Plays, jazz, dance, ballet — What to watch at Hong Kong Arts Festival

Fans of the arts are in for a treat in the coming months with a slew of events coming to Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Arts Festival which runs until 18 March.

Launched in 1973, the festival showcases opera, theatre, music, dance and more by leading local and international artists.

During this year’s festival, over 1,700 artists from around the world will stage 180 performances, including 16 new works receiving world premieres and 14 Asian premieres.

With so many shows to choose from, picking which ones to see is a bit daunting, unless you have the time to see them all.

To help you decide, we have picked six standout shows to keep even the fussiest of theatre-goers happy.

All My Sons / Theatre

All My Sons at the Rose Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet _31B1122_745x497

Directed by Michael Rudman, who directed the Tony award-winning play Death of a Salesman on Broadway, All My Sons is based on true events and revolves around love, guilt and greed.

Like Death of a Salesman, All My Sons was written by Arthur Miller and exposes the corruption of the American dream.

Set during World War II, the play is based around the actions of Joe Keller, a self-made businessman who knowingly supplied the US air force with defective engines, resulting in the deaths of a number of pilots.

The consequences of Joe’s actions come back to haunt him in later life.

Venue: Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Dates: March 3,4,5,7,8,9,10,11

Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project:Love and Soul/ Jazz

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Do you like Jazz? How about love songs, R&B and soul classics? American drummer Terri Lyne Carrington heads a team of top jazz instrumentalists in a programme featuring all of the above.

Terri’s set features original compositions, along with homages to Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, Bill Withers and more.

Terri has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Carlos Santana, Joni Mitchell and Yellowjackets.

Venue: Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Dates: February 24,25

Emperor Wu of Han and His Jester Strategist/ Chinese Opera

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With the tag line: “Behind every man of power is a man of wit”, Emperor Wu of Han and his Jester Strategist explores the relationship between Emperor Wu and the charismatic and quick-witted courtier Dongfang Shuo during the founding years of the Han dynasty.

The opera was written by Cantonese opera performer Loong Koon-tin, Lai Yiu-wai, and Chinese opera educator and actor Lau Shun.

Venue: Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall

Dates: March 4, 5

Arch 8 – Tetris/ Dance

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A family-friendly performance, Arch 8 Tetris is based on the popular video game of the same name.

This dance performance, however, swaps blocks with human bodies, with four dancers from the Netherlands stacking, flipping and defying gravity to interlock their bodies into shapes.

The dance performance is interactive and audience members are invited to join in.

Venue: HKJC Amphitheatre, HKAPA

Dates: March 10,11

A Floating Family/ Theatre

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A Floating Family is a trilogy of plays featuring some of Hong Kong’s brightest stars. The plays are based around three pivotal moments in the lives of the Wongs.

A Floating Family portrays four siblings and their extended family over three dinners in the course of two decades. The plays follow the family as they deal with political, economic and social changes in Hong Kong.

Venue: Theatre HK, City Hall

Dates: February 24,25,26. March 1,2,3,4,5,8,9,10,11,15,16,17,18,19

Bayerisches Staatsballett (Bavarian State Ballet) La Bayadère/ Dance

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The Bavarian State Ballet makes its first full-company visit to Hong Kong with this dance performance in an imagined ancient India.

Spectacular sets and gorgeous costumes evoke an exotic world in which colour and beauty abound.

Also, La Bayadère contains one of the most famous scenes in ballet,The Kingdom of the Shades’ — a procession of white-costumed ballerinas dancing across a moonlit stage.

Venue: Grand Theatre, HK Cultural Centre

Dates: February 17,18,19

For more information on Hong Kong Arts Festival, visit: www.hongkongartsfestival.org

All photos from www.hongkongartsfestival.org

Written by Andrew Scott

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