A Collection of Voices: ‘For You, I Change — 2020 as a Transformative Year for Hong Kong’s Dance’
The Editorial Team
In 2020, we led a life so distinctly different from before. Every person, of whatever nationality or professional background, was under the weather, each in his own way. Many of these stories await to be discovered and shared.
The Editorial Special of Hong Kong Dance Overview 2020, ‘For You, I Change — 2020 as a Transformative Year for Hong Kong’s Dance’, is a collection of industry voices. Submissions are invited and interviews conducted with emphasis on the nuances of what practitioners from a variety of backgrounds have gone through. By paying due attention to the seemingly trivial details, we try to get a grasp of what exactly is transforming our lives so we will take in the nutrients needed to stay strong, day after day.
Stories from seventeen parties are hereby presented, each of them complicated in its own manner. Any attempt to conclude them into one big story runs the potential risk of generalisation. Both individuals and organisations supported by ongoing grants were under financial pressure when their work arrangements were interrupted by the pandemic. On the other hand, the unprecedented situation invited reflection on conviction and principles that have been manifested in creative direction and work pattern. As one regards the suspension imposed by the pandemic as the ‘reset’ button of the computer, he takes the advantage of the free time to adjust his pace and think about the future — some look for new presentation opportunities in the virtual world, while others stay put and contemplate the corporeal experience in the face of the monitor.
The Editorial Team aligns the stories by individuals and groups, presented by last name alphabetical order. Highlight to remarks that call attention to themselves is added by the Team.
‘A New Me’
Dora LAI, freelance theatre worker and art critic
‘In 2020, my full-time job at Y-Space was changed to part-time. Meanwhile I was responsible for the administration, ticketing, and publicity of Matches. Due to the pandemic, the show was first postponed from April to December, and then its format was hurriedly changed to video-recording for online replay. Unlike performers, the worst impact of the pandemic on art administrators was not unemployment but an increase in workload, such as information updates for publicity, changes of visa arrangements for overseas artists, and a staff list which needed constant updating…
As for ticketing, the seating design was originally separated into upper and lower floors to allow for free audience movement. However, audience seating was under restriction due to the pandemic. Once the stage design concept changed, the marketing approach had to follow suit. Everything had to start all over again. Albeit repeated changes, the physical performance was still unable to go on, hence the subsequent refund work. While I found myself lucky to be employed, yet nothing compared to the pleasure and satisfaction of spending days and nights to see a production project through. There were too many uncertainties for me to take up other jobs, even though I was only a part-timer.
In the past, the dance company I worked for relied predominantly on printed publicity materials. Since there was no more distribution point, everything went online. How to effectively use the online platform for marketing is something for me to learn. The unpredictable pandemic has made me realise that one cannot “put all eggs in the same basket”. I continue to stay in theatre while making myself available for cross-disciplinary projects.
I am also an art critic. Even though venues were closed, performances were cancelled, I still had to write. Some shows that I could not afford for time or monetary reasons were available as many art organisations broadcasted their productions online. I watched a few in a day without having to leave my flat. Some of them offered unlimited playback. It was an eye-opening experience which inspired my writing. I’d say it’s a blessing in disguise.’
LAU Pak-hong, full-time dancer
‘When I returned to Hong Kong in 2019 and tried to explore and familiarise myself with the Hong Kong dance scene, the pandemic began. Since it was just the beginning and there was not much work for me anyway, the impact on me was limited.
I was lucky to be able to live on some part-time jobs. I just needed to take care of myself.
Yet, since many studios were closed, neither could I go to classes nor get to know and practise with other dancers.
For most of the time I could only practise outdoors in playgrounds and fields. It took a lot of self-discipline for me to do so.
I went to classes whenever the pandemic situation improved. I also got to know many people at the TS Studio’s open jam sessions. It’s not only about practising and exchanging skills. It was encouraging for me to see them work hard. CCDC also offered some online courses for our training.
On-line and on-site: For performances and classes to go online unwillingly was no news to me. Tate Modern’s “Performance Room” has long been hosting online performances. In 2019, I also participated in a project with a Taiwanese friend to conduct weekly online rehearsals over the course of eight weeks.
A comparison between being physical and online made me rethink the raison d’être of theatre. With the technology we have these days and televisions and movies so mature, why would we want to see a work in the theatre?
