Hong Kong Arts Festival starts today and will run through March 29. The festival brings both local and international talent to perform in Hong Kong. Over the next month world-renowned dancers, musicians and actors will entertain Hong Kong audiences. The festival started in 1973 and has grown each year to the point that this year there will be 150 performances and 250 educational events. Among the performances, there is Opera, Music, Dance and Theatre; in each category both local and international productions are featured.
There are many family friendly productions within the schedule depending on ages and interest levels. Here I am writing about the productions that have not sold out, not necessarily the biggest events of the year, but the ones you still may have a chance to get a ticket for.
The Hong Kong Arts Festival 2015 Highlights for Families:
Chinese Opera is an acquired taste, but it is certainly worth experiencing once. I took my son when he was 5 years old and to be honest I wanted to leave way before he did. This year one of the productions, Classics Revisited: Cantonese Opera Treasures would be particularly worthwhile as it is a showcase of excerpts of the most famous Cantonese Operas. It would be a great taste of Cantonese Opera by some wonderful performers.
The Bolshoi Opera Company will perform a Russian classic, The Tsar’s Bride. This production was already done in 2014 in New York to critical acclaim. The conductor, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, who is conducting again in Hong Kong, was particularly praised. The Opera will be performed in Russian with English and Chinese subtitles. There are very few tickets left so but them fast if this interests you.
Five women, five stories told through poetry, song and stories. Barefoot Divas perform Walk A Mile In My Shoes for the first time in Hong Kong. These women from Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have performed in the United States, Canada and Australia to critical acclaim.
A Hong Kong Story Concert combining folk songs, popular music and newly composed pieces, this concert by mainlanders who have immigrated to Hong Kong aims to tell the story of the city. Performed by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra it takes the audience from the 1950’s to Hong Kong’s present accomplishments and struggles.
Live cinema, puppetry and vegetables create a love story about Outer Space. Sound crazy? Planet Egg is a completely different art form, created for all ages. The production team is also doing one workshop on puppetry, storytelling and film for people aged 14 and up.
Belgium’s Ontoernend Goed has collaborated with Australia’s The Border Project to create Fight Night, an audience participating theater event. This is reality show meets talks show meets democratic election and the audience members vote for the candidate of their choice. Fight Night aims to explore democracy, elections and political manipulations all while entertaining. There will be strong language during this production but for older children it should be educational and entertaining.
Nuevo Ballet Espanol arrives in Hong Kong to perform Gala Flamenca. The colorful, vibrating and rhythmic dance performance that is rarely seen in Hong Kong. This production has been performed world wide to sold-out audiences. The New York Time gave it a glowing review.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series brings contemporary dance to a Hong Kong audience. Three different productions all by talented choreographers and performed by local dancers. These works are all new and innovative, being performed for the first time for this program. The two matinee shows include a question and answer talk with the choreographers after the show.
Details: For ticketing & scheduling information, www.hk.artsfestival.org