Modern Dance Choreography in 1990s Hong Kong

Lau, Tin Ming 劉天明
Supervisor: Prof. David Clarke

This thesis addresses the development of Modern Dance choreography in 1990s Hong Kong. Professionalism in Hong Kong Modern Dance was marked by the establishment of the first Modern Dance company in Hong Kong, City Contemporary Dance Company, in 1979. However, it was during the 1990s Modern Dance developed as a culture in Hong Kong. This research aims to provide the first comprehensive study of local Modern Dance choreographies in 1990s. The thesis focuses in particular on works of three prominent Modern Dance choreographers, Mui Cheuk Yin, Yuri Ng and Pun Siu Fai.

There are altogether five chapters in the thesis: Chapter One is an outline of the situation of Hong Kong Modern Dance up to the end of 1980s. Establishments of two professional performance companies that deal with Modern Dance, CCDC and Zuni Icosahedron are discussed. Works created by the two companies by Willy Tsao, Helen Lai, Danny Yung and Edward Lam are analyzed. The role of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and the Arts Development Council are also analyzed; Chapter Two is an analysis of Mui Cheuk Yin’s works. She practiced Chinese Dance before she came to choreograph for CCDC. This chapter discusses her Chinese Dance training and her involvement in Contact Improvisation. Both her solos and group dances are analyzed; Chapter Three is an analysis of Yuri Ng’s works. He practiced Ballet Dance before he came to choreograph for CCDC. This chapter analyzes how he adapted choreographic ideas from classical ballet to the local Hong Kong environment; Chapter Four is an analysis of Pun Siu Fai’s works. He practiced Chinese Dance before he worked for CCDC. This chapter analyzes how he expressed his discontent against traditional Chinese Dance performance structure and examines his Environmental Dance series in 1998 and 1999; Chapter Five highlights other choreographers who also presented works in 1990s Hong Kong. The influence in their dance training, whether in Hong Kong or overseas, will be analyzed. Main dancers and the associated Companies mentioned included: Jacky Yu from E-side Modern
Dance Company, Andy Wong and Francis Leung from DanceArt Hong Kong, Victor Ma and Mandy Yim from Y-Space, Abby Chan and Yeung Wai Mei from McMuiMui Dancemble, Dick Wong and Daniel Yeung.