Umbrella Dance For Hong Kong
Wong King Fai
This film records Hong Kong’s modern dance master Mui Cheuk-yin’s Umbrella Dance (1995) through today’s lens. Produced in the colonial days, what new meanings can Umbrella Dance create? Concerned with social movements, Mui’s dance survived the 1997 handover of the sovereignty of Hong Kong and has been articulating multiple meanings in different historical moments afterwards. The director uses innovative film language that presents the visualizations of both dance film and documentary, and in so doing the film is able to witness a significant span of Hong Kong history. As modern news reports are immediate, intensive, and transparent, can a film document an individual event and liberate itself from the grand narratives of time and human civilization? Midsummer frost befalls Hong Kong in depression. Against the background with masks, roadblock, teargases, and snow, what new flavours do the movements and signs of Umbrella Dance impart? What does Hong Kong mean to the world culture in a chaotic time? What will the meaning of a community’s existence remain after its voice is suppressed and its people are exiled? How can we preserve the soul of our art and culture and avoid oblivion? Without verbal expression, this film returns to the purity of dance that originates from movement and music, searching for the relationships among time, history, community, art, and light, toward a new possibility of documentary.