Tsui Yik-chit, Ivy
2015 Award for Young Artist－Dance
Graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) in 2009 with a first class honors degree, Tsui Yik-chit, Ivy majored in ballet and modern dance and received several awards during her studies, including the Disney Scholarship, a scholarship from the Society of the Academy for Performing Arts and another from the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation. She has been working as a freelance artist after graduation. Her works, Dandelion in 2013 and Breathe in 2014, were invited to the Beijing Dance Festival and Guangdong Dance Festival. Her performance and choreographic works in 2014/15 included: Dehydrated Flower, Frangipani, Beautiful Decay, Absent Presentee, Hollowed 2.0 and Circus in the Dark–2015 Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme. She received a nomination for Outstanding Actress at the 7th Hong Kong Theatre Libre for her performance in Absent Presentee.
At first glance, the promotional poster for her solo dance performance last year, Dehydrated Flower, looks like a very romantic story. Yet what lies underneath the glossy surface is an experimental solo dance infused with equal parts youthful vigour and cruelty. The dancer, Tsui Yik-chit, Ivy believes that plants hold special powers, which inspired her series of works on floral themes.
Dance chose her
Tsui credits her encouraging parents with giving her the impetus to learn dance. Enrolled in children’s ballet classes, the young learner developed a passion for dance which would become a lifetime pursuit. When accepted into the HKAPA, she took ballet as her major but was initiated into different styles of dance during the programme that presaged her detour into modern dance and site specific dance upon graduation. ‘‘Modern dance is the most malleable and expressive form that speaks directly of life principles in today’s world,’’ she remarks. Modern dance defies restrictions of conventions or styles, allowing an artist free rein to give expression to abstract concepts and the many facets of the ‘’true self’’.
Growing from a child taking ballet classes to an artist pursuing dance as her life’s vocation, Tsui’s journey has been smooth sailing. She found the love of her life in dance and it was a choice she didn’t need agonising over. She didn’t choose dance; dance chose her. Coming of age in a more liberalised environment than the previous generation of dance artists prompted Tsui to count her blessings: ‘‘There are so many more opportunities coming our way and we should turn down none. We should do our utmost, make new attempts and experiment different platforms.’’ On the other hand, she urges emerging artists to discern their own artistic direction from the wealth of opportunities: ‘‘It’s precisely the abundance of opportunity and space awaiting them that makes the need of having a clear idea of their goals all the more pressing.’’
Plants as a metaphor for dance
Plants are recurring themes threading through her works; botanical themes have been evident in her works in 2014/15, Dehydrated Flower and Frangipani. ‘’I believe there’s a spring of energy flowing freely in this world. Plants, in particular, are a source of potent energy. Beneath the surface of tranquillity there is a flowing rhythm of life pulsating through that, after a period of dormancy, erupts in a burst of energy,’’ she believes. Her works beat with the rhythm and energy characteristic of plants. In Dehydrated Flower, the opening’s silent stillness slowly gathers momentum, building up to a roaring ferocity in the middle scenes only to return to tranquil serenity at the end, symbolising the cycle of life of a plant coming full circle–from budding to blooming in full to withering. She is truly fascinated with this profound, expansive and placid energy and believes that Hong Kong, a society moving at a ferocious pace, should take a leaf out of the botanical book for the survival rule of thumb, using stillness to defeat motion.
Continuing her endeavours to expand the language of dance, Tsui expresses sincere appreciation of the award for recognising her efforts and giving her a confidence boost to link the universe and people together by her works, discover and enjoy the beautiful moments.
Organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards is an annual flagship event in the local arts scene. It aims to give formal recognition to distinguished arts practitioners, groups and organisations that have made significant contributions to the arts development in Hong Kong.
Besides paying tribute to veteran arts practitioners, the Awards scheme presents different awards to recognise arts practitioners and up-and-coming artists with outstanding achievements. It also commends individuals and organisations that have actively participated in arts education and promotion, as well as patrons who have generously supported local arts events. By conferring the awards, the scheme aims to introduce diverse arts talents to the community, and to encourage active community support to the arts development in Hong Kong.
2015香港藝術發展獎 － 藝術新秀獎－舞蹈