“During this three-year exchange, I hope to find new ways of creating, thinking and innovating, instead of just bringing our work to perform in Finland and other places.” Local dance artist Ivy Tsui Yik-chit.

In the recently completed second residency of West Kowloon’s ‘Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Finland’, three Finnish dance artists Carl Knif, Sari Palmgren and Linda Martikainen visited Hong Kong to work with local artists Ivy Tsui Yik-chit, Justyne Li Sze-yeung and Wayson Poon Wai-shun. When they weren’t in the rehearsal room, they were out watching local dance performances and exploring Peng Chau and Lantau Island. To give them a holistic experience of Hong Kong, Wayson took them to the Big Buddha, for a vegetarian lunch at Ling Yan Monastery and a taste of Buddhist culture. “Productive communication doesn’t just take place while you’re rehearsing, but also while you’re hiking or on an outing. It’s the same with creative inspiration: it doesn’t just occur in the rehearsal room, our daily lives and surroundings can also inspire us.

‘Creative Meeting Point’ is not a project that requires artists to spend time in a rehearsal room practising or devising new choreography. It’s about connecting artists in their home regions and giving them time and space to learn about the local arts ecosystem and get to know each other’s creative methods and practice.

As in the first phase, the six artists took part in an exchange session to share thoughts on dance and life. Ivy accompanied the artists to Peng Chau and Lantau Island. “It felt like we were on a roller coaster – from being strangers to getting to know each other. We may not all be interested in the same things, but what’s important is to stay curious and open-minded.” Ivy described their interaction is like “dancing a tango” – gradually getting to know each other, and hoping for more sparks in the future.

Launched in November 2016, ‘Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Finland’ is a three-year collaborative exchange programme between West Kowloon and three Finnish dance institutions: Dance Info Finland, Zodiak – Centre for New Dance and Dance House Helsinki. The programme offers dance artists opportunities for artistic dialogue with international dance practitioners in their home regions.