About the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series (CDS)
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series was first launched in the 40th edition of the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2012. It is a multifaceted arts development platform that caters fully for the creative needs of artists, from planning and production to promotion, publicity and outreach education. Each edition takes more than a year to plan, from finalising choreographer candidates and types of works, to preparing programmes, promoting and implementing educational programmes, to rehearsals and final performances. Since 2012, the dance series has produced 87 new works, which have ranged from small- and medium-scale productions to full-length performances, and have involved more than 300 choreographers, dancers and artists.
Breathing room for creativity
The main purpose of the CDS is to provide young local choreographers and dancers with creative and experimental opportunities, and to support the continuous development of choreographers with potential. In response to the constraints of the creative environment faced by independent choreographers and dancers, the series provides professional art administration support and production technology management, so the artists can have a better creative environment to focus on developing new works.
International perspectives leading to diversified development
The dance series also focuses on opening up choreographers’ creative spaces and thinking, by encouraging them to collaborate with other artists—both local and from overseas—and giving play to the open and diverse characteristics of contemporary dance. It brings together artists from different fields and expands the creative circle from choreographers and dancers, to include writers, musicians, multimedia artists, and so forth, presenting a more organic creative ecosystem. In addition, works presented by the CDS have been staged on multiple occasions locally and overseas. Hong Kong choreographers have been able to observe overseas counterparts at international dance festivals, helping to stimulate their creative thinking, while exposing them to international standards.
Growing roots through educational outreach
As well as giving young Hong Kong choreographers a chance to showcase their talent, the series also focuses on the continuity of contemporary dance. Since its second edition, the CDS outreach team has been planning an educational outreach programme every year, bringing contemporary dance from the theatre into the classroom, through demonstrations, lectures, dance workshops and exhibitions, allowing primary and secondary school students to experience contemporary dance in a relaxed and interactive way. So far, the number of students participating in the project has exceeded 35,000, involving more than 50 schools. As the programme aims to cultivate future local dance practitioners and enthusiasts, students are given the chance to appreciate contemporary dance performances and take part in the creative process and even performances.
The dance series showcases the unique features of Hong Kong contemporary dance, while encouraging exchanges between local choreographers and overseas artists. Through production, performance and education, the CDS has made vital contributions to enriching the ecosystem of the city’s dance scene.