To me, the relationship between the theme and the spectators, and how it invites them to interact is crucial to the communication between the artwork and the audience. Being able to exchange in the same physical space is one of the main reasons why dance fascinates me. I sometimes drift off watching a short dance film so I don’t believe in the feeling of in-situ capable of being delivered online. It doesn't mean that online works are meaningless, or there is limited room for exploration. On the contrary, we should further investigate what is special about going online. Especially when it comes to dance: recording what happened on the stage and presenting the dance in videos are as different as chalk and cheese. The latter seems to be another artistic medium.
Being onsite helps the audience members immerse themselves in the work. This advantage works especially well with small scale productions or immersive performances. I am still thinking about what kinds of subjects and presentations facilitate the communication between participants, including creators, performers, and the audience.’
Andy LO, production manager, TS Crew
Interviewed by Felix Chan
‘When the pandemic caused a standstill of workshops and teaching activities, the TS Crew studio in Tai Po Arts Centre, in addition to being a studio for members, became also a place where private one-on-one or small classes were held in compliance with the pandemic restrictions imposed by the government. These classes, being private, could not have been heavily promoted, although they were probably the only source of income related to performance and teaching for most of our members. Nevertheless, for us, this year of “vacation” was not all woe. For though many performance opportunities were lost, and the studio could not operate as usual, most classes cancelled, catching everyone off guard, there had been time and space to organise something truer to ourselves. Indeed, we are no traditional dance /theatre troupe. Our members come from all walks of life, with Hugh Cho alone professionally trained while the rest of us bring in different skills to develop through this platform. When performance opportunities were lacking during the pandemic, we wanted all the more to explore possibilities different from the ordinary performance. This included the Halloween event in Tai Po Arts Centre, a project that combined dance and drama, games, and experiential activities. This mode of experiential performance that made use of an entire building demonstrates the unique qualities of our members which are seldom displayed in an ordinary performance. The creativity of the members to incorporate games into performance turned the event into one dancing carnival instead of a mere dance show.
On the other hand, while the pandemic brought everything to a halt, causing the members to lose many work opportunities, it also gave them a lot of time in the Tai Po studio for self-training. What is interesting is that while the members practiced their own skills individually, such as somersault or other dancing techniques, this period of free time brought us together in the same space, where we practiced alone but learned from one another, and even grew together. I was thus inspired to organise workshops that could develop the character of the group, so that this non-traditional dance group with a deep concern for local traditions, cultures, and craft, might gain a more substantial understanding and development of local culture. In 2020, we invited a Chinese opera master to teach us the culture, handwork, and techniques of the genre. This formed one of the technical bases of Gong Wu Busking: No Dragon No Lion, a popular project under the Community Cultural Ambassador Scheme in the following year.
The above activities have allowed us to build a more unique, non-traditional group personality, with members possessing individual skills and the capability to exchange with each other, and an emphasis on new experiential modes and performances that integrate with local culture, enabling us to break through the uncertainty between the definitions of dance and non-dance, and forge a new path.’
Alice MA, freelance choreographer and dancer
Interviewed by Felix Chan
‘During the pandemic, most performances were postponed, those that spanned two years had to be pushed back till after 2021. In 2020, I already foresaw how busy I would be in the following one to two years. For example, between October 2021 and March 2022 there are four performances scheduled, some of which were planned for 2020. The postponement caused a disruption of working schedules. Though not an ideal scenario, it is still better than having the programmes cancelled. After all, nobody wants to let hard-won resources go to waste. More importantly, if a funded project has to be cancelled due to the pandemic, it may leave a bad record and affect future applications. Hence some overseas exchange activities keep postponing even though it is uncertain when they can be relaunched.
In 2020, I had a first taste of choreography for video shooting. However, as I was not well versed in film language and knew not how to ask questions or give suggestions to the director, who basically controlled the angles and rhythms. Although the video came out satisfactory, personally I wish I had contributed more of my own ideas. Fortunately, that same year I had another opportunity to choreograph for videos. With more experience and knowledge about filmmaking, I began to grasp how to communicate with the director and tried to choreograph by imagining the camera lens. Interestingly, from these experiences I learn that the biggest difference between stage performance and film is: While the choreographer and dancer of the former know exactly where the audience is, hence where the focus is and in which direction the energy should be projected, the dancer, when performing in the latter, does not have full knowledge of which part of the dance is being captured by the director and where the focus should be. It requires familiarity with film language, and a good communication with the director, cinematographer, and even lighting staff, etc., in order to have an accurate representation. Otherwise, a lot of the energy and characteristics of choreographer and dancers will be lost in the video work.
