During the year, the LCSD presented 1 795 performances,
covering a rich variety of performing arts programmes featuring local
and visiting artists. These attracted a total audience of 660 113
Musical highlights by visiting artists included the
St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra with Yuri Temirkanov, English Chamber
Orchestra with Sarah Chang and a commissioned production of Verdi's opera
Macbeth. Thematic programmes presented included the Encore Series,
the Music Rendezvous — City Hall Concert Hall Series, the
Hong Kong City Hall Theatre Recital Series, the Guqin Music Series,
the Chinese Ethnic Music and Dance Series and the Jazz Up
Highlights of contemporary dance programmes included
the distinguished Ultima Vez from Belgium, Taipei's Crossover Dance Company
and Hong Kong's City Contemporary Dance Company. There was also a series
of dance performances from the Mainland including the Guangzhou Ballet,
Song and Dance Ensemble of the People's Liberation Army, and Xinjiang
Song and Dance Troupe, all of which were well received.
On the multi-arts front, the projects included independent
concerts and music theatre productions by local artists, and mime and
puppetry performances by Switzerland's Mummenschanz, Guangxi Puppet Art
Troupe of China and Canada's Theatre de L'oeil. Highlighting the year
were the pantomime performances by France's legendary Marcel Marceau.
Collaboration with local theatre groups continued; many of the works presented
or sponsored were new creations.
The promotion of the appreciation of Chinese opera
has always been a key objective. A Cantonese Opera Working Group formed
under the Greater Pearl River Delta Cultural Cooperation Conference has
enhanced cultural cooperation in the region in promoting Cantonese opera.
The first Cantonese Opera Day was organised on the last Sunday in November.
Throughout the year, the LCSD presented newly commissioned Cantonese opera
works as well as Chinese opera highlights from other regions, including
the Heroic Heroines of Peking Opera series performed by artists
from Shanghai, Shenyang and Guiyang City.
The department continues to cooperate with other bodies,
and has sponsored or jointly organised cultural activities with consulates
general and cultural institutions to promote cultural exchange. With a
view to promoting contemporary music, the department sponsored the Chinese
Composers' Festival, a joint venture with the Hong Kong Arts Development
Council, Hong Kong Composers' Guild and the Composers and Authors Society
of Hong Kong. It also collaborated with the Hong Kong Harmonica Association
in organising the 1st Hong Kong Harmonica Festival.
During the year, a total of 656 carnivals and entertainment programmes
were organised by the LCSD in parks, playgrounds, community halls as well
as in the department's cultural venues. These covered a variety of performing
arts presentations and attracted more than one million people.
Outdoor entertainment extravaganzas included the Spring
Lantern Festival, Summer Fun Gala, Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival, Christmas
Fun Gala and New Year's Eve Countdown Carnival. Celebrating the Spring
Lantern and Mid-Autumn Festivals, the department staged spectacular lantern
displays at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza to promote traditional
Chinese culture among tourists and local residents. Thematic programmes
such as the Concert in the Park and the Asian Ethnic Cultural
Programmes drew an enthusiastic response from local people and tourists
as well as Asian nationals living in Hong Kong.
The LCSD places emphasis on promoting and increasing public access
to the arts through educational and audience-building programmes.
During the year, the department held a total
of 812 arts education and audience-building activities. The 'School
Culture Day' Scheme mobilised schools to bring their students to
the department's performing venues, museums and libraries during
school hours. The 'School Arts Animateur' Scheme sought collaboration
with local performing arts groups to offer arts training programmes
Arts education and audience-building activities
organised for the community included the 'Artist-in-residence' Scheme
which offered workshops and arts training programmes at performing
venues, the 'Community Cultural Ambassador' Scheme which reached
out to the public and the 'District Cantonese Opera Parade' organised
to promote Cantonese opera at the community level.
The 'Cultural Services Volunteers' Scheme,
well into its second year, encouraged members of the public to make
better use of their leisure time to perform voluntary work in promoting
arts and culture. Some 1 800 volunteers were recruited
under the scheme.
Presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and sponsored by
the LCSD, the 27th Hong Kong International Film Festival offered
a wide range of programmes. The highlights of the 16-day festival
included retrospectives on local film-maker Jeff Lau and overseas
directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne and Marco Bellocchio; a tribute
to Ozu Yasujiro in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his
birth; and The Direct Cinema of Rob Nilsson, about his experimental
Direct Action Cinema. The Hong Kong Film Archive, which organised
the retrospective section, contributed Shaws on Screen. In
addition to the FIPRESCI (International Film Critics Federation)
Award, three international competitions were introduced for the
first time: Firebird Awards for Young Cinema, Asian DV Competition
and Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries.
Altogether, 330 films from over 40 countries
were showcased under special topics such as Directors in Focus,
Indie Power and Hong Kong Panorama (2002-03). Seminars,
forums and exhibitions were also organised.
This annual competition, organised by the Hong Kong Arts Centre and sponsored
by the LCSD, aims to encourage creative non-commercial independent productions
of short film and video as well as to promote public interest in film
and video as an artistic and expressive media. Activities included screenings,
workshops and community programmes.
The film and video programmes, presented either solely by the LCSD
or jointly with local consulate offices, cultural and film institutions,
continued to provide a variety of alternative film programmes and
workshops for the public. Major programmes included Shaws on
Screen, The Psychic Labyrinth of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 2-D dancing:
movement in image, Foci — Microwave International Media Art
Festival 2003, Looking Back: 50 Years of Korean Films and
Early European Cinema — Italy 1909-1927. In addition,
film programmes from the Mainland and Israel as well as from France,
Germany and other European Union countries were presented for the
appreciation of local audiences. In order to enable children and
young people to develop an interest in film, the International Children
Film Carnival, being part of the International Arts Carnival, was
organised in the summer and provided a series of film screenings
and video workshops.