One Minute World Arts- Warrior Queens and Shades of Blue: A Dance Double Bill at Sadler’s Wells

Warrior Queens and Shades of Blue: A Dance Double Bill at Sadler’s Wells

In May 2022, a dance double bill was presented at London’s #Sadler’s Wells Theatre, with two shows created by young British choreographers exploring, respectively, gender and race. The first to come was #WarriorQueens, choreographed by the recently Olivier-award nominated Julia Cheng and inspired by the Chinese legend Hua Mulan and Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando. In each of the two stories, the major character would go through gender role-plays and transitions, in order to seek, construct, and locate an identity of his / her own in a male-dominated society. During the performance, the six-strong female cast would dance to the intense percussion music, demonstrating speed and power with their body movements. The piece ended up questioning the division between masculinity and femininity by examining ideas related to yin and yang; it also showcased the adversity and challenges confronting modern-day “warriors”.

The second half of the program presented #ShadesofBlue, directed by the Matsena brothers, born in Zimbabwe and raised in Wales. The piece explored racial issues related to black people by way of combining elements of street and contemporary dances. It started with dancers lying on stage, motionless, and a figure in black stepping over each member of them, alluding to physical and spatial oppression of black people in a predominantly white society. Later on, the weight of the drama was carried by the blue glare of the lighting, generating an atmosphere breathtakingly oppressive. Meanwhile, dancers would re-enact the unfortunate event of George Floyd, killed mercilessly by police force, with physical movements of different styles, including accelerating from slow motion to rapid run, so as to raise the audience’s awareness of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.



今年五月,在英國的#沙德勒之井(Sadler’s Wells)劇院,上演了由英國新生代舞蹈家所編創的雙舞作;同場競技,風格殊異,分頭探討性別與族群議題。率先登場的《#戰鬥女王》(Warrior Queens),是由甫獲英國劇場界最高榮譽奧利維耶獎(Olivier Awards)提名的港裔舞者鄭嘉欣(Julia Cheng)所編,靈感來自花木蘭代父從軍的傳說,以及作家維吉尼亞.吳爾芙的小說《奧蘭多》(Orlando);故事裡,兩位主角各自經歷了性別角色的扮演及轉換,在以男性為主的社會中建構身份認同。這支舞讓女舞者們隨著緊湊的打擊樂,來展現舞動肢體的速度和力道,從而挑戰剛與柔的二元定義,探討陰與陽的能量,並揭示當代「戰士們」所需面對的逆境與挑戰。

下半場的舞作《#藍色暗影》(Shades of Blue),則是由出生在辛巴威、成長於威爾斯的麥森納兄弟(Matsena brothers)所編創,以結合街舞及當代舞蹈元素的手法,來探討與黑人相關的種族議題。開場時,數名舞者倒臥於舞台上,被黑衣人踩踏而過,呈現出黑人族群在白人主導的社會中,受到不當對待的意象。之後,這支舞作以藍色燈光來具現壓抑的氛圍,舞者們則透過不同風格的肢體演繹,包括從慢動作到急速奔跑的爆發性節奏,來詮釋喧騰一時的喬治・佛洛伊德(George Floyd)迫殺事件,希望能夠喚起觀者對於#BlackLivesMatter(「#黑命關天」)運動的關注。



Photo Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian