The Story of Island and Boat – Hong Kong was conceived in 2003, when SARS and the economic downturn weighed on people’s minds. This dance theatre piece recalled the history of Hong Kong, evoking the collective memories of different generations. The narrated stories and danced images revealed the Hong Kong spirit of perseverance and resilience.
Hong Kong began as a fishing harbour whose people lived in close proximity to the sea. The many islands were connected by boats, which carried the people of Hong Kong as they strove for a better life. And so they were witnesses to the people’s sweat and tears as Hong Kong developed into a bustling metropolis and evolved a distinct culture. They were vessels contatining moving stories of struggles against the forces of nature, and of striving for their ideals.
The Story of Island and Boat – Hong Kong combined East and West, old and new on one stage. Modern dance met powerful Chinese percussions and “syut syu” storytelling, the southern Chinese folk performance tradition. The character of Goddess Tin Hau weaved the many theatrical elements together, to bring out the stories of Hong Kong.
The work was first presented in 2004 by Y-Space as an LCSD Community Cultural Ambassador and toured to six islands. After the 2008 financial tsunami, Y-Space revived the work in 2009 on traditional bamboo-scaffolding theatres in Tuen Mun and Sai Kung, as part its Makeshift Theatre Project II – Dance Collage Carnival 2009. Later in 2009 and 2011 it was repackaged for theatre stages in Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun town halls, where secondary school students could broaden their experience in the arts through the LCSD’s School Culture Day Scheme. The 2009 & 2011 version included multimedia projections and updated historical information.
Artistic Director, Director & Choreographer: Victor Choi-wo Ma
Producer, Choreographer & Dancer: Mandy Ming-yin Yim (Tin Hau)
Playwright & Performer: Rensen Chan Man Kong (narrator)
Set, Props & Costume Designer: Tsang Man Tung (2004) & Wong Yuen Ming (2009)
Composer, Musical Director & Musician: Ng King Pan
Band Leader: Man Ka Wai
Musicians: Ah Tung (2005), Law Hang Leung (2005), Wu Chun Hei (2005/2009), Mo Chun Pang (2005/2009), Locky Law (2009), Leung Yan Chiu (2009/2011) & Lee Pok Yin (2011)
Lighting Designer: Anson Chan (2009), Anna Lee (2009) & PC Sei (2011)
Video Designer: Woo Ling Ling
PowerPoint Designer: Song Nan & Alvin Chan (2011)
Reviews and Feedback
A light that let us view not just the here and now but into the soul of the island. The Story of Island and Boat – Hong Kong created a spiritual current that connected us with the island, its history, its reality, and its possibility. It brought us together to value the beauty of the place and each other.
Hong Kong Dance Journal