Dance Dialogue: Focus on Karen Cheung

28 Aug

The City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) is an organization in Hong Kong comprised of a full-time dance company that produces original works by Chinese choreographers; the Dance Center that focuses on educational works and provides support to local independent artists; and the China Dance Development Program that promotes the development of contemporary dance in Mainland China. The China Dance Development Program was launched in 1998 and has facilitated many projects bringing Hong Kong-based and international artists to mainland China, as well as bringing Chinese artists to Hong Kong and overseas. Two of the most well-known projects of the Program are the Beijing Dance Festival (ongoing since 2008) and the Guangdong Dance Festival (2004–2016).


The Beijing Dance Festival takes place every summer in July.It began in 2008 as a one-week festival, alternating between a focus on international artists and Chinese artists, but now combines both over two weeks: an educational week and a performance week. The Festival welcomes 300 students and young dancers throughout China each year, to learn from established artists and to witness how the artists’ visions and aesthetic approaches are realized on stage. U.S. companies ODC, Philein/ZiRu Productions, Yu Dance Theatre, Dai Jian & Elena Demyanenko, ChavasseDance&Performance, Oni Dance, and Kevin Williamson and Company have been included in The Beijing Dance Festival.

The festival has partnered with the new Tian Qiao Performing Arts Centre since 2016 to host 16 performances, including an open platform for emerging choreographers, innovative and smaller productions, and larger-scale productions. The Beijing Dance Festival has not only become one of the biggest contemporary dance networks in China, but has also inspired several new dance festivals in other regions of China.

From November 21-26, 2017, CCDC and its China Dance Development Program will launch a new festival in Hong Kong: the City Contemporary Dance Festival. The Festival will be biennial and will consist of two parts: the presentation of Chinese and international works, and the DanceX platform that brings artists, presenters and dance professionals together.

PrintIn addition to presenting major dance companies from China, Korea and Japan, DanceX will host the very first HOTPOT East Asia Dance Platform for emerging talents from those countries. HOTPOT is a new initiative by the City Contemporary Dance Festival, Seoul International Dance Festival (SIDance) and Yokohama Dance Exchange, and was inspired and facilitated by IceHot Nordic Dance Platform.

As Head of China Dance Development, Karen Cheung programs for the Beijing Dance Festival and the new City Contemporary Dance Festival. She is also the artistic adviser to the Hangzhou International Dance Festival and Guiyang Dance Festival. Karen “will be looking at works that are not often seen in Hong Kong… works that are inspiring to the local dance community,” and possibly “works in public spaces,” for the new City Contemporary Dance Festival.

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