Hong Kong 2003
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Performing Arts Groups

Chung Ying Theatre

Chung Ying Theatre was established in 1979. Its mission is to nurture artistic excellence through the development of new plays, theatre-in-education projects and training of theatre practitioners. In 2003, members of its creative team created four original plays including Far away ... yet so close, Angel Aurora, Action! Mr. Lai, and When Snow Falls (a musical play). A theatre performance entitled The Arctic Saviour was touring in secondary schools. A rerun of Alive in the Mortuary was the final performance of the season. Moreover, Chung Ying was commissioned as a Community Cultural Ambassador by the LCSD, to further its promotion of theatre performances.

City Contemporary Dance Company

The City Contemporary Dance Company was established in 1979. It is a professional modern dance company that endeavours to rally the best Chinese talents in creating dance in the contemporary context of China. In 2003, the company produced five new works including Autumn Sonata, a double bill by its resident choreographer Helen Lai and Pun Siu-fai; The Enigma of Desire by its associate choreographer Mui Cheuk-yin and resident artist Xing Liang; and two mixed bills by young choreographers from Hong Kong and the Mainland. The company's Education and Outreach Department offered year-round comprehensive dance courses for both adults and children, and presented outdoor performances as part of its activities to reach out to the community.

Hong Kong Ballet

The Hong Kong Ballet was established in 1979. It mission is to promote the finest ballet art forms of East and West. In 2003, the Hong Kong Ballet commissioned a new production, Turandot, a dramatic ballet based on the Puccini opera. It was created by the internationally acclaimed choreographer Natalie Weir. During the year, the company performed six other ballets: Swan Lake; Coppelia; Ballet Extravaganza (which consisted of three short works: Dreams of Tenderness and Solitude, a neo-classical piece by the award-winning American choreographer David Allan, The Rite of Spring, a reworking by Natalie Weir of this still-controversial piece; and Tango Ballet Tango, a dance narrative by the company's artistic director Stephen Jefferies); The Sleeping Beauty; Beauty and the Beast, and The Nutcracker.

With a view to extending its audience base beyond Hong Kong, the company accepted an invitation to stage two performances of Turandot in Macau in September. The company's Education and Outreach Unit continued its work promoting dance to people of all ages and backgrounds through more than 10 projects during the year.

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Founded in 1977, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra was incorporated as a non-profit-making company in April 2001. The orchestra is a professional Chinese music orchestra that has gained international recognition. Under the leadership of artistic director Yan Huichang, it has made notable achievements in promoting the development of Chinese orchestral music. During the year, it gave a total of 100 regular, outreach and special concerts. A highlight was the Hong Kong Drum Festival, organised by the orchestra and held from July to October. The festival's Opening Rally was staged at Victoria Park as an event in the Government's post-SARS Economic Relaunch Campaign. More than 3 000 residents took part in a drum piece The Earth Shall Move, under the baton of Yan and featuring the debut of the world's biggest Peace Drum. The event has been registered for an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Hong Kong Dance Company

The Hong Kong Dance Company, founded in 1981, was incorporated as a non-profit-making organisation in April 2001. It is committed to promoting the art of Chinese dance and has also performed in Australia, the United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore and Canada as well as Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei. Besides producing five productions each season, the company also organises outreach and educational events for the community, especially young people.

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, with 89 members, is the city's oldest and largest orchestra. It gave a total of 130 concerts during the year. The orchestra provides the community with classical music of an international standard, and inspires and cultivates creativity through its multi-faceted commissioning and music education programmes. As a Cultural Ambassador for Hong Kong, the orchestra made its debut in Europe in 2003, performing in London, Belfast, Dublin and Paris. The tour, in February and March, began with performances in Macau and in the Korean cities of Seoul, Busan and Gwangju.

Hong Kong Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1977, the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre was incorporated as a non-profit-making organisation in April 2001. The company is the first professional drama theatre in Hong Kong. Its extensive repertoire is performed mostly in Cantonese and sometimes in Putonghua. Other than original works, the company also performs translated classics. During the year, the company staged nine productions of different genres in 122 performances, including 15 student performances. Apart from its major productions, the company toured 128 schools, organised six summer camp classes for students and gave 52 sessions of theatre workshops for the community.

Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Established in 1990, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta strives to integrate the art of music with the lives of people. The orchestra hopes to achieve the best quality of music with the use of local and regional talent as well as elevating the status of the art of music and musicians in Hong Kong through classical music. Under music director Yip Wing-sie, the orchestra continued to bring quality music to its audiences. It initiated a special joint performance, Arts Relief for SARS, with five other performance groups to raise funds for SARS victims. The orchestra's concert at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, continued participation in the 'Le French May' Festival, International Arts Carnival and 'Legends of China' Festival highlighted the year's activities. The orchestra also broke new ground and collaborated for the first time with local pop stars — Andy Hui and William So.

Theatre Ensemble

Established in 1993 under the joint artistic directors Jim Chim and Olivia Yan, the Theatre Ensemble has endeavoured to create quality theatre works that are 'physical', 'creative' and 'humorous'. To commemorate its 10th anniversary, the company organised a variety of activities during the year including a physical stand-up comedy Sure Wine; a children's theatre Oops! Belle the Witch is Gone (a live music version); an interactive seminar for parents called School of Jim Jim; the 10th anniversary exhibition 10 · The Bounds · The Boundless; the launching of PIP (Pleasure In Play) school with a PIP Festival; and a school touring programme of 200 performances of Smokeland Adventure.

Zuni Icosahedron

Zuni Icosahedron is a multimedia experimental theatre group. Since its inception in 1982, it has played an important role in developing new frontiers for Hong Kong's cultural scene. It has been active in video, sound experimentation and installation arts, as well as in the areas of arts education, arts criticism and arts policy research. In 2003, Zuni created five experimental performances. These were the multimedia music theatre, A Lover's Discourse and 18 Springs; the experimental traditional Chinese opera series Good Wind Like Water; and the socio-political theatre East Wing West Wing. Popularising experimental arts and culture has always been the group's main focus. In 2003, it continued to organise a series of multimedia theatre workshops and joint-school performances for students, published a new supplementary booklet, Book, together with an arts and cultural magazine, E+E. Zuni was also invited to take part in international cultural exchange activities, including a performance of its Sigmund Freud In Search of Chinese Matter and Mind in Tokyo's Performing Art Market and launching the Black Box Exercise installation exhibition in the 'Images of Asia' Festival in Denmark.

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