Hong Kong 2003
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Cultural Events

Hong Kong Arts Festival

Held annually in February and March, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is the most important international festival in the Asia and has become highly regarded world-wide since it began in 1973. With a fine array of performers taking part, the 2003 festival sold over 98 000 tickets in 108 performances, with the average attendance exceeding 90 per cent. The programmes included the Stuttgart Opera's The Abduction from the Seraglio, Orchestre National de France with Yundi Li, Laurie Anderson's Happiness, Directions in Music featuring Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove, the Hamburg Ballet, the Ballet Flamenco of Antonio Canales, Robert Lepage's The Far Side of the Moon and the Edward Lam Dance Theatre's production of The Happy Prince.

International Arts Carnival

To provide children and families of Hong Kong with cultural and entertainment programmes of a healthy and educational nature, the LCSD presented the six-week International Arts Carnival in summer. Prior to the carnival, three drama outreach teams were sent to promote arts activities at various schools and kindergartens to arouse community interest. In addition to a rich series of stage performances, new interactive performances and seminars for parents and adults were included in the carnival for the first time. Apart from a Graphic Design Competition open to all primary and secondary school students, the carnival also featured a creative writing competition for young people which was jointly organised with the Young Post of the South China Morning Post. In addition, intensive arts workshops and day camps were held. About 134 000 people took part in 449 events that featured 22 local groups and three overseas groups.

'Legends of China' Festival

Following the success of the 'Legends of China' Festival in 2001, the LCSD presented the same thematic festival again from mid-October to November with the aim of enhancing public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the arts and culture of Asia, the Mainland and Hong Kong. The festival opened with the commissioned opera Legend of Yao Ji which featured leading artists, and creative and production personnel from the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In order to appeal to younger audiences, the festival brought in new theatrical and multimedia productions like the Seventh Drawer and the 18 Springs. Other popular shows included Chanting from Mountains Afar, Majestic Drums II and Ancient Dance and Music of Dunhuang. Alongside the stage performances, various extension activities were organised, and these included a performance tour to secondary schools and universities, exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations, forums, and free outdoor performances. A total of 94 cultural events, featuring eight local groups and 17 overseas groups, were presented for some 77 000 participants.

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