Cross-continent, diverse dance exchange – it will come later, iCoDaCo in Hong Kong
English translation below
近年全球表演藝術產業的趨勢，傾向越來越多的多地共製，集合多地資金去支持新作發展；而為表演藝術家提供研創空間的駐留計劃，也漸漸在世界各地流行。不過，無論是多地共製，抑或是駐留空間的提供，其目的往往也只是為個別演出節目的生成而服務，長時間及跨地域的創作交流及共創巡演卻不多見。即將在七月份來港演出，發展自iCoDaCo計劃的《將至》（it will come later），或者可以為這類跨地域創作帶來一點新啟發。
iCoDaCo，全名「International Contemporary Dance Collective」，意指「國際當代舞蹈共同體」，是一個由藝術家主導的跨文化當代舞交流計劃。計劃源於2012年一個由瑞典哥登堡舞團ilDance所策劃的國際交流活動，自2014年起以iCoDaCo為名，每兩年一度，集合不同地方與背景的舞蹈家，透過持續的溝通交流，共同創作一個全新舞作，並於各地巡演。
2018至2020季度， iCoDaCo以「衍變」（Transformation）為題，六位參與藝術家分別來自五個不同國家地區，包括有份創立此計劃的舞蹈家Lee Brummer（瑞典）、去屆也曾參與的跨媒介創作人Eddie Ladd（威爾斯），首次參與的編舞及表演者Imre Vass（匈牙利）、活躍於當地獨立舞壇的Weronika Pelczynska（波蘭），以及計劃首兩位亞洲代表：香港舞蹈家梅卓燕及李偉能。
各參與藝術家在不同城市駐留期間，除了持續協作孵化一齣全新舞作，並作階段展演外，也會帶領不同活動，跟當地社群交流。例如去年計劃於香港駐留時，波蘭編舞家Weronika就與克拉科夫編舞中心（Krakow Choreographic Centre）的經理及製作人Marta Wołowiec，介紹了當地的舞蹈策劃與發展面貌；而梅卓燕及李偉能也於海外駐留時，也曾帶領舞蹈工作坊。
Co-producing and co-financing new art project has become a trend in performing arts industry in recent years. Residency schemes for performing artists that provides space for creation is also getting more popular around the world. Yet, these examples mostly serves the purpose of making one production. It is rare to see any long-term, cross-continent creative exchanges and co-production touring. “it will come later” of iCoDaCo, which is coming to Hong Kong in July, will perhaps bring us new inspiration about cross-continent creation.
iCoDaCo, which stands for "International Contemporary Dance Collective", is an international contemporary dance community, an artist-led cross-cultural contemporary dance exchange program. The program originated from an international exchange event planned in 2012 by ilDance, a Swedish dance company in Gothenburg Dance. Since 2014, iCoDaCo has been named officially. Every two years, dancers from different places and backgrounds come together, communicate in different forms and create a new dance piece together and touring around.
The theme of the current edition of iCoDaCo (2018 – 2020) is “Transformation”. Six artists come from five different countries, including the dancer Lee Brummer (Sweden) who is one of the founderd of iCoDaCo, Eddie Ladd (Wales), artist working across theatre and dance and has joined the last edition, Imre Vass (Hungary), choreographer and performer joining for the first time, Weronika Pelczynska (Poland) active in her local independent dance scene, and the first two Asian representatives: Hong Kong dancer Mui Cheuk Yin and Joseph Lee.
The entire program includes artist-in-residency, community outreach activities, co-creation, tour and documentation, which aim to promote exchange in the framework of modern dance and create new concepts for creation and performance. The team met for the first time in Hong Kong in August last year. They got to know each other and started the experimental process. Then they went to Cardiff in Wales and Uddevalla in Sweden to continue to develop the work.
During the creative residencies in various cities, besides creating the new work and showing the work-in-progress to the public, the collective had also organised different activities and exchanged ideas with the local communities. For example, during the residency in Hong Kong last year, Polish choreographer Weronika and Marta Wołowiec, manager and producer of the Krakow Choreographic Centre, have given a presentation about the Polish local dance curation and development; while Mui Cheuk Yin and Joseph Lee also taught dance workshops during their stay in other countries.
In addition, artists will also write observation reports and impressions in the process, and some will be uploaded to the official website of iCoDaCo. On one hand, they can share experiences with the public, let more people understand the development process and ideas behind the dance and its plans. On the other hand, it also provides a good record platform for dance creation.
Mui Cheuk-yin said that the experience of participating in iCoDaCo is very precious. Even though she has performed in European cities in different scales, she has little chance to travel to different cities from one to another and she used to focus on creating the work in one space only. The execution of such cross-continent creation also drives the artists to confront with each other, to work together in the same room amid different cultural background. This is very much different from the practice of her previous creations.
For Joseph Lee, in view of the different cultures and training and practices of each of them, it is difficult to achieve a unanimous to create and interpret the works together. Especially the artists have already obtained certain experience in creating and it is not easy to open themselves up to find common goals and faiths. The creative process also led to his thoughts on whether democracy can be applied to artistic creation. Take this project as an example: there is no such thing as a director or choreographer, but a collective effort to create the work on a balance and equal basis. The strategy of decision-making is worth a discussion.
The result of the residency program, "it will come later” was premiered in the BalletOFFFestival of Krakow, Poland's second largest city last November, and then in Sweden, Hungary and Poland from March to April this year. After the Europe tour, the team will come back to Hong Kong in July this year. Come to see the dance work co-created by these six choreographers. After a year of evolution, will it bring new enlightenment (inspiration) to cross-continent dance collaboration?
Writer: William Chan
Experienced art critic