Press Release - For immediate release
23rd Hong Kong Dance Awards 2022
- 20 awards presented in live streamed ceremony
- Exceptional work produced despite the pandemic
16 April 2022 – Hong Kong Dance Alliance (HKDA) is delighted to announce the recipients of the 23rd Hong Kong Dance Awards, which were presented in an online ceremony streamed live on the Alliance YouTube channel and Facebook page at 8.00pm local time on Saturday 16 April. A total of 20 awards including two Lifetime Achievement Awards and 18 awards decided by a jury of expert panelists were presented by emcees Irene Lo and Shirley Loong and accepted remotely by the awardees. The physical trophies will be passed to the recipients later, along with certificates for the shortlisted nominees.
More than 50 nominations were shortlisted in 15 categories, covering work created between January 2020 and December 2021. Alliance Chair Allen Lam noted that, while it was sad that the traditional Awards Ceremony and Gala Performance could not be held due to the current pandemic restrictions, ‘The quality of the shortlisted nominations shows the strength and resilience of the Hong Kong dance community, which has overcome the obstacles of the pandemic over the past two years to create so much truly exceptional work. They can be proud of their achievements and we look forward to a bright future for dance in Hong Kong.’
Co-Chair of the Awards Jury, Natasha Rogai, added ‘In 15 years of working on the Awards, I have never seen stronger shortlists – there were several categories where two awards were presented and all the shortlisted nominations were worthy of an award.’
Five Awards for Hong Kong Dance Company
Hong Kong Dance Company received no fewer than five awards. Its co-production with Freespace of Helen Lai’s classic Nine Songs was honoured as Outstanding Large Venue Production and for Outstanding Ensemble Performance, with Huang Lei receiving his third Outstanding Male Performance Award and his wife, Hua Chi-yu, receiving the Award for Outstanding Female Performance for a record-breaking fourth time. The company also became the first recipient of the new Online Production Award for Convergence.
The company’s artistic director, Yang Yuntao said: “We will never give up. Every day, even if it’s within the one or two square meters of our own space, we will always strive to keep our bodies fit and ready to dance – that is all that we can do; no matter the changes in the outside environment, our passion for dance, the standard we aim for, will never falter. Let’s stand strong and work together!”
Two awards were presented for Outstanding Choreography: to Hong Kong Ballet’s artistic director, Septime Webre, for his spectacular new The Nutcracker and to Hong Kong icon Mui Cheuk-yin for Diary VII ◦ The Story of…… which also received Outstanding Small Venue production.
The prestigious Tom Brown Emerging Choreographer Award went to Kelvin Mak, artistic director of Beyond Dance Theater, whose powerful Remnants was named Outstanding Medium Venue Production sharing that award with City Contemporary Dance Company’s Days Are Numbered, which featured choreography by Justyne Li, Bruce Wong and Jennifer Mok.
Kelvin Mak said “I would like to thank the late Mr. Tom Brown for his support to the local dance scene, and to us emerging artists. I hope that this goodwill, passion, and spirit can be inherited and passed on.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
At the opposite end of the experience spectrum from rising star Mak, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to two remarkable women who have made an immeasurable contribution to the development of dance in Hong Kong over many decades: Tania Tang and Professor Shen Shir Ming. Accepting the awards, Professor Shen commented:
“I can see that the Hong Kong Dance Alliance set their sights beyond traditional definitions of dance; rather than simply focusing on choreography and performance, they aim to establish exchange and collaboration on all levels of the creative process between the dance sector and other industries, so that talents in dance may develop in a cross-disciplinary manner.”
And from Ms Tang:
“Looking back, there were only a few foreign ballet teachers in Hong Kong. Nowadays, we are all witnessing a diverse ecology of dance arts in Hong Kong taking root and thriving. To the many generations of dancers to come, we must remain steadfast in our beliefs and work ethic; to all workers related to dance, we need to face all challenges head on, and pass on the torch.”
Among the other awards Male Performance went to Shen Jie as Romeo in Hong Kong Ballet’s Romeo + Juliet. Like Huang Lei, with whom he shares the award, Shen is a third time recipient and one of Hong Kong’s most respected dancers. Hong Kong Ballet also received the award for Alternative Space Production for Five Tiny Dances at M+, while Gabriela Tylesova and Albert Au received the Set and Costume Design Award for the company’s The Nutcracker.
City Contemporary Dance Company Dance Centre, which has continued to provide invaluable support to the dance community despite going through some major recent upheavals, received the Award for Services to Dance for its Partnership Programme Venue Sponsor, while Passoverdance received the Dance Education Award for Jockey Club In Search of Voice in a Cramped City.
Please see attached for complete list of awardees and award citations.
Ms Amy Lee
Tel: 2267 6733