For Immediate Release
(Hong Kong – 13 November 2023) Hong Kong Dance Company is excited to announce the recognition from the 13th China Dance Lotus Awards (for Contemporary Dance) with its dance creation Whispers of the Pines (formerly known as Six Gentlemen) ranked first in the competition. The China Dance Lotus Awards, regarded as the highest honour celebrating our country's outstanding works by magnificent dance elites, is the most prestigious national awards for dancing in China. Selected out of 434 top-notch dance works, Hong Kong Dance Company is honoured to receive the award given the unarguably intense competition this year.
Organised by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the Chinese Dancers Association and the Publicity Department of Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC, and hosted by the Dance Art Center of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the Shenzhen Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the China Dance Lotus Awards has gained wide influence not only on a national level but also international since its inception in 1998. It has become a prestigious expert award recognising the highest achievements in professional dance art in China, and celebrating outstanding dance artists and excellent dance works in the field of dance art nationwide. This award, is the dance prize equivalent to the theatrical award “Plum Blossom Award” and the film award “Golden Rooster Award”, deemed as the highest award for high-standard, national-level dance performance. In principle, it is held once every two years.
Whispers of the Pines was the featured piece chosen by Hong Kong Dance Company, the Shenzhen Dancers Association, and the Luohu District Federation of Literary. Drawing inspiration from the painting "Six Gentlemen" by the Yuan Dynasty painter Ni Zan, the dance piece combines the power of martial arts with the rhythm of the body, using martial arts and dance to symbolise six tall trees and six noblemen, encapsulating the traditional humanistic concept of "harmony in diversity". The awarded piece was choreographed by Yang Yuntao, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Dance Company, who led the guide for the artistic direction and concept. Five dancers from Hong Kong Dance Company, along with two dancers from the Shenzhen Dancers Association, delivered electrifying performance of Whispers of the Pines, showering with critical public acclaim.
“I highly value this opportunity to collaborate with artistic dance institutions in the Greater Bay Area, it deepens the cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Shenzhen through dance. I am extremely grateful for the enormous support of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for Hong Kong Dance Company, as well as the support from the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau throughout.” stated Yang.
Feng Shuangbai, Chairman of China Dancers Association, further elaborated, “We have seen creative transformation and innovative development of our profound traditional Chinese culture through the encapsulation of dance. To create remarkable artistic works, we still need to delve into our excellent traditional culture and always hold a reverential attitude towards it.” In Feng’s remark, Hong Kong Dance Company has successfully coined new artistic vocabularies through the creation of "Six Gentlemen". In his wisdom, only through exploration in the infinite innovative possibilities, inheritance and promulgation of outstanding traditional Chinese culture, we distil essence from the grandeur of our own culture, and present new dance work shaped by peculiar thinking, exquisite artistry and virtuoso expressions that resonate with our contemporary civilisation. (Retrieved from Sina.com, 11 October 2023, Author: Shenzhen Special Zone Daily)
Hong Kong Dance Company also participated for the first time the "CDA Environmental Dance (Beijing)", thanks to invitation by the Chinese Dancers Association. Tuned to a site-specific dance piece, Whispers of the Pines combines dance and martial arts, was presented at the ancient Cheng'en Temple of over 500 years of history. The delicate dance work started off traipsing the tranquil temple ground, then etherealized a magnificent juxtaposition of humanity and architectural excellence. The site-specific dances celebrating the occasion were broadcast online earlier this month and achieved great renown.
The work revolves around the retelling of humanistic spirit and artistic accomplishment through appreciation of landscape paintings. The dancers of Whispers of the Pines adumbrates its subject matter of achieving silence in absolute stillness, and so be enlightened by the true nature behind all in the universe. With their bodies as brushes and the stage as a canvas, they engage the audience about tradition and inner thoughts, using the art form of dance to build a spiritual world that transcends time and space, appreciating the beauty of all things and contemplating the origin of life. Whispers of the Pines is the featured excerpt from the Chinese Dance × Martial Arts Convergence, next venture of which will be Tokyo and Kanazawa in Japan, respectively on 25 and 29 November. Convergence will have its live debut performance in Hong Kong at the West Kowloon Cultural District’s The Box, Freespace from 8 - 10 December.
Jenny Lam ─ Head of Marketing and Communications
Freya Cheung ─ Marketing Officer
Established in 1981, Hong Kong Dance Company (HKDC) is committed to promoting Chinese dance with contemporary artistic visions and Hong Kong character. Since its inception, HKDC has staged over 200 productions over the decades, many of which were highly popular and critically acclaimed. Recent productions include The Legend of Mulan, Red Poppies, Spring Ritual·Eulogy, The Butterfly Lovers, Storm Clouds, L’Amour Immortel, Dream of the Past: Ancient Chinese Court Dances, Reveries of the Red Chamber, Chinese Hero: A Lone Exile, Vipassana, Lady White of West Lake, Tale of Three Cities, Waiting Heart, Liu Sanjie, Ode to the Silk Road, Dance of Strings, A Tale of the Southern Sky, Mazu the Sea Goddess, The Moon Opera, Shan Shui: An Ode to Nature, Nine Songs, Nezha: Untold Solitude, Myth of the Dancing Durumi, as well as Convergence, a culminating work created through a three-year interdisciplinary research study on Chinese dance and Chinese martial arts traditions.
As a cultural ambassador of Hong Kong, HKDC constantly brings the city’s unique artistic style to the world by touring to different cities across the globe, engaging local audiences and encouraging cultural exchange. In recent years, we have brought our award-winning productions to Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Sony Centre in Toronto, Concourse Theatre in Chatswood, Sydney, Southbank Centre in London, the Belarusian State Academic Musical Theatre in Minsk, Arko Arts Theatre in Seoul, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Tianqiao Acrobatics Theatre in Beijing, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai International Dance Cente, Hangzhou Grand Theatre, Guangzhou Opera House, Taipei New Stage and Taiwan Traditional Theatre Center, among others.
Hong Kong Dance Company was incorporated in 2001 as a charitable and non-profit-making institution, and is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as one of the major performing arts companies in Hong Kong
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