Nook at Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance
In the age of #freethenipple, who ‘owns’ our bodies and what does that mean for our understandings of gender? Nook offers a sensitive exploration into the complex maze of the female body, sex and desire, questioning eastern and western ideas of censorship and ownership around the female form.
We spoke with Rebecca Pik Kei Wong about her upcoming work Nook at Supercell this April
Rebecca Pik Kei Wong
For our readers less familiar with how a piece of contemporary dance comes to be, can you talk us through the process from the conception of the idea through to performance. Do you start with the movement and build the story, or start with a message to discuss through the movements of dance? How many hours of dance and rehearsal goes into the creation of a body of work as detailed Nook.
In my journey of being a choreographer, I am really into talking about relationship in my own creations. However, I was getting stuck into the stigma of the typical male and female relationship for sometime.
This work is about overcoming the imposing feeling of censorship of the female form and finding ways to best express female sexuality and body image. Are there new messages that you believe audiences need to see or is the work of this discussion in the fact that we need the same message repeated to really make a change?
Nook is a very special creation to me. In its original version, Nook also talks about a more cliche male and female relationship, however, because of different re-run as well as touring opportunities, I have more chances to really look into this piece as well as my own artistic statement.
Dance is often considered to be a language of its own – but a universal language that we can all appreciate. As a dancer, how do you interpret the meaning behind these important themes of feminine identity through the language of dance? In what ways can Nook further the conversation of feminine expression?
Occasionally, the original cast (male dancer) wasn’t available for the Nook re-run in 2017, so, after some struggles, I decided to make myself the replacement of that male dancer and outlining this two females version. This version is like a runway for me to take-off to go deeper into the thing like female identity as well as sexuality of women. And now, re-run and touring of Nook, to me is more a chance to reflect the thoughts and feelings of mine in the “here and now” and injecting it into Nook. So each time, Nook is different from last time, though the framework is more or less fixed, but you will sense the differences on movements, flow and rhythm etc. I think “here and now” are one of the keywords in contemporary works, so, I will say Nook is a contemporary dance creation.
This is a work that you have brought over to Australia from Hong Kong, which really speaks to the universality of the theme and of the female experience. What is the number one message that you hope audiences take away from seeing Nook?
basically, in my creation, you can always find the tail of the issue that I really care about but I would rather not to do a creation to directly talk about those issues or delivering some very strong messages. So, it is quite difficult for me to answer what is the number one message to be convey in Nook as well as what I want to make use of Nook to nurture social change. It is because I would rather open up for the audience to relate and associate Nook to their own life, experience or culture etc. After “processing” the association and we continue our dialogues in different ways, like facebook, email or a coffee meet-up etc, and social change might happen and might be not.
Finally, You both choreographed and perform in Nook. Why did you choose contemporary dance as the style to express this story? What do you believe the style offers?
The audience will find their own message, which they can contextualise and consolidate all their own experience. Under this kind of dialogue, I can get more inspirations from them and they might actually changing or creating some perspectives of Nook with me. And this is very contemporary, I believe.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
Favourite production you have ever seen?
“Belgian rules / Belgium rules" de Jan Fabre à La Rose des Vents de Villeneuve d'Ascq
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
Dream show to dance in?
“The Great Tamer” by Dimitris Papaioannou
Plays, musicals, ballets or other forms of dance?
Every form because I think we need not to be bound by forms when doing our creations.
A hobby you have beyond dance?
What’s next for you after this show?
Using the Shibari and BDSM technique to create a full length piece in 2020
Tickets are available here