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Art What!: Tai Kwun launches new performing arts series ‘On Stage Online’ (Hong Kong)

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HONG KONG – Tai Kwun—Centre for Heritage and Arts has announced a brand-new series of performing arts programmes, On Stage Online. Running from September to October, over 10 programmes are currently programmed, with the first six programmes to premiere this month across various platforms.

In thinking about how the arts and society are inextricably bound, responding and reacting to one another, the performing arts has faced incredible challenges in 2020, with the pandemic forcing cancellations and changes around the world. Nonetheless, many artists and performers are rising to this challenge, responding to a difficult transformation of society and everyday life by making breakthroughs in conventional modes of art-making. In facilitating this, Tai Kwun aims to carry on with its dual mission of providing the public with arts and entertainment, while also supporting and nurturing local artists, done in the form of On Stage Online.

The programme kicks off with dance performance We Are (digitally becoming) Spectacle(s). Co-presented with Jockey Club New Arts Power, the performance acts as a prelude to choreographer Joseph Lee’s 2021 performance Unfolding Images: We are Spectacle(s). We Are (digitally becoming) Spectacle(s) will be hosted by the creative cast in the form of an open rehearsal, as they move around and place themselves at different corners of Tai Kwun, creating a virtual sightseeing tour of the disjointed space. Audience members will interact with the performers by means of the cameras and instant messaging.

In A Lover’s Concerto, presented by City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC), watch as couples from different generations who all met at CCDC perform a choreographed piece recreating their lasting memories, leading the audience in an exploration of relationships through interactions and by feeling each other’s heart beats.

Having first premiered in May 2018 for Tai Kwun’s opening to acclaim, This Victoria Has No Secrets has now been updated for an online performance. Touching on the famous Victoria Harbour and the city called Victoria that faced it, This Victoria Has No Secrets…When It Goes Online features a video comprising three melodic songs from the production, and acts a sneak peak of an outdoor version of the show to be presented next year.

In The Creation of Under∞Line, choreographer Rebecca Wong presents a ‘making of’ documentary that gives audience members a sneak peek into her creative process, from conception, to research and interactions among creative collaborators before her work UnderLine makes its debut next year.

Frequent collaborator with Tai Kwun and playwright/director Yan Pat To presents A Poem in Jail  (in progress) – Happy Together Till the Next Century Comes, a fragment of a future cross-discipline immersive production that combines lyrics, sounds, images and drama. In this version, watch as Yan offers his intimate insight to the creation of the new work to the public.

At the end of September, catch See You Zoom Again, a creative work conceived during the ups and downs of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, as a response to society and as a way of coping with the new trend of online theatres. Inspired by the practice of ethnotheatre, a theatre-making method based on ethnographic research, the See team creates this work via Zoom and will share different Hong Kong stories and invites the audience to join in on real-time interactions. Together they give shape to the ongoing adaptations and struggles of people’s lives in Hong Kong, as audiences experience the dissolving boundaries of the stage in online performance.

On Stage Online runs from 13th September 2020 across various platforms online. For more information, visit their website here

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