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Diary VII: The Story of…

C Arts - C aurora


Billed as stories of life and death of humans, cats and cities, this mesmerising performance is the latest piece in an autobiographical body of work begun at the age of 26.  Mui Cheuk-yin is now 63, but like the legendary Martha Graham, age is irrelevant to her immense talent, grace, skill and presence, as she takes us on a journey that her family has made over decades, leaving their beloved Hong Kong, sometimes to return, more often to travel onwards in search for a home that can never replace the one left behind.

A major motif in the piece is that of the cat.  The voiceover extracts from her diaries record a growing relationship with a stray, and the dance involves Mui Cheuk-yin intertwining, engaging and sleeping with cat shadows and silhouettes.  A disturbing passage evokes travel, loss and chaos through the use of back projected shadows and fugitive cats.

The piece builds to a moving climax of the cats, lost, and the dancer bereft, a sense of families dispersed and lost, to a haunting rendition in Chinese of the old Peter Paul and Mary song, 500 Miles Away from Home, which had this reviewer in tears, followed by a final plea for survival to The Sound of Silence.

The piece is utterly compelling and haunting.  Maui’s movement is fluid, painfully expressive of loss and identification with cats when connection with family has been lost.  One is left with a sense of yearning for community, the stress of emigration, the desperation to protect and preserve whatever lives remain, in this case, the cat, the symbol of Maui’s lost family.

It must be seen.

Diary VII: Story of... is on at C aurora until August 13th

Tickets available here

Diary VII: The Story of…
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