# 我們的開始 Our start
# 存在感 Presence
……我最近喺度思考，到底點先叫一個好表演者? 能夠將內心世界透過自身身體投射到外面?有強烈的存在感? 而呢個strong presence又係如何透過唔同訓練去達到? 有時我會覺得presence被過度強調，又或者當我哋評價「佢係一個好表演者,因為佢一個strong presence」時，我哋應該要跟具體說明「咁即係點」。……
# 存在感 Presence
……I feel like the task you give me is related to your thoughts on “What is a good performer?”. Is it so? After the task, I am curious if we are looking for a performer who is “good” in rehearsal or on stage/performing. I considered myself to be a performer with a strong presence, but when I do this task at home, I don’t know. I don’t think I am at all interesting to look at. Is my presence gone? Did I not activate my presence? Did I not pay enough attention to the tasks and details that make me not “presence”? Am I not connected to the tasks enough?
I think these questions are actually answers. At least to me, that’s what I always do to make myself present and “good”. Sometimes it happens naturally, sometimes I just spend more time on it and try to think it through.……
……It is pretty stressful to receive a task right away, although I know it is just an exploration and doesn’t have to be good. It is not easy to have a space and white tape and good time to scream haha. I feel like my work is done after I accomplished marking the floor.
2 meters and 30 centimeters is not exactly easy to know, I measured my door and used my feet to guess 30cm. (my feet are 24.5cm long so I will try to add a bit more) I could have found a better space instead of my home but I feel like it is more important to reply sooner.
It is a lonely process. So is life I guess. I doubt my rationality and decision. I worry so much about if I am doing the tasks correctly and struggle between whether I want to do it.……
# 關於語言 About language
……我唔知，我有時覺得繼續寫同講廣東話已經係一種Political action，但同時而家嘅我，我嘅腦同身體，又好struggle緊用廣東話去寫同講跳舞，喺柏林、歐洲decolonisation係一個好重要題目，我都係嚟咗呢度先慢慢認識呢個term，唔想講咩theory，只想表達我呢個struggle，好似顯示左我係一個「被殖」嘅腦袋同身體，曾經上堂有位教授講過: something is lost when we all express ourselves in English, but we also gain a chance to exchange with other.
的確有時慶幸自己讀英中，英文算係OK，但嚟咗呢度，發現用英文去fully express myself without struggle好難，唔係話會啞咗，而係用嘅字選擇少，不覺察地口講嗰樣嘢比心諗嗰樣嘢簡單general咗好多。但與此同時，因為睇關於藝術文章大多數係英文，好多時喺腦海構成idea嘅過程都係用英文，我好奇語言對創作影響。
你講到話I’m so bad at writing in any language，我諗我自己都無話想我哋通訊文字有多清晰或優美，同都想放下要講inspiring 嘢的野心，for 我自己，我想透過寫廣東話講表演喺呢個歐洲版圖上為自己建立一個小森林，而呢個森林啲樹根係連到返香港，我諗都係有少少為咗解決自身對母語嘅homesick，哈哈，有少少講到一嚿嚿，我好奇你喺歐洲呢兩年令你對語言有咩反思或感受。……
- 看到很多時score，notation 的例子和歷史。我想探索score (written instruction) 和body movement 之間的關係
- 我小學時代，還沒有手機，寫信寫blog是我跟世界 (即是我的朋友同學圈) 聯繫的重要方法，我覺得這段回憶很美好，也留在我腦裏 (甚至身體裏)，也許他沉睡了，想把這body換醒，也好奇其他與我年代相若的人是如何再看書寫身體這回事？
- 遠距離，用書信這方式，自己一個人卻同時感受到另一個人的presence 存在，一起舞蹈，想起來也挺浪漫。……
……對於我哋大家互相交換一個Solo Score的想法仍在，我諗我地大家都等緊嗰件事由過程生出來，但我反覆問自己我的urgency 急切性在哪兒？或者都有一部份係處理獨自在工作室排solo時的孤獨感，但我發現keep in dialogue，雖在異地，但仍然繼續透過同人交流從而同香港繼續有連繫好似更加重要，我唔知咩叫真正連繫，但我諗處理呢個執筆忘字的身體都已經係一個嘗試……( 我要查字典去搵返啲字)
Dear Suet Wa,
我唔太想畫一個score，我想試吓記錄、轉化書信入面一啲突出嘅野。例如情緒、presence。我想請你將剛剛zoom或者呢段時間嘅frustration, confusion用身體呈現，可以特登回想再郁、或者睇返個zoom call，然後試下做返出嚟再記錄下來，記錄方式隨你，我嘅建議係錄低佢。
呢個就係暫時嘅score。亦都想同你一齊思考呢啲「情緒」嘅性質，來自於邊度? 係因為想溝通但有誤會? 係因為唔係你期待嘅狀況? 係因為自己嘅work所以好緊張?
