The Island Whispers …


Glasshouse (A new HKAF commission)

Mix: Re/Tape 2.0

Stillness (A new HKAF commission)

Harmonica Heroes

The Island Whispers …

The Wolf Pack

Date & Time

12 - 20 Feb, 2022 12, 13, 19, 20.02.2022│2pm & 4:15pm


Laundry Steps, Prison Yard


Free of charge


Presented by

HKartsFestival@TaiKwun is part of the 50th Hong Kong Arts Festival

Solely sponsored by

Internationally renowned choreographer Helen Lai will be adapting an excerpt from her dance theatre work The Island Whispers … (2014) to a site-specific, outdoor performance in Tai Kwun. The nine-time Hong Kong Dance Awards winner leads seven talented local dancers around Tai Kwun’s historic site, looking for traces of existence left behind by individuals, places and time. Inspired by and echoing the poignant and intellectual poetry by Polish Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska, the work itself is a flowing dance poem about memory.

The choreography pays tribute to the marks of time on Laundry Steps and Prison Yard and invites you to choose your own perspectives to see the work in this site-specific adaption. Using steps and body movements, the dance aria searches for all that is lost in a vanished city.

More Programme Details


Helen Lai
Li Yongjing
Lam Po
Gigi Yang
Jennifer Mok
Lai Tak Wai
Natalie Mak
Terry Tsang

One of Hong Kong’s foremost choreographers, Helen Lai’s work has been featured at Hong Kong City Hall in 1977 and 1978. Lai joined City Contemporary Dance Company in 1979, and was Artistic Director from 1985 to 1989 and Resident Choreographer from 1991 to 2011. Lai has choreographed for nearly all of Hong Kong’s performing arts companies, including Hong Kong Dance Company, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and Hong Kong Ballet, as well as overseas companies including Cloud Gate Dance Theatreand Singapore Dance Theatre.          

Her major works include Nine Songs, The Rite of Spring, Plaza X, HerStory, Soledad and the chamber opera Heart of Coral (as director). An eight-time winner of the Hong Kong Dance Awards for her choreographic works, Lai was the recipient of numerous awards including Choreographer of the Year from the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild (1990), Distinguished Achievement Award from the Hong Kong Dance Alliance (2002), the Award for Arts Achievement (Dance, 2003), an Outstanding Contribution in Arts award (2015) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Photo provided by CCDC
Photographed by Jefu Ha Studio

Graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) with Distinction in 2002, majoring in Modern Dance, she continued her study at the Academy and was awarded Master of Fine Arts in Dance in 2008. After graduation, she taught the Modern Dance Diploma Programme at the Guangdong Dance School. In April 2004, she joined the Odyssey Dance Theatre in Singapore as an Artist in Residence. Jing also collaborated with various local and overseas performing arts organizations as a guest artist, including Hong Kong Dance Company, Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, City Contemporary Dance Company, E-side Modern Dance Company, and Dam Van Huynh Company among others.  She received the Hong Kong Dance Award 2001 and 2012 respectively from the Hong Kong Dance Alliance for her exceptional performance in Interiors by Csaba Buday and for her choreography and performance in a duet, The Moment I Saw It. She is currently Lecturer of Contemporary Dance and MFA advisor at HKAPA.

By kind permission of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Lam graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) and major in Modern Dance. During his study, he was awarded several scholarships. In 2000, he was awarded a scholarship from the Asian Cultural Council to participate in the American Dance Festival. In 2001 he joined the Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company till 2014. His presents his choreography works continuously. In 2016, invited by the Hong Kong Arts festival, the Hong Kong Dance Alliance, and the World Dance Alliance (Asia Pacific) the commissioned works: FragmentsThat DayNexus were staged respectively. Lam received 2012 Hong Kong Dance Award “Outstanding Independent Dance” and “Outstanding Performance by Male Dancer” for his performance in The Moment I Saw It. Lam is currently a freelance dancer, choreographer and teaches in HKAPA.

Born in Chongqing, Gigi graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy, majoring in Chinese Folk Dance. She joined the Hong Kong Dance Company in 2002, and the City Contemporary Dance Company in 2006. She now works as a freelancer.

Graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Mok joined the City Contemporary Dance Company as a dancer from 2007 to 2014. In 2015, Mok performed in her first choreography, A Major Clown in G Flat, in Femininity of E-sides Dance Company, and was nominated for “Outstanding Choreography” and “Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer” of Hong Kong Dance Awards 2016. At the 45th Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2016, her work You are Beautiful was staged. In 2018, Mok was invited to the Hong Kong Dance Exchange Festival and the Dance Round Table in Taiwan. In the same year, she created Moha in “New Force in Motion Series” was nominated for “Outstanding Small Venue Production” of the Hong Kong Dance Awards 2019. In 2021, she was invited to be one of the choreographers for the opening programme 42 36 42of the new season of the City Contemporary Dance Company.

Photo provided by Will Chong

Lai Tak Wai graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts majoring in modern dance. During his study, he was awarded several scholarships. Lai was a full-time dancer at Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in 2005 and was at CCDC from 2008 to 2014. At the 2014 Hong Kong Dance Awards he received the “Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer” award for his performance in In Search of the Grand View Garden. He is currently an independent choreographer and freelance dancer. His choreography includes SleeplessSubstituteTimeline in It's My Turn, and Overwhelming in Eureka. Presented a full-length solo works So Low in 2017 which was also received the “Outstanding Choreography” in 2018 from Hong Kong Dance Awards.

Natalie Mak is an independent dancer, choreographer and dance teacher. Mak is also a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance (500 hours) and certified Flyoga®️ instructor. Mak studied Chinese Dance at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). Mak was awarded the Spring Time Stage Productions Scholarship and the Disney Scholarship twice. Mak was a full-time dancer in the City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) during 2014 – 2020. Mak has worked with various renowned choreographers. Also, Mak was nominated for Hong Kong Dance Awards “Outstanding Performing Female Dancer '' in 2017. Mak recent choreographic works include: “1/2 TBC” presented by HK Dance Alliance “New Force in Motion” Series (2021), Wandering Stone presented by CCDC Dancer Homework (2016). Mak has also developed profound interests in Singing Bowl Therapy and Yoga in recent years. Mak wishes to merge dance with well-being awareness and spirituality, so as to promote a body-mind aligned aesthetic.

Nominee of Outstanding Performing Male Dancer in the Hong Kong Dance Awards, had his recent work Mo Ngaan Tai presented in 2019, and got invitations from two local festivals and oversea festivals in Italy and Taiwan shortly after the premiere. Previously, Terry studied in The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts majoring in Contemporary Dance, and was a full-time dancer in the City Contemporary Dance Company during 2013 – 2019. He toured to different countries and regions, and also has been active locally. In recent years, he specialises in dance photography with his establishment of Labora-Terry Arts, intensifying his investigation on creation and human body, while his camera capture influenced by visuals of dance, and his choreographic creations inspired by camera captures.