Fragile, the first creation of Finnish choreographer Hanna Brotherus in Hong Kong, was meant to explore and reflect on the emotion hidden in participants’ bodies, the value of empathy and the strength that lies within us. The work attempts to relieve our frailty through physical touch and making connections.
The documentary Fragile: work-in-progress is a valuable record of her creative process, documenting rehearsal with local community dancers conducted remotely through an online platform during the pandemic. At a time when social distancing is the new normal, Brotherus’s choreography of human connection has taken on a new meaning.
Fragile was originally conceived for 80 members from the community and was scheduled to premiere in February 2020 at the 48th Hong Kong Arts Festival. Due to the anti-epidemic measures, the number of participants in this work-in-progress rehearsal was reduced to 24.
“The themes of the works may well spring from social problems, but Brotherus is ambitious and keen on artistic quality.” — Finnish Dance in Focus 2019-2020
A Hong Kong Arts Festival Production
Choreographer Hanna Brotherus
Scenographer Jones Maxwell
Composer Johannes Brotherus
Assistants to the Choreographer Kardo Shiwan Aletta Salo
Hong Kong Artists
Dance Captain Iris Lau Wing Chi Mon Ning Ming Man
Production Coordinator Lai Sim-fong
Stage Manager Leung Tat-ming
Performers Chan Chun-tung Chan Ka-wai Chan Yung-po Chen Yin-chih Cheng Yin-mui Choy Yu-tin Fu Sau-lin Hui Kew-nui Lam Chui-yi Leung Mei-ying Li Pui-yi Ngan Hei-yuen Shing Hui-ying Tang Ho-kwing Wong Hoi-ching Wu Nok-yin Wu Pei’er Yeung Chun-to Yu Pik-hung Pooja Sharma Ryan Lee Jones Zandee Kago Momoyo Wonn
Hanna Brotherus (Finland)
Dancer, director and choreographer Hanna Brotherus is one of the top names in Finnish contemporary dance, known for being artistically resolute, exceptionally inventive and with a clear, original voice. As a pioneer in community stage art, her partners have included the Finnish National Opera, the Helsinki City Theatre, the Tampere Worker’s Theatre TTT and the Finnish National Theatre.
Her work crosses the borders between art and wellbeing, with themes founded on the actual circumstances of her dancers, who have included a mix of cutting-edge artistic professionals, recovering addicts, day-care children, the elderly and many more. The authenticity and presence of the performers is therefore always tangible and distinctly, artistically personal—simultaneously fragile and powerful. “My passion is to join together different people from different backgrounds and age groups. I believe in intuition, in the power of the touch and presence,” says Brotherus.
Jones Maxwell (Finland) is a set and costume designer mainly working in Finland. He works in a wide spectrum of areas including television, dance performances and museums. Fragile is his fourth time designing for the Hanna Brotherus Company.
Johannes Brotherus (Finland) is a versatile composer, producer, actor and musician. He is the lead singer of the band KUUMAA. In addition to his own music, he writes music for films, television, dance performances and other recording artists. He is also a trained violin player and writes string arrangements for different commercial and artistic purposes. Brotherus has also acted in a variety of Finnish television series and films.
Kardo Shiwan (Finland) is contemporary dance artist from Finland with a versatile background in movement. He has studied hip-hop, house, ballet and contemporary dance.
Since graduating from the University of Arts Helsinki, he has worked extensively in Finland as well as internationally. One highlight is Wilhelmina Ojanen’s A Whisper in the Order of Things at Sadler’s Wells in London.