然後做完個task，希望你可以分享下你對自身嘅觀察，有咩movement quality? 點影響你嘅presence?
我問嘅問題絕對唔係要challenge你in a hostile way，不過我一向唔係好拿捏到being mean and being honest，至少頭先嘅zoom call我感覺到你應該明我意思，我地再一齊試下?
25th Oct 2022
I thought a lot about our conversation in Zoom last time and I will send a detailed response to you regarding how I feel about this framework and the collaboration later.
I did not do your score yet because I digested the emotion and distrust from our first month encounter into thoughts of how to collaborate together and especially how two strangers can come to work together in distance.
I won’t ask you to give me another score but instead it may be good to pick some keywords we are busy with and from there we think of what kind of instruction we will give to each other. What do you think?
Regarding the questions you asked in the last email, I am also interested in being in the same space doing something with you together. The two square idea is coming from an essay from André Lepecki (yes , he again) in his book. He is talking about the work from Bruce Nauman, in which the title of the piece is already describing what he will do in the piece. The title is called “Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square”.
It is actually from this essay that I think of the idea of this piece. The Essay is called “Masculinity, Solipsism, Choreography: Bruce Nauman, Juan Dominguez, Xavier Le Roy ” from his book “ Exhausting Dance: Performance and the Politics of Movement”. I avoid being too nerdy in it now.
The score also mixed with my fascination with working with imagination. How the imagination subtly changes our body movement and tone.
I am now typing on my phone on the street. It is getting colder. It is not a comfortable writing situation. I am waiting for the beginning of a friend’s party. I don’t know how to change the font and color of text on my phone. I'll stop here.
Have a good evening and stay warm.
# 合作 Collaboration
# 書寫|舞蹈 Writing |Dance
……你講到話I’m so bad at writing in any language，我諗我自己都無話想我哋通訊文字有多清晰或優美，同都想放下要講inspiring 嘢的野心，for 我自己，我想透過寫廣東話講表演喺呢個歐洲版圖上為自己建立一個小森林，而呢個森林啲樹根係連到返香港，我諗都係有少少為咗解決自身對母語嘅homesick，哈哈，有少少講到一嚿嚿，我好奇你喺歐洲呢兩年令你對語言有咩反思或感受。但希望你唔好覺得有壓力要轉返中文，只係想講其中一個我感興趣探索嘅嘢係dancing body and writing body 之間關係，而how & what 都係open 同 TBC。
另外好多時提及舞蹈同書寫就會去到一個documentation 嘅approach，將身體感受或行為Translate into文字，我覺得如何faciliate好重要，至少對我嚟講如果叫我跳下舞然後停低記錄，我會好冇癮，好似為做而做，為書寫而書寫，不過當然都同我當下有冇嘢想記錄有關，哈哈越解釋越覺得自己好麻煩。我諗係因為進行書寫時對於時間空間嘅感知好唔同，當然會有新嘅發現，但都要相對會失去一啲嘢。
我諗相比起Focus係score同個score點影響movement，我比較想探索書寫探索得純粹啲，呢個同你對話嘅過程，書寫嘅質感已經有好多Information，我覺得 “郁” 或者 “跳舞” 好似可以come slightly later？我最近忙緊我嘅thesis真係勁多idea勁多唔同議題哇哈哈，炒埋一碟！關於liveness，pandemic，HK， 自由生存與， suicide，唔知用唔用得着呢？……
……你喺飛機麻煩寫作嘅狀態令我想起我上兩封在街上打的英文email，當時我感受到我同人來人往的街道是隔絕，我整個人像被吸進手機螢幕裏，反而沒有任何分心，對比現在在家書寫，我感受到我有空間停下，回看你的文字再寫，或望吓天花板再寫，我哋喜歡這種寫下停下望下的時間流動。 我同意透過重複探索一個行為去找尋該事的特質，呢度成日都講what is your artisitc practise？我諗透過重複寫，我會諗到如何同人用書寫文字去講我哋同身體，我哋同舞蹈的關係。如果我冇理解錯，你似乎對文字如何Translate到動作，即如何寫一個score不大感興趣，反而對書寫和舞蹈之間的flow有興趣？
Word <—> Movement
Writing <—> Dancing
想分享我分享的文章 ”Inscribing Dance” 最後一句:
“... the moment dance is arrested, fixated, written down, it is no longer dance. Yet. “
