles the floor, and wherein singing and dancing was such a common thing for the Han people, to have interpreted in a dance has been flawlessly carried out by the company’s talented dancers.  

Light, sophisticated and classic is how I found this dance to be----this would definitely be my favourite of all dances.

With quite a number of dancers on stage, it is definitely difficult to maintain togetherness, as if one would make a mistake or miss a single note, it will throw everyone else off; but this went smoothly. And there’s nothing more impressive like a company moving in sync

The lighting and set design went perfectly well with the costume’s tender hues and dancers elegant movements. To have ended the first half of the performance, it was truly as if being conveyed to ancient China.

Overall, I do think that this was a very interesting and informative performance by the HKDC---Chinese culture at its finest, in a form of dance. Definitely, a memorable performance that was cultural and refined, at the same time giving us a tad bit of history to look back on and appreciate.