On the other hand, I did have a lot of time to myself this year, thinking about and preparing for the aforementioned, postponed dance works. To have time to research extensively for one or two works is a kind of luck and happiness; at least I have never had such time before. As a freelance choreographer and dancer, I usually arrange my schedules tight, with only three to four months to complete a twenty-minute piece, including research, rehearsal, editing, and technical rehearsal. Now there is almost a year or more to prepare for a performance, which has greatly improved the overall quality of the work. Not only can the content be more substantial, the relationship between dancer(s) and audience can also be more clearly thought out. Especially with the filming experience, I now think more in depth about the interaction between dancer(s) and audience.
In 2020, there was even time for me to do things that I normally would not do, such as learning to sew, a sort of extra skill. Now I can modify some of my own costumes, which is very satisfying.’
Zelia TAN, full-time dancer at CCDC, a creator crossing film and technology
‘My work at CCDC was very intensive as I had to create in the face of different challenges. In January, the rehearsal for an overseas touring and an environmental dance piece were cancelled. The pandemic broke out unexpectedly, confining my practice to my home. 〇, the project on which I worked with the creative team from February to April, was cancelled after all. The working process had been recorded but we didn’t know how it would be presented. In July, we managed to meet with the audience in The Copybook of Life Challenge for Apprentice Magician, an International Arts Carnival programme. In October, CCDC introduced the “dual track mode” to present the online and live versions of Project NEXT Wave. In December, a screendance version of Mr Blank was made. Ten-odd dancers and I overcame many difficulties to respond, with our bodies, to the reality in different dimensions, generating life force with our dance. I played a different role in my dance career as I directed a short dance film Over Here? to explore the “flow” of our times. Through this dance film, I met many people who tried to use film as a medium to explore their bodies. I listened to their stories. Another important change of mine was my effort to understand the “dance of virtual reality” and embarked on a new research-in-residence project to ask questions and conduct movement capture experiments. Overall, I realised that being able to change course makes me more passionate and imaginative.’
〇 co-directed by Xing Lian and anothermountainman
The Copybook of Life Challenge for Apprentice Magician directed by Melissa Leung
Project NEXT Wave choreographed by Felix Ke, Christy Poinsettia Ma and KT Yau
Mr Blank (screendance version): choreographer: Sang Jijia, dramaturg: Janice Poon, director: Rita Hui
Over Here? directed and choreographed by Zelia Tan
‘Leonardo21’ initiated by Eugenia Kim
‘The Future to be Faced by the Performing Arts’
CHAN Wai-lok, freelance Dancer
‘I’d say “distance” is the word of the years 2020 and 2021. Be it the distance between the audience and the performer or that among the performers, or with artistic residency, needs to be reviewed and redefined. Let’s take this as an example: The interesting imposition of 1.5-metre distance between performers without masks. It is interesting in a sense that performers were not allowed to touch one another while they were expected to move together. Many performances went back to proscenium-style in order to accommodate for the distance of 1.5 to 2 metres from the audience. I regarded this as a regression, but not exactly a return to the traditional format as everyone was finding their own way to deal with this restriction. If the audience were to surround the stage, the stage became quite small, but it was still an interesting limitation. Even if it is supposed to be immersive, how could we make the actors disappear while making the show a success? In terms of an actual distance, the theatre space, more precisely, its spatial arrangement, requires urgency and strong intention; the distance of residency is virtual. How should we share ideas and materials? How can dance, as a medium, be diffused virtually? Does it need another medium, such as video? How do we communicate? Does it shorten the distance, say, when it becomes a video for the home audience? All these have triggered me to give more thoughts to “distance” in these two years.’
Frieda LUK, performer
‘Before my stay in London from 2019 to 2020, I mostly performed in the Butoh dance choreographed by Kiwi Chan. Other than that, I had not really been active in the dance circle. However, I joined many somatic and dance practice events in London, where I met many friends. Due to the pandemic, I returned to Hong Kong. The project that was ongoing (in London) continued online, on Zoom, with creative materials shared over Google drive. The choice was dependent on my requirement for simultaneity.
