Photo by Joie Koo
What is the most crucial role of a dance festival?
As we gear up to celebrate the 10th edition of M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival and mark this decadal milestone, I find myself increasingly occupied with this question.
In these 10 years, has our society at large grown in the appreciation for the diversity and openness that contemporary dance champions? Are we more aware of the different opinions that can coexist and the unique characteristics that define us as individuals? More importantly, have we learned to respect and embrace these differences?
Over the span of 10 years, have we nurtured an audience who can distinguish between dance as an art form and dance produced for entertainment? Do we have an ardent audience who can express their points of view and have developed their own distinct preferences?
When we face times of failed artistic risks or creative low tides, will these people stand by us and offer well-meaning, but critical advice? In times of need, will our audience personally partake in the laborious process of rebuilding, restarting, or even venturing into uncharted territory?
We have spent 10 years developing the contemporary dance scene and extending our resources to fellow artists whose visions and beliefs we share. In this time, have we done enough to cultivate a new generation of emergent talent?
10 years is a long time, but it also feels like it has passed in the blink of an eye.
Have we succeeded in our goal of producing innovative work that pushes boundaries, sparks excitement and inspires? Locally, have we created high-caliber work that stays relevant, has the ability to connect with the man-on-the-street, and spurs us to pursue a better quality of life?
As we begin to place more emphasis on the need to engage in discourse and carve out space for deeper contemplation, have we harnessed the strength to evoke positive changes in mindsets, attitudes, and behaviours?
Marking a decadal milestone inevitably brings about a warm glow of nostalgia as we celebrate past achievements, take heart in seeing familiar faces, and welcome new friends into our community. Yet, amidst our joy and excitement, we also find ourselves in a sobering moment at this juncture – to thoughtfully ponder over how we (and you) can – and must – do more, and do it better.
Our heartfelt thanks to every colleague, past and present, who have contributed in various significant ways, and to our long-time friends and supporters, in particular – M1, Esplanade, and the National Arts Council. We are indebted to countless people, all of whom we hold dear to our heart; for them, there can never be enough thank-you’s to convey our gratitude.
As we celebrate this milestone, let us also reflect. We hope that our efforts and contributions will be recognised by more people, and in turn, propel them to support us in their own ways!
Photo by Shaun Ho
十年⾥，我们的社会大众有更认可当代舞提倡的多元和开放精神吗?对于不同的声音或个体的特殊 性是否更懂得尊重与包容? 十年间，我们有培养出懂得分辨娱乐或艺术的差别，具有个⼈独⽴见解的当代舞忠实观众吗?这些 人在我们做的不够好时能温馨提醒，在需要的时候甚至亲身参与进程?
我们有做到精彩新颖，大胆且具启发性? 在地，普及，改变生活的质量? 当我们开始强调具有互动性的思辩空间，我们是否培育了一股改进思维态度行为的力量?
在十周年温旧知新里，我们很开⼼兴奋; 我们也很理智地发觉，我们(和你)，可以做的需要做的还 可以更多，更棒。