Inclusion moves forward. Deaf Hong Kong dancer on using sign language in choreography,
South China Morning Post
15th January 2023
Inclusion moves forward. Deaf Hong Kong dancer on using sign language in choreography, movement to express himself
Jason Wong Yiu-pong, who lost his hearing at the age of three, started a dance troupe in 2010 that has members of many different abilities
In February, this group, Fun Forest, has a show called Sign in Dance, which incorporates sign language into its dancing and drama
By Sue Ng
For Deaf performer Jason Wong Yiu-pong, dancing is not just a way to communicate with the world but also an integral part of living as his true self.
Born in a Deaf family, the artist lost his hearing after a bout of fever at the age of three. He cannot hear most sounds, not even the din of a plane taking off.
“I am Deaf, but I don’t consider myself sick,” said the hip-hop dancer, speaking to Young Post through a sign-language interpreter. “Even without hearing, I can express with my hands and body movements.”
The dancer explained that describing himself as “Deaf” with the capital D meant he accepted his identity. Some advocacy groups also use Deaf to refer to those who have not been able to hear for their whole lives and who use sign language as their primary form of communication.
“Some people might think it is more appropriate to use the word ‘disabled’ or ‘those with hearing loss’ to describe us, but in fact, these words only focus on the loss instead of ourselves,” shared Wong, who has long been bridging the gap between the Deaf and hearing communities, such as by incorporating sign language in choreography.
In 2010, he set up Fun Forest, a performance troupe for people of various abilities to express themselves through dance. The group now has 28 members including Wong.