Upon my return to Hong Kong, I participated in performances, including Kiwi’s, of which the live performances were replaced with pre-recorded videos. As for Unlocking Plaza’s Kerry & Frieda, we managed to present the work-in-progress and final versions on site. I also participated in the video-recorded puppet shows of Free To Play, masks over our faces. The pandemic did not really affect my job opportunities in Hong Kong, but in hindsight, it has changed my way of working. Thanks to my connections from London, I had increased opportunities to work with different people. Through different online cooperation methods, the projects managed to sustain and evolve.’
Ivy TSUI, independent choreographer
‘In early 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, I worked as a workshop instructor for E-Side Dance Company. Zoom teaching was still new to most of us, so my problem was: “How do I teach students who are not here with me?” Video-call had never been an option for me because I didn’t want us to rehearse, in our own private spaces, something meant to be presented in public. To put it in another way, that was an hour meant to be being together in a specific space. I couldn't just ask the students to do the same in their living rooms. On the other hand, a friend from Finland invited me to lead a three-hour, one-off online workshop. Before COVID, I had wanted to try projects that crossed but unbounded by the distance between countries. When the pandemic hit, online workshop made so much sense. We were even excited that we didn’t need to worry about long-haul flights or accommodation. Everything was just a click away.
Later, I found myself in a similar situation when we were rehearsing at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts for Butterfly Lovers. When physical classes were suspended and students felt unsafe about being at school, Zoom classes became inevitable. I had many questions: Was partnering possible on Zoom? What was the meaning of dance when other people’s bodies were absent? I had to clear the doubts in my mind before I could lead my students to think. But I couldn’t find the answers right away. There were lags due to connection speed. Although students were online at the same time, it was impossible to get the right beat or verify if the movements were correctly done. So, I said to myself, instead of insisting on “synchrony”, it might be better to pre-record teaching materials and allow students to review them over and over again.
Teaching on Zoom made me reflect more on “repertoire” and “dance”. If we were never to enter the theatre again, and performance space limited to the camera lens, do we still need ballet or dance? How much space would be left for the dancer to express? I discussed teaching topics with the Academy while these doubts remained unresolved. The other two tutors and I had ongoing discussions about the purpose of the class. What was important to me was self-motivation. The outcome I set for my teaching was: My students’ homework should respond to that little frame in the Zoom classroom. And the final presentation must be a live performance in the Zoom classroom. However, not many seem to understand why I was insistent on that, refusing to accept video recordings. Mind you, the Academy provided certain resources based on whether the performance was physical or not.’
BEYOND Bollywood, Indian dance company
‘If “limit” is our creative theme — inspirations with no borders, creativity is making the impossible possible, even under constraints. In the past two years, the theatres were partially working, while public performances were often postponed, rehearsals on and off... A performer could feel helpless. In an ever-changing environment beyond our control, how can we make the most out of the situation in order to move on?
If it’s difficult to perform live, the logical way is to move the performance venue to a virtual space. Like many local dancers, BEYOND Bollywood tried to perform online: in conjunction with the other tenants of Tai Po Arts Centre, we presented an online art festival, “Art in Quarantine” (geliyishu-ing), to connect with the community by live broadcasts over seven days. We also participated in the “Tai Po Youth Arts Festival” with performances and teaching programmes in which the audiences participated simultaneously. The “Arts-in-School Partnership Scheme” was pre-planned. Under the pandemic, the format was changed to broadcasting pre-recorded videos to students. We changed the method but not our intention. During these times, we learned about technologies that facilitated performances and gained experience in online activities. We adjusted and adapted to the new normal.
However, if we just adapt to the new normal, we are only forming another habit. It’s only when we find new inspirations then we can turn the limitation into motivation to encourage further creation. The pandemic has increased the distance between performers and local audience, but it has also brought overseas performers closer than ever on the internet. We are lucky to be authorised by TED to give the TED x BEYOND Bollywood workshop. Together with dancers from Hong Kong, India, Poland, Spain, and the U.S., we discussed and responded to climate change with dance. In addition, we also took the opportunity to invite foreign dancers to participate in online workshops, including the “New Normal, New Inspirations” and the “Arts For Resilience Online Festival” hosted by the Centre for Community Cultural Development (CCCD).
