Choreography Walk invites a shift of gaze to pointedly experience what has already been choreographed around us in relationship to architecture, urban planning, topography and governance, and in turn what has been choreographed within us through out individual and shared histories, cultures and the many spoken and unspoken social codes of conduct. It asks that the public engage with the social choreographies of the everyday; the ways we travel through public spaces together, how we cede or take space, and the ever-shifting constellations of action that determine the movements of the city.
During this silent walk, participants are prompted to take time to feel their own bodies — their gait and pace, the effort needed to walk down a busy street or up a staircase, and the minor and major adjustments made to move in relationship with other bodies and structures around them.
This project decentralizes the choreographer, and places emphasis on the gaze and somatic experience of the participant. It is an open aperture into considering not “What is performance?” but “Where is performance?” Choreography walk creates a fluid space where participants are both spectator and spectacle, and is the confluence of three choreographies: the way the city physically moves individual bodies, and the patterns of multiple bodies moving through the city; the imposed choreographies created for the walk by participating choreographers; and the imposition of a group of people moving silently through the city.
We were introduced to the northwesterly historic neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. Immediately struck by the natural and human-made verticality of Hong Kong Island, we took the staircases, the world’s longest outdoor escalator, and the sky passageways as our foundation for feeling pedestrian movement in the city. Between the old, quiet and spacious and the new, loud and dense, the walk begins in one mode and incrementally transforms into the other. The direction of the walk alternates each time, either beginning by clinging onto the natural landscape or elevated over what was once the ocean.
Concept by: Justine A. Chambers
Created in collaboration with Josh Hite
Choreographic contributions from: Justine A. Chambers, Mao Wei and Wong Tan-ki
Dancers: Wong Tan-ki, Justyne Li, Li Tuokun, students from the Belilos Public School and Jockey Club Government Secondary School
Event Coordinators: Eric Lam Yin-hung, Kaitlyn Liu Hoi-ying, Francesca Chan
Presented at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2019