When breathing becomes language

To dance is to breathe, inhale and exhale, a fundamental aspect of our existence. PHONATE invites us to open our senses and reflect on our connection to an essential part of life – breathing. The performance features four dancers with their lips taped shut, each holding a small harmonica between their lips. Unable to speak in words, they explore the flow of their breath and the connections it creates, both inside and outside the body. The piece is a slow and spiralling journey that explores the individual and the collective, connection and disconnection, and the escape of air from the body as music. PHONATE highlights the importance of staying connected in a time of global upheaval and reminds us of the power of togetherness.

Poon’s choreography is informed by Taoist notions of “Qi” and the movement and meditation practices Liquid Body and 5Rhythms. The research and development of this work was supported by Freespace, Dance Info Finland, Zodiak – Center for New Dance and Dance House Helsinki through the residency exchange project Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Finland (2016–2018).

Concept / Choreography: Wayson Poon
Live Sound Artist / Dramaturg / Sound Designer: Peter Lenaerts
Performers: Kingsan Lo, Ivan Chan, KT Yau, Cheung Tsz-kwan
Lighting Designer: Lawmanray
Costume Designer: Pauline Chan
Sound Engineer: Martin Lai

“…In each inhalation and exhalation, it transcends the limitations of space and body, using sound without words to reveal the essence of humanity. Despite the constant changes, the breath is always present. Even when closed, it still resonates, and the sound of the breath is never-ending. Let us encourage each other in this way.”
by Derek Lum(

Commissioned, produced and presented by:

The Programme is part of “Creative Tomorrow” exclusively sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Exclusive Sponsor:

The Hong Kong Jockey Club