A devotee of dance since its foundation in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has proven a dedicated custodian and proponent of the medium, and one the Maison has repeatedly turned to for inspiration when creating its high-jewellery creations.
The first ballerina clips were unveiled in the early 1940s, becoming one of the signatures of the Maison, where the graceful flair, technical prowess and inventiveness associated with dance are hallmarks.
A passion for ballet was passed from founder Louis Arpels to his nephew Claude Arpels, whose artistic bond with renowned choreographer George Balanchine inspired the ballet Jewels, performed for the first time in New York in 1967. Each act is set to the music of a different composer and articulates in movement the beauty of the jewels: Gabriel Fauré for Emeralds, Igor Stravinsky for Rubies and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for Diamonds.
In the decades since, Van Cleef & Arpels has supported several modern and contemporary dance institutions worldwide, as well as festivals and performances.
To further establish the Maison’s long term commitment to the world of dance, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels was launched in 2020, as an initiative aimed at highlighting the choreographic heritage and encouraging contemporary creation.
In addition to year round programming, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is committed to an annual festival. After a first edition in London in 2022, the Festival, in collaboration with the French May Arts Festival, will take place between 5 to 21 May in prestigious institutional stages and public spaces across Hong Kong, showcasing nine cutting-edge original pieces and leading repertory productions from a selection of international choreographers and dancers, as well as workshops and a film screening.
Making contemporary dance accessible to the broadest possible audience is at the centre of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels initiative. To help you navigate the diversity of performances, we have selected four highlights to make the best of your journey into the dance world.
12 & 13 May – 8:00 – 9:00pm
Sheung Wan Civic Centre
In this work featuring three dancers, Ola Maciejewska draws inspiration from the Serpentine Dance, signature invention by American pioneer dancer Loïe Fuller (1862-1928). She brings the iconic legend face to face with her paradoxes and intangible character. The title, Bombyx Mori refers to the silkworm, which has become entirely dependent on humans for its survival.
A controversial figure in Western dance, Loïe Fuller merged dance with special effects to capture the movement of fire, water and other natural elements, hiding her body under vast sweeps of silk.
SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME
13 May – 4:00 – 4:30 pm
14 May – 2:00 – 2:30 pm / 4:00 – 4:30 pm
Italian choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni showcases the ‘Polka Chinata’, a Bolognese courtship dance from the early 20th century, originally performed only by men. Acrobatic, it involves dancers whirling around in a crouching position, facing each other with arms interlocked.
The work was created in collaboration with Giancarlo Stagni, a Filuzzi dance master who brought this tradition back to life by studying unearthed documentary videos from the 1960s. At that time, it was practiced by only five dancers in Italy. The project was designed to include a performance by two of these dancers, as well as a series of workshops intended to revive this endangered popular tradition.
A workshop will take place at PMQ on 13 May at 12:00pm and is open to the public. You can register here.
20 May – 4:00 – 4:40pm
Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Rachid Ouramdane brings district air artists (flyers, acrobats) and celestial athletes (highliners, climbers) together for this ever-evolving on-site piece.
As with previous performances of this work, Ouramdane has invited the famous highliner Nathan Paulin, a record-holding powerhouse of this discipline, to participate in the performance. Beyond its utterly spectacular nature, the performance aims to change perceptions of the city’s landscape by causing audiences to reflect on the human ability to respect the environments we live in.
20 May – 7:30 – 8:30pm
21 May – 2:30 – 3:30pm
Kwai Tsing Theatre
This energetic and minimalist solo performance features Greek choreographer Katerina Andreou and a single vinyl turntable, based on the notions of impurity and transformation.
She is accompanied by a pounding soundtrack and inspired by house culture. Pressed onto vinyl and activated at the beginning of the piece, this score is a backdrop to an exploration of both political and poetic issues focusing on a dramatic bastardised figure.
For more, you can find the details of all nine performances below:
Crowd by Gisèle Vienne
Passages by Noé Soulier
Fragments by Noé Soulier (film screening)
Bombyx Mori by Ola Maciejewska
Loïe Fuller: Research by Ola Maciejewska
Save the Last Dance for Me by Alessandro Sciarroni
BSTRD by Katerina Andreou
Sakinan Göze Çöp Batar (An Over-Protected Eye Always Gets Sand in It) by Christian Rizzo
Les Traceurs by Rachid Ouramdane
Locations: M+, Freespace, Great Lawn Artpark WKCD, PMQ, Sheung Wan Civic Centre, Kwai Tsing Theatre and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
One response to “Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Celebrates Contemporary Dance in Hong Kong”
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I saw CROWD and this was absolutely incredible! Great festival!