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Hong Kong ballet tells city nostalgia story

THE Hong Kong Ballet will stage contemporary "Summer Delights" on Friday at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center as part of Hong Kong's program for the World Expo.

The ballet founded 30 years ago is one of the premier classical and contemporary ballet companies in Asia. It is becoming internationally recognized as a world-class institution with an identity that reflects the vitality of Hong Kong.

"Summer Delights" brings together three contemporary ballet pieces performed by the entire troupe of 40 dancers. They are "Steptext," "Firecracker" and "In Light and Shadow."

The principal dancers include Margarita Demjanoka, Jin Yao, Kyoko Tomimura, Nobuo Fujino, Huang Zhen and Zhang Yao.

The one-and-a-half hour performance features the works of distinguished choreographers William Forsythe, Krzysztof Pastor and Hong Kong's Yuri Ng.

"Firecracker" by Ng revisits the traditional fantasy "The Nutcracker" into a Hong Kong experience.

The excerpt of "Firecracker" to be performed shows Hong Kong on the brink of a shifting social landscape and accelerating economic development in the late 1960s.

Beginning in 1967 and speeding forward, the dance recreates the experience of watching film trailers of old Cantonese films, as stars of yesteryear, parade floats and visits by royalty drift by in seamless vignettes of recollections.

Financial Times called it "a novel take on Tchaikovsky's familiar 'The Nutcracker' ... an intelligent, nostalgic recreation of Hong Kong in 1967 ... (which) showed off The Hong Kong Ballet dancers at their best."

The dancers come from 12 countries and regions, performing a repertoire that combines 19th and 20th century classical masterpieces, acclaimed contemporary works and new commissions.

Since 1997, The Hong Kong Ballet has raised its international profile and has concluded over 20 tours. The company undertakes an extensive educational and community outreach program, which brings the art of ballet to students as well as the wider community of Hong Kong.

Date: June 4, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center, 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 80-380 yuan

Tel: 6854-1234


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