"Hong Kong" tag
Trisha Brown Company in Set and Reset.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Dance at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014: Trisha Brown, Akram Khan, Pina Bausch, Jockey Club Series

The 2014 Arts Festival offered contemporary dance from established international masters along with new wave work from Asia, Scandinavia and Hong Kong itself.

Lusymay Di Stefano and Claudio Coviello in [I]Giselle[/I].© Marco Brescia and Rudy Amisano, Teatro alla Scala. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014: La Scala Ballet in Giselle & Scottish Ballet in Highland Fling

The Festival kicked off with two classical ballet companies presenting very different versions of the oldest and most celebrated Romantic ballets in the repertoire: a classic rendering of Giselle and a radically different take on La Sylphide…

Poster for Mulan.© Hong Kong Dance Company. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Dance Company – Mulan – Hong Kong

The production provides a welcome showcase for the power and virtuosity of the company’s men who are on magnificent form, led by the splendid Chen Jun.

Eifman Ballet in Anna Karenina.© Hana Kudryashova. (Click image for larger version)

Eifman Ballet – Anna Karenina – Hong Kong

Quintessential Eifman packed with athletic choreography, striking theatrical effects and superb dancing, it makes gripping entertainment if not high art.

CCDC in Lai Tak-wai's Timeline.© Cheung Chi Wai. (Click image for larger version)

City Contemporary Dance Company – It’s My Turn showcase – Hong Kong

It’s My Turn is the 2013 edition of City Contemporary Dance Company’s annual showcase for new choreography… Although this wasn’t a vintage year, all four pieces offered something to enjoy…

Poster for Hong Kong Dance Company in Masquerade.Photo © Workhouse Limited. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Dance Company – Masquerade – Hong Kong

The show is lively, entertaining and features stand-out performances in the leading roles

Poster image for Geneva Ballet's Romeo and Juliet.© GTG/Magali Dougados. (Click image for larger version)

Geneva Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – Hong Kong

Bouvier’s concept is valid and interesting, the execution less satisfying. She is certainly a talented choreographer and produces some striking images…

Polina Semionova in Romeo and Juliet.© and provided by HK Leisure & Cultural Services Department(Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Hong Kong Arts Festival Season – Hong Kong

The season began with a high-energy mixed bill which showed the company on sparkling form.

A 1973 poster for the ballet held on chineseposters.net

Shanghai Ballet – White-Haired Girl – Hong Kong

Ideological qualms aside, White Haired Girl is an odd bird. The choreography is a hybrid between textbook classical vocabulary and Chinese opera, an idea interesting in itself but here executed with a lack of imagination…

City Contemporary Dance Company in The Comedy Of K.© Conrad Dy-Liacco. (Click image for larger version)

City Contemporary Dance Company – The Comedy Of K – Hong Kong

City Contemporary Dance Company’s closing show of 2012 was a welcome revival of Helen Lai’s 2004 The Comedy of K, a seminal work which shows this celebrated choreographer at the height of her powers.

HKB in the Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker.© Conrad Dy-Liacco. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Ballet – The Nutcracker – Hong Kong

This new production of Nutcracker is ambitious with a complicated but intelligent libretto which makes a welcome change for the audience.

Nutcracker on Ice.© Imperial Ice Stars. (Click image for larger version)

Imperial Ice Stars – The Nutcracker on Ice – Hong Kong

“While this may not be a Nutcracker for those looking for subtlety or sophistication, it’s a fun show designed to thrill adults as well as children.

HK Ballet in Castrati.© Conrad Dy-Liacco. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Ballet – An International Celebration of Ballet – Hong Kong

Hong Kong Ballet presented a diverse and well-balanced mixed programme in early November, consisting of two premieres and a revival of a major work.

Tang Shu-Wing and Xing Liang's Thunderstorm.© Yvonne Chan. (Click image for larger version)

Tang Shu-Wing Theatre Studio – Thunderstorm – Hong Kong

…an outstanding production which deserves to be seen again.

Rambert Dance Company in Monolith.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert Dance Company – Hush, Monolith, Faune, What Wild Ecstasy – Hong Kong

The choice of programme was something of a curate’s egg – disappointingly so in view of the company’s rich repertoire – but two out of the four works were excellent and the dancing was spectacular.

Jin Yao and Kostyantyn Keshyshev in Cinderella.© Conrad Dy-Liacco. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Ballet – Cinderella – Hong Kong

I saw the first cast led by Jin Yao, the top ballerina in the company. Her acting was superb, and her dancing too had a warm glow throughout.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Nine Songs.© LCSD Hong Kong. (Click image for larger version)

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan – Nine Songs – Hong Kong

The whole troupe’s dedication and excellence in performance was most commendable, if only there were brighter sections to provide a better contrast to the pervasively dark and mournful tone of this piece.

Hong Kong Dance Company in Spring Ritual-Eulogy.© Conrado Dy-Liacco. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Dance Company – Spring Ritual-Eulogy – Hong Kong

Overall, this thoughtful piece confirms Yang as a choreographer of intelligence and originality. Design, lighting and music are all excellent, as is the dancing from this fine ensemble company.

Luana Georg and Sergei Upkin in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.© Harri Rospu. (Click image for larger version)

Estonian National Ballet – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Hong Kong

The story is clearly narrated and easy to follow. Harangozo’s choreography is proficient overall though not particularly inventive. The two pas de deux are warm though lacking emotional depth.

Zhang Si Yuan and Kostyantyn Keshyev in Giselle. © Conrad Dy-Liacco. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Ballet – Giselle – Hong Kong

Keshyshev made a remarkable debut as Albrecht, partnering Zhang Si Yuan who was also dancing Giselle for the very first time. Both dancers were so confident, and assured, that it was hard to believe that they were actually making debuts…

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