As long as time difference is considered and Internet connection is smooth, dancers, wherever they are, appeared before the audience right away, teaching dancing remotely. Without the pandemic, dancers with hectic schedules might not be able to connect with Hong Kong audience. Interestingly, a restriction became an opportunity to connect, which again proved that art brought like-minded people together. Once international travel restrictions are relaxed, we may be able to personally meet these overseas dancers. Now that we have broadened our horizons, thanks to the restrictions, we have more food for future inspirations. At the same time, we expand our audience from local to global.
“Restriction” became an opportunity, which was also a creative subject. At the end of last year, we were supported by the the “Arts Go Digital Platform Scheme” of Hong Kong Arts Development Council to develop digital art projects. At the initial stage of conception, we considered how to go beyond our regular practice so as to provide audiences with a less conventional experience, by trying performance styles that was impossible to do in traditional theatres.
Therefore, we opted for a 360° panoramic camera to produce VR dance videos so that the audience can watch the dance from multiple angles as if they were there, making it much more intimate than the usual live performance. To heighten the audience’s sense of participation, we have also adopted the Parallax effect. The audience controlled the dancer’s speed with their fingers on the touch screen, or with the mouse. They could therefore scrutinise the hand gestures, steps, and body rhythm of the dancers. The concept continued to brew, historical elements were added to environmental dance, historical sites were selected. Indian dance featuring tap dancers became a dynamic dance of cultures. These eventually fed the interactive website Dance Virtual@TAI PO. BEYOND Bollywood ventures into the uncharted.
Dancers’ collective creative experience was just as important as the audience’s. It was not only about learning technology from scratch or overcoming the limitations of filming outdoor, but the energy we gained from solving problems together. Compared to a year ago when all public activities were suspended, we are more experienced in the face of an uncertain environment, and more confident to respond to changes in the future.’
‘Reflection on Conviction and Principles’
DONG Yan, one who participates in dance productions
‘In Hong Kong, dance dramaturgy is a position that needs to prove its worth. One can even say that it is not a position, but a personal behaviour of drifting among organisations and productions. The pandemic has been destabilising the structure of Hong Kong’s performing art, incidentally an opportunity for dramaturgy to experiment with its own position. For instance, how do professional academies design and implement new courses? How do dance companies make more room for creativity in view of the traditional structure? What about archival projects and cross-disciplinary collaboration? Instead of waiting for the established system to allocate resources for new positions, we should first identify the manner to establish ourselves in the existing art ecology.’
Victor MA, artistic director, Y-Space
Interviewed by Felix Chan
‘The worst difficulty Y-Space faced between 2019 and 2020 was that the performance Matches encountered almost every possible trouble resulting from pandemic-induced production changes, namely from postponement from April to December due to closure of theatres, to the reduction of audience size, restriction of audience’s free movement to fixed seating, right up to a fortnight before the technical rehearsal when we were notified that no live audience would be allowed. We then decided to do a live broadcast and recording, but two days after the technical rehearsal we were again informed that even a live broadcast would not be possible, and that we had to evacuate on the third day of moving-in. Finally, without a proper technical rehearsal, we were forced to quickly assemble a film crew to film the work, lest a year’s hard work of two dozen people should come to nothing.
After evaluation, we believe that the real problem consists not in the difficulty of overcoming the pandemic, but the constant changes in policy, the rigidity of which forces frontline personnel to continue wasting their efforts with little achieved. The pandemic crisis management has also exposed the government officials’ ignorance of the arts over the years: Their failure to understand the difficulties of staging a live performance, how the arts is promoted in the community, and that live performance, live broadcast and video production are three different professions and media that require different technological support. When the policy is arbitrary and rigid, to circumvent criticism, frontline practitioners are made to bear the brunt of the constant changes. Though I believe there should be no compromise in the arts and that changing to cater to the wishes of the funding body and recording performances that have not undergone technical rehearsals is an act of the complicit, we did it so that the funding body had something to account for. Unfortunately, a performance is not a personal matter. When everyone’s livelihood was affected by the pandemic, we needed the money for subsistence and had no choice but to follow suit. Once during the pandemic when we were rehearsing in our studio in a factory building, the police came and charged us with violation of the social gathering ban and left only after we explained that it was a rehearsal. Luckily nothing else came of it other than that the staff and performers took a fright.
