June is set to be an action-packed month with something new or fun to do everyday. From Irish Celtic dancing to the Dragon Boat Festival, here is a roundup of June events in Hong Kong.
1 – 3 June: Wheeldon, Ratmansky, McIntyre & The Beatles
This month, the Hong Kong Ballet is staging a unique showcase of the works of three of the world’s most highly-regarded choreographers. First up is Rush, which will mark the company’s first staging of a work by Christopher Wheeldon, the award-winning British choreographer, whose ballets are said to offer ”an unforgettable musical experience visualised through the complexity of human bodies in motion”. The bill is completed by A Day in the Life, Trey McIntyre’s Beatles-inspired rock ballet, and Alexei Ratmansky’s stunningly gymnastic one-act ballet Le Carnaval des Animaux.
Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Sailsbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. HK$140 – $1,000
9 June: Road to Ultra
Road to Ultra is back in Hong Kong this month, with this remarkable single-stage electronic music festival making its third visit to the city. Once again channeling the spirit and the beats of the Ultra Worldwide festival, the event promises cutting-edge stage production world-class visuals, stunning lighting, cryogenics, pyrotechnics and far, far more. With promised performance from such electronic dance luminaries as Axwell Ingrosso, David Guetta Galantis, Fedde Le Grand and Carta, it’s probably best to ditch granny en route.
AsiaWorld-Expo, Lantau. HK$1,080 – $1,280.
12 – 17 June: Irish Celtic
If you liked Riverdance, you are probably going to love Irish Celtic. Billed as “A thrilling Irish dance extravaganza set to get your feet tapping” this display of rhythmic Gaelic gyration is coming to Hong Kong for the first time this month and promises to deliver the finest performers from many of the leading Irish dance companies. All in all, the event said to allow audiences to “witness incredible talent and an infectious love for dance in an evening of high energy dance and explosive rhythms, combined with Irish folklore”. It’s maybe worth a punt if your wi-fi is broken.
The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Rd, Wan Chai, HK$445 – $895
14 June– 12 August: Chinese Opera Festival
Every year, Chinese Opera Festival sees celebrated artists captivate audiences with compelling mix of operatic genres, with Cantonese Opera always taking pride of place. This year, audiences will be treated to the seldom-performed shuaya (tusk stunt), an incredible stage skill said to be right up there with bian lian, the legendary face-changing performance. Along with the on-stage operatics, patrons are an array of film screenings, lectures exhibitions, all of which are said to offer a diverse range of insights into the inner workings of Chinese opera.
18 June: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Better known locally as the Tuen Ng Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival is annual tribute to Qu Yuan, one of China’s national heroes who drowned himself 2000 years ago as a protest against corrupt government practices. Back then, townspeople beat drums and threw rice dumplings into the water to prevent the fish from eating his body. Now, though, his passing is more marked by competitive boat racing, with crews of between 20-22 rowers battling to propel their 10 metre-plus vessels faster than any of their rivals. As the crowds roar, watch as the ornately-carved race to the finish line. Beer is also available.
21 June – 2 September: Water Play Street Summer Party
This month, Disneyland is turning the fun level up to 11 with the debut of its Water Play Street Party, an event said to feature many of the characters from the company’s illustrious back catalogue, including Mr and Mrs Incredible, a host of very familiar Toy Story faces and surprise appearances from many of the stars of its most-successful movies. Alongside these will be a variety of street performers and special events, with an unforgettable time in a unique Disney style promised to all visitors.
Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island.
22 – 24 June: Dragon Boat Carnival
If you somehow miss out on the Dragon Boat Festival, then don’t despair. You can still get your fix oddly figure-headed aquatic fun courtesy of the International Dragon Boat Race, an event also known as the Dragon Boat Carnival. For three whole days, this sees Victoria Harbour as home to a series of dragon boat races, with international, local and company-sponsored teams all competing to bring home gold in this prestigious tournament. The fun, however, doesn’t necessarily end there. As its name suggests, the event is one big party, complete with live entertainers, marching bands and lion dancers, as well as a range of well-stocked San Miguel beer tents.
29 – 30 June: West Side Story in Concert
Fans of Leonard Bernstein’s classic West Side Story can catch the hit musical this month – but with something of premium feel. Every screening of the rightly-acclaimed big screen version of the Broadway hit at the Hong Kong Academy of Arts will have a live soundtrack courtesy of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. So, get ready for this epic retelling of this raucous love story, all set the amid the vicious rivalry of two 1950’s New York street gangs – the Jets and the Sharks. Be prepared for a truly thrilling performance, complete with such memorable show-stoppers as I Feel Pretty and America
Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. HK$220 – $480
Text: Hira Desai