From the beginning of 2017, HKNLversations started to focus on the question how to create a space/place we can associate with as ‘home’ in a world full of dualities: religious, age, and political differences, ethnic diversity and the different mindset and cultural habits that come with it. The first movement research and performance staged in the Netherlands focussing on this theme has been Muscari Armeniacum

The second work made in the Netherlands and staged in the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing, as part of the “Cold Nights” exhibition has been Deep Fall Puppet Inspired by the book ‘Cold Nights’ of Ba Jin and ‘Buy Me The Sky’of Xinran, two dancers explore the dual relationship and commonalities between conservatism and modernism, between East and West; where do the narratives of these dualities meet? The deeper laying question asked and researched is how to create a space/place that is like ‘home’ including multiple generations.

In 2018, we envision to continue to develop Muscari Armeniacum and perform it also in Hong Kong / China. Deep Fall Puppet has been programmed already in the Netherlands for 2018 to be developed further and be performed. In 2018/2019 the focus of the work in the Netherlands will be:

  • Generations
    The quest and opportunities of ‘reinventing home’ including multiple generations
  • Diversity and ethnic segregation
    Hong Kong and the bigger cities of the Netherlands have a big ethnic minority community. If we envision our cities in the future how do we address ethnic segregation, white privilege, and instead include and embrace the diversity of ethnic diversity present?
  • Colour
    The famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh inspired others to use colour as a means of expression. What happens if we use colour as a means of expression in visual and dance art relating to current societal challenges?Van Gogh was influenced by Eugène Delacroix’s color theories which made him focus on the use of complementary colors – colors opposite each other in the color wheel. Could it be that Van Gogh’s and Delacroix’s ideas of highlighting one colour through using a contradictory colour counts also for societies and cultures. In 2017/2018 the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam invites artists from China and Japan, cultures whose values are known to be quite the contrary of those of the Netherlands, to intepretate Van Gogh’s work.  What do we learn from this meeting of full of contraditions? What do we see if we step into each
    others shoes?




In the first year of HKNLversation we develoed a collaboration with Dutch choreographer Iris van Peppen. After the HKNLversations dance artistic director Marloes van Houten, and HK choreographer David Leung visited the Netherlands to teach several workshops and master classes in October 2014 and January 2015, Iris got inspired and continued to develop movement research under the title ‘Instinct’. This with the idea that for transformation to happen, its first step is deconstruction of old patterns that limit us to act and move according to our authentic nature, by going back to our instinctual behaviour and releasing the head/neck (cognitive, thinking, controlling side), activating the arterial flow (blood-pump) in order to awake our instinct and enter another (sub)consciousness.

Iris dance project ‘Instinct’ researches the human instinct to move, inviting surprises to come to new ways of moving and being. A first preview of ‘Instinct’ was staged in May 2015 in a prison in Utrecht, the Netherlands, as part of the UTRECHT DOWN UNDER cultural program: The movement research developed into a dance film shown at various festivals globally, and a full length dance theatre production staged in the Netherlands in December 2016. See here for a trailer of the production. Iris also came to Hong Kong in 2016 to share of her movement research, show the INSTINCT dance film and give a performative showing.


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