In the absence of a coherent set of standards and flexible policies, creation is subject to a lot of restrictions. Sometimes it says no outdoor performance is allowed, sometimes the audience must remain in their seats, and some other times the performers cannot go too close to the audience. The creative process is filled with self-censorship, just to cater to the requirements of the venue or the organiser. The current policy defines bodily contact as a forbidden sin. And yet dance itself is a body art, and bodily contact is essential. At the same time, human interaction requires contact. Without bodily contact, the society and her citizens become sick. Moreover, the arts has the function of healing the society and soothing emotions. Only today’s circumstances have defined such contacts and artistic creation as criminal, imposing restrictions on them, which is contrary to the original meaning of the arts.’
Rain CHAN, Marco CHIU, Aman CHOY, Nigel NG, Jack WONG, and Valerie WONG, freelance dancers
Interviewed by Felix Chan
‘Poverty was definitely the biggest challenge in 2020. As freelance dancers, our hard lives became even more difficult, so that one needed to find other work or seek refuge with family. However, since most freelance dancers were not well-off to begin with, we could not fall too low. The difference was more keenly felt by dancers who specialised in commercial dance performances. Before the pandemic, they would be touring frequently, earning millions a year. But when all these were cancelled during the pandemic, their livelihoods were lost.
Another thing in common is that we had a lot of time for ourselves. Working incessantly in the past, the pandemic gave us room to take a break. There had been depressions and feelings of loss, but also examinations of whether the work-comes-first lifestyle in the past offered sufficient spiritual input and meaning. There was also more time to learn new skills and knowledge, create and rehearse in a more normal and healthy rhythm, to cherish every opportunity we spent time with others, especially during rehearsals and conversations.
When the pandemic brought everything to a halt, I’d reflected on the meaning of Hip Hop and street dance battle culture, like in the past I was preoccupied with attending events, often just to make myself visible within the circle, forgetting all about enjoyment and challenging myself. Also, while there is nothing wrong with implementing pandemic measures, I have a problem with those who reported other striving colleagues just to prove their loyalty to the establishment. For me, this kind of blind obedience and unwillingness to resist seem to go against the spirit of Hip Hop. So, during those times I saw better who truly enjoyed street dance culture, and who did it for fame or compromise. (Nigel Ng)
During the pandemic, I still tried to help my students to complete their work as much as possible. Yet something hit me really hard. My students rented a unit in a factory building for rehearsal, but were charged by the police, and with no resources whatsoever, they had to manage the bail and the case. I ask myself, why have young people and dance become a crime in this age? What kind of values do dancers need to hold to stay true to dance? (Rain Chan)
The pandemic has caused many workshops to be conducted online. While we all agree that we had more opportunities to participate in international master classes, there was also a problem with the quality of these online dance classes. With the distance between computers, it was difficult to take dance lessons that focused on the body, and there were bound to be problems such as unstable internet connection, poor equipment, and time difference. Taking such master classes is not any more effective than watching the masters’ online videos when the class has become a mere pilgrimage. The key to online learning is still the issue of space. When many foreign instructors teach in their spacious homes, students in Hong Kong cannot complete their exercises at home, some even have to take lessons in playgrounds. Some course instructors, especially local ones, knowing about the space issue, would advertise classes that only require the space of a yoga mat, to attract the majority of Hong Kong students who do not have enough space at home.
Last year when the pandemic broke out globally, many international street dance festivals were held online, including “Summer Dance Forever”. There are two kinds of online street dance battles: The pre-recorded, where contestants record videos to be uploaded onto a platform for viewing. The one who receives the most “likes” would be the winner. This we feel is too detached from Battle and cannot be considered a street dance event, but just video streaming. The other, instant kind has the contestants battle against each other online, playing the music and dancing in front of the screen. But this is still far from the original Battle. For one thing, there is no DJ in control of the music, but everyone dances to his/her own music. Then there is the same old problem of internet connection speed and delays, leading to considerable audio and video out of sync, which is a total kill-joy. Later on, when all parts of Europe basically resumed communication, street dance activities returned to the streets. The same happened in China, where street dance became on-site again by 2020. Only Hong Kong and a few other Asian regions are still in isolation, and participation can only be online.’