New residency exchange between Hong Kong and Finland started
One of the world’s largest cultural districts – The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority – is being built in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. WKCDA future dance house in the Lyric Theatre Complex chose to start a collaboration programme with contemporary dance organizations from Finland.
The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) in Hong Kong has established a new residency exchange programme together with three Finnish dance institutions: Dance Info Finland, Zodiak – Center for New Dance and Dance House Helsinki.
Three artists from both Finland and Hong Kong are taking part in Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Finland 2016–2019 residency exchange programme. Artists will work in both countries in six separate exchanges over a three-year period and also invite other regional dancers and choreographers to work with them. The objective of the programme is to support long-term development of Hong Kong’s dance sector and ease possible co-productions between Hong Kong and Finland.
“We want to collaborate with Finland to get new insights that’ll rattle the way we are used doing things,” says Anna CY Chan, Head of Dance, Performing Arts of WKCDA.
“We want to reach beyond Western Europe where we have traditionally had connections before.”
“The Nordic artists, their work and the whole aesthetic are something totally new to us which we now get to explore.”
The programme kicked off in the beginning of December 2016 when the three artists – Ivy Tsuik Yik-chit, Justyne Li Sze-yeung and Wayson Poon Wai-shun – from Hong Kong took part in ICE HOT dance platform in Copenhagen and then came to Helsinki for their first residency in Zodiak – Center for New Dance.
Finnish artists – Carl Knif, Linda Martikainen and Sari Palmgren – will travel to Hong Kong for their first residency in March 2017, as the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Art Basel will be held then.
“Everybody’s contribution is important in this kind of exchange. The artists need to be willing to share, give and receive. And to be courageous, of course,” reminds Harri Kuorelahti, Artistic Director of Zodiak – Center for New Dance. “With this programme we wish to build artistic relationships and working opportunities for Finnish artists in the future. As well as partnerships and know-how for Finnish institutions,” Kuorelahti continues.
“There are good dancers in Hong Kong and they follow Asian and Australian dance scene intently. However, I hope that we can bring a novel approach on to the idea of choreographic thinking. We also have a model for outreach and audience development for WKCDA to take influence from.”
New dance houses to be build in Hong Kong and Helsinki
One of the world’s largest cultural districts – The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority – is being built in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. As part of which a dance house in the Lyric Theatre Complex will open in 2021. The concept is developed parallel to Dance House Helsinki which will be opening in the same time frame.
“Dance House Helsinki compares to ours in Hong Kong by providing performance space as well as other amenities for dance. We are especially interested in the idea of having all kind of dance under our roof, too,” says Anna CY Chan.
Creative meeting point: Hong Kong x Finland is the first joint effort between the WKCDA and international dance institutions. The WKCDA is currently working to establish further collaboration and exchange agreements with arts institutions in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Kuorelahti is delighted that WKCDA has chosen to collaborate with Finland: “They will be one of the prominent art institutions in the future. This is a great opportunity for us to be in the frontline alongside with them.”