我諗緊或者documentation 同dance materiality 是相沖，但flow of writing (可被看成flow of thinking) 同flow of moving 是有相通的地方，你提到文字是思想的manifestation / embodiment，所以書寫是一個舞蹈過程，好似都同你諗緊的 flow 相近?……
……Yes! I agree with your concept of flow! 要第一句就寫低因為驚自己唔記得! 我覺得我係抗拒文字translate成movement嘅，反而movement transcribe 成文字又OK喎。(暫時我唔解釋太多點解 --> 一個得 <-- 另一個又唔得) 但我覺得文字翻譯成動作，無論個approach 係literal, associative 定interpretative， 都依然太fixated and literal LOL ……/p>
# 飛機上on the plane
#同一時間在不同空間寫信給對方 Writing to each other at the same time in different space
I just moved to a new room again this week. It is the smallest room I have ever lived in Berlin. The width of the room is one and a half big steps and the length is three and a half big steps. This week I was busy trying to make my little cave be comfortable. My desk is facing the direction of the northwest. I closed my eyes. Thinking of you are also sitting in front of a table, writing something to me, in 686 miles away behind the diagonal right back side of my body.
I first tried to write Chinese on the paper. However, it was so hard for me today. I could not. I then chose to type you a letter in English.
I am imagining the sound of the tips of your pen hitting the table, kind of synchronizing with the typing sound from my computer. I am imagining both of us are quite busy and struggle in thinking about what to write to each other after a long pause of the project. Long pause. The last letter you wrote to me is in the beginning of March. I was asking about your perspective on dance and you mentioned your greatest concern is about the relationship of humans to the world and through movement we can be closer to it.
Expanding the notion of movement. What kind of movement do we need now to connect with the world? Sometimes, I am frustrated by the forgetfulness in humankind. I think we forget the time of pandemic time and now we return to “normal again”, back to the fast production of everything in full speed, even faster before the pandemic time I would say, as if we need to chase back the time we missed. Nothing stays and we just need to start running again to nowhere. Sometimes, I missed the pause we had during the pandemic time. The isolation we had with the world made us reflect what relationship we were having with the world before. What kind of movement do we need now to stay in the connection we want with the world?
I want something other than the options prevalent in the world. I think as an artist, we need to keep on actions in order to tell people that there are other options and possibilities that we missed or forgot sometimes.
Back to us, writing as a movement for us to be closer to the world. I would like to share a sentence I read in a book that I brought from Hong Kong.
Now, one hour has passed. In the middle part of the writing, I entered into my own world and forgot your presence somewhere on the far right back side of my body. But now, I am imagining you are waiting for me.
17:13 (Berlin time)
# 香港身體 Hong Kong body
A: Where are you from?
B: I am from Hong Kong.
A: Where is Hong Kong? China?
另外想分享我對回答where are you from? 覺得都易同快解釋。反而對人問我You speak Chinese, right? 我覺得唔知答Yes定No好，咁當然有時間我會再解釋廣東話、普通話、繁體字、簡體字、書面語、口語、 九音、四聲etc.
A: Ok so you will speak Spanish in this exercise, and I will speak German and you will speak Chinese..
