Conducted in Cantonese
A performance is not necessarily classifiable by genre such as drama, dance or music.
It may not have a narrative, a storyline, roles, action or actors.
It does not necessarily take place in a theatre or an art museum.
It may not even be real, visible, or involve shared experience.
But contemporary performances invariably require the active participation of the audience. Whether seated or not, members of the audience have to work their minds and senses more actively, and ask themselves questions amidst the unfamiliar experience.
The sharing in these few sessions does not purport to lay down definitions for contemporary performances. Rather, they provide certain pointcuts to think and discuss what is possible and what is not for contemporary performances. They also explore how different forms and formats can broaden the audience’s understanding of a performance and of themselves.
The three afternoon talks will explore a different theme each day, with each theme divided into three segments: a simple exercise/demonstration/activity, followed by a sharing session by the host and guest(s) and ending with a group discussion.
2 October - What is Performance?
What is ‘performance’? What can it be? Is performance something close to us, or elusive? As a concept, how far can it be expanded? What sort of cerebral reaction can a broader definition provoke in the creators and viewers’ minds? At a time where it is increasingly difficult to define ‘performance’, What Is Performance? attempts to construct an inspirational debate by raising five questions to make sense of the relationship between seeing and being seen.
Moderator/ Activity Leader/ Speaker: Dick Wong
Speakers: Orlean Lai, Lai Sim-fong, Zoe
3 October - Acting-Persona-Everyday People
In theatre performances, an actor will begin by digging into the character and asking questions like “Who am I? Where am I from? Why am I doing this? What kind of mental state am I in when I say this? What are the causes and effects?”
Some performances no longer necessarily require you to ‘perform’; but to be ‘yourself’. You either turn the character into yourself by showcasing your unique qualities, or you bring in an ordinary person for that true-to-themselves vibe. But what does it really mean to ‘be yourself’? For the actors, they have to ask themselves, “Am I acting or not?” As for the audience who gets invited to perform on stage, the question is: what is ‘performance’?
In today's performances, is anyone still performing on stage (or off stage)?
In the end, we return to the same questions: What can performance be? What can't it be?
Moderator/ Speaker: Dick Wong
Activity Leader/ Speaker: Vee Leong
Speaker: Faye Leong
Demonstration Performers: Wing Mao, Sharon Yau, Ceci Chan, Chan Kong-hung
4 October - We Are in This Together
Media technology has long been employed in the making of theatre to produce dazzling effects that envelop and encompass the audience. Of course, no matter how powerfully infectious a performance is, the audience is still sitting back and watching it passively.
With its ever-changing dynamics, contemporary theatre has forged a new path for the use of media technology. Media technology acts as both the objective and the content, and it comes in a myriad of forms. Through live interactive participation using mobile applications, VR, AR, headphones and network surveillance, the audience is thrust into the midst of things, experiencing as well as participating in a performance.
‘Experience’ refers not only to a robust visual and auditory experience, but also to the process of connecting the entire perceptual system and experiencing things for ourselves – walking out of the theatre, travelling through virtual reality, entering the world of games, and even interacting across time and space using mobile phones and mobile applications.
Theatres/performances would henceforth feature audiences with their own experiences and richer layers of here and now. Where will media technology take creators and audiences? In the light of emergence of interactive performances on ZOOM during the pandemic, how will future performance-making be extended to media online?
Moderator/ Speaker: Lai Sim-fong, Zoe
Activity Leaders/ Speakers: Ivor Houlker, Michelle Li
Speaker: Adrian Yeung
The running time of each performance is approximately 2 hours without intermission.
Orlean Lai, Dick Wong (Guest), Lai Sim-fong, Zoe (Guest)
Moderator/ Activity Leader/ Speaker:
Ivor Houlker, Michelle Li
Founders and co-artistic directors of Rooftop Productions
An actress, director, producer, educator and artistic director who is a Lecturer of Acting in School of Drama, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
Choreographer, dancer, director and actor who grew up between cultures
Writer-director in text-based and intermedia art making
New media designer and theatre director
Independent producer and curator, focuses on curating hybrid collaborations across arts genre.
Lai Sim-fong, Zoe
Independent dramaturg, who has worked with theatre, contemporary dance, and architecture, graduated with the distinction of the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Practice at University of Exeter, UK.
(In order of number of strokes of Chinese character)
Tickets available from 16 Sep onwards at URBTIX outlets*, on internet, mobile app and credit card telephone booking.
*Please visit the following webpage for details on the special opening hours of URBTIX outlets:
Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).
10% off for each purchase of standard tickets for any 2 sessions of 'Performance Matters' Dialogue Series; 15% off for 3 sessions.
Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase. Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.
Internet Booking www.urbtix.hk
Mobile Ticketing App My URBTIX
Credit Card Telephone Booking 2111 5999
Ticketing Enquiries 3761 6661
The programme does not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute speakers should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.