18 十月 2019


表演藝術 Performing Art , 國內新聞 Local news, 國際新聞 International news , 生活品味 Lifestyle


By Camryn Eakes 

Year after year, the Hong Kong dance community awaits six sacred and exciting days. Six days of learning, questioning, observing, discovering, collaboration and community. Students and teachers alike opens their arms wide, ready to work hard and explore movement and personal boundaries. It’s during these six days that Los Angeles-based contemporary dance company Entity Contemporary Dance inspires a bigger love of dance within the Hong Kong dance community. 

Entity Contemporary Dance is an internationally recognized and award winning dance company creating work around the idea of elevating art at the human and social level. From performing and teaching throughout America’s west coast (San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County) to Madrid, Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan) and Mexico, Entity is known to leave a lasting impression on audiences, students and teachers across the globe, but especially in Hong Kong.

performance_transpar_QMoPp.jpg01Company members Eugenia Rodriguez and Diana Schoenfield during the "Transparent/see" performance at the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood, CA

Nine years ago, Entity co-director Will Johnston ignited a relationship with Studiodanz, a dance studio in Hong Kong, coming to teach contemporary workshop classes on his own. As that relationship grew, he brought Entity company members to assist and teach along side him. Now, this week is a multi-faceted Entity workshop where dancers grow as movers, critical thinkers and people. And today, Entity is one of the few international dance companies to have such a distinct and intimate connection with the Hong Kong dance scene. 

“Entity and Studiodanz are like family now. Studiodanz gave us our first opportunity to travel internationally, performing our full-length works Braxton vs. OregonPEELand Transparent/See,” said Johnston. “But, the discipline, kindness and enthusiasm we feel from the students in Hong Kong is what keeps us excited about coming back. It’s a two-way street and it’s really inspiring.” 

Founded in 2003 by Angela Hang, Studiodanz is one of Hong Kong’s leading dance establishments having one studio in Tai Koo and another in San Po Kong. Studiodanz provides training to professionals and novices who want to learn from the best. In August, Studiodanz officially welcomed Entity Contemporary Dance into its home for the third year as a resident company, teaching sold-out classes and performing its latest work Transparent/See for sold-out audiences at the Sai Wan Ho Theatre. 

In March 2019, Entity Contemporary Dance debuted its visceral and vibrant portrayal of the behind-the-scenes of “fast fashion” in the company’s latest full-length work, Transparent/See. Based on the clothing manufacturing documentary The True Cost, a documentary by Andrew Morgan the piece illustrates the blind and missed relationship between craftsman and consumer through movement.

Transparent/See questions what is lost and found in our commodity-driven culture, specifically in fashion. We feel that fast-fashion affects everyone and that it was important to bring awareness to the issues surrounding this subject matter, so consumers can make more educated clothes-buying choices,” said Entity co-founder and director Marissa Osato in an interview with Broadway World.  

WhatsApp_Image_2019-10-18_at_3.03.12_PM.jpeg02 Company member Derek Tabada with the pile of clothing used throughout the performance. Picture taken by Vince Horiuchi.

The piece is apowerhouse of thought, physicality and emotion, as Broadway Way called it “meticulous”, “intricate” and “inventive”. 

“Entity and its work inspires my students, and myself, every time they come to Hong Kong. Each company member has a rich understanding of bodies, movement and essences and teach in a way that students can really grasp and absorb knowledge,” said teacher and director of Studiodanz Tai Koo, Flora Hon.

Entity’s six-day residency was comprised of 18 classes taught by company members Will Johnston, Eugenia Rodriguez, Karen Chuang, Kent Boyd and Diana Schoenfield in contemporary, jazz and musical theatre genres.

“Entity breaks through boundaries between dance and genres,” said Hang. 

“Their diverse dance abilities set good examples for dancers who have different training backgrounds to try something new. Entity encourages and empowers.”

As a company, Entity believes in the power of dance and wishes to give their students the possibility of experiencing dance and movement differently. To help people believe in their own stories and ideas, to honor their upbringing and desires as individuals. Entity approaches dance at a holistic level, bringing the human closer to dance and eventually making them one… entity. Each company member pushes to welcome every possibility and outcome that dance can inspire and to love one another and build a community. 

“During such an intense time in Hong Kong, we really made it a priority to establish a communal and collaborative environment and to also encourage students to find autonomy over their movement. That’s a vital part of finding yourself within dance that you’ll never find an answer to… it’s just part of the artist process,” said company member Eugenia Rodriguez.

To have an exchange like Studiodanz and Entity have is rare and a relationship that will continue to expand. After seeing many familiar faces from Hong Kong in Entity company class in LA and at the intensives, they decided to bridge the gap just a little more than they already are. The company will award a select amount of full and half individual scholarships for students to attend the Entity summer and winter professional programs in Los Angeles. With that said, Studiodanz is about to announce Entity’s return dates to Hong Kong. They are coming back in the next couple of months to continue nurturing this relationship and growth form both parties. Stay tuned for the new dates for classes and performances. You can follow their journey at @entitycontemporarydance and @studiodanz on social media.

performance_transpar_pmdwI.jpg03 Company members Eugenia Rodriguez and Karen Chuang during their duet in the second act of "Transparent/see".

Pictures and videos of our recent work attached below: 

PEEL- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4jDkypY2v0&t=17s

Transparent/see- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK8zUPHPjgk

Cielo- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbfcIWU24Ik&t=9s