Try your hand at tap dancing, or perfect your writing skills at a poetry workshop at the 45th annual Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Do you remember the scene from the Titanic where Rose stands on her tiptoes to impress Jack? We’ve all attempted it haven’t we? Well if you haven’t, go grab some ballet shoes because once you’ve seen some of the performances at the Hong Kong Arts Festival you’ll be dying to get involved in one of their workshops and impress Leo with your new found skills.
If there’s one thing the Chinese are good at, it’s putting on a show. Whether it’s classical music or traditional dance, watching talented performers at work is guaranteed to be a highlight of your trip to China.
In Hong Kong, the very best artists, performers and composers from China and worldwide gather to showcase their skills and inspire audiences of all ages. Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a month-long celebration that features classical music, Chinese opera, musical theatre and contemporary dance. Now heading into its 45th year, organisers are pulling out all the stops to ensure 2017’s event is the best yet.
The festival is a non-profit organisation with government grants, sponsorship and ticket sales funding the event. Expect to see dance from around the world, with 2016 including ‘Sleeping Beauty’ performed by Mikhailosky Ballet and the National Dance Company of Korea’s ‘Scent of Ink’. There's also operatic performances and classical music as well as theatrical performances from international names such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and smaller productions from local theatres.
What’s more the festival also hosts an art education programme called ‘Young Friends’, which encourages children from local secondary schools and colleges to pursue their interests in the arts by delivering workshops, lectures, interviews and interactive theatrical performances. Young adults who sign up to the ‘Young Friends’ programme are entitled to two choices of festival programmes, rehearsals or ‘Young Friends’ special performances. In the past, the English National Ballet have hosted workshops and summer events, including activities like the Doo-Wop Contemporary a cappella Workshop. The programme also accommodates for those who wish to be behind the camera, reporting on the events or coordinating the performance through its reporter and volunteer experience.
The Festival PLUS programme demonstrates Hong Kong’s aim to enhance the communication between artists and their audiences by hosting a number of lectures, masterclasses, backstage visits and meet-the-artist sessions. There are also opportunities for local talents to get on stage themselves with programmes such as ‘Your Moment on Stage’ encouraging ballet dancers to join the Bavarian State Ballet and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestra in their performance of 'La Bayadére'. If tap is more your thing