A: O, sorry, Cantonese (continue talking about the exercise)
……好，back to 綠色框框同我點睇番自己香港人嘅身份。首先，我係鍾意攬攬嘅人，我覺得呢個唔係主流香港人風格，可能某程度都揭示左我卡係中間，又唔係鬼妹仔，又唔係傳統華人。
可能你已經知呢段歷史，亦都知 “随后于1984年成立的香港演艺学院舞蹈学院，学科的建设便跟随专业舞团三分天下的格局，成立了现代舞系、芭蕾舞系和‘中国舞’系’’ (知乎)
→ 又說唔說服到我呢個係香港生活左27年嘅身體，跳咩都連結到香港？Body archive 係咪就係咁？
Body Archive 似乎最貼切的中文翻譯是「印記」，但如果我哋一直經驗的舞蹈教育都只重複着學西方舞或學中國舞/東方舞的二元對立，如果想喺舞蹈上搵到香港，我哋可以從何入手？
舞蹈呢個形式之身體印記 <—? —> 表演者喺香港生活 之身體印記 （城市Landscape、食物、節奏、集體回憶、廣東話etc …… ）
…… 仲有「中國舞」嘅形成/定義都係因為見到西方有嘅嘢自己都要有，然後就要強行定義「中國古典舞」、「中國民間舞」係咩。 雖然啲舞者去山區採風好似好正促進交流，但當被書寫入教材就已經將可能性定格。
其實我係好開心被人話我「原生態」，因為我當時係學英歌(如果我無記錯)，而其他舞者都學過身韻就好自然有一種韻味，而我係無嘅。我唯有用我自己嘅理解跳出另一種味被馴化嘅味道。當然話呢個就係「香港」都有啲牽強，不過put it in a context去解讀，就可以理解成因為我嘅香港人身份所以跳出呢個感覺。(係廣東現代舞團時，同事大都有中國舞底。)
……關於「香港舞」我之前係一個線上讀書會上都有提問過，當我羨慕我同學用來自佢國家嘅folk dance或者佢土地上孕育出嚟嘅舞步做創作素材時，我有咩素材可以用到而係對我來說連繫到我成長的地方，之後有人提到個人故事經歷已經係講緊香港呢個地方，都有人質疑呢個想搵香港元素的急切性(urgency)正正係源於一種焦慮，而呢種焦慮就係讀書會上讀嘅 “Culture and the politics of disapperance’’ 作者Ackbar Abbas 係書中解釋緊呢種焦慮從何而來......
What is proximity for you?
關於我地，我思考緊咩係回覆address 緊你，咩係合作in this open framework，我個角色係咩，你個角色係咩。我地嘅合作仲有無東西要攪清，我要攪到有幾清晰先令你知道如何參與但同時我唔會因為太有框格而令到我地合作變番編舞叫我做甘我就執行呢種合作模式？What is the way of creating in between too free and too restricted command base.
- Score 對你來說是什麼? What is Score for you?
- Presence 對你來說是什麼? What is Presence for you?
- 什麼時候你會覺得和人接近? When do you feel in proximity with someone?
- 什麼時候你會覺得和人共同在一起? When do you feel togetherness with someone?
- 你在芬蘭、在異地的時候會有想和香港繼續連繫的渴望嗎? 如果有，你會如何處理? When you were in Finland or other countries, did you have the desire to still stay in connection with Hong Kong? If yes, how did you deal with it?
# 在我和你之間 In between you and me
On 24th Sep 2023, Christy and Suet Wa walked towards each other
Christy walked towards North-East from Essen.
Suet Wa walked towards West in Berlin.
After the walk, they wrote a list starting from
In between you and me, I find......
Dear Suet Wa,
It was surprising warm and pleasant during my walk.
I walked in a slightly north-east direction and encountered various smells, sights and sounds.
However, what caught my attention was the excitement being along on a street that I have never walked pass, thinking that you are probably also thinking of me while finding your ways.
That is a very embodied sensation of being aware of your company.
Thank you for suggesting this.
27th Sep 2023, Essen
My phone was dead yesterday but I hope you had a great walk yesterday. It was a coincidence that I started my walk toward the west direction along the Spree. I said it is a coincidence because I always want to do something with the Spree, as the only long river in Berlin, which reminds me a lot of the sea and sometimes I found a sensation of home in it.
I was trying to find a publisher from New York in the international arts book fair at the House of World Cultures before the walk. He/she lived in Hong Kong for many years and he was selling some zines related to Hong Kong's current situation. Unfortunately, the stall had no person when I visited and after some time, when I visited again, he/she left with his books. My walk started with this little disappointment and then I thought of us, the things that we were doing now for almost 1 year, the ups and downs, the roller coaster I was riding in this year.
I lost my time in my walk and writing because I did not have my phone. It is nice to walk toward the direction of the West at 6pm because the sun is always shining on my face. I was imagining you were walking away from the sun and with the sun shining on your back. It was around a day after autumnal equinox (秋分) so the night time will start to be longer than the daytime and I feel a bit cold even the sun was shining. At the end of a walk, I encountered a big road block, which prevented me from walking to the west so I stopped. Besides the roadblock was a bridge, I walked up and used the surface of the fence on the bridge to write the list to you.
I typed it also. Attached is also the photo I took at the beginning of the walk (before my phone died).
Looking forward to reading or hearing from you.
25th Sep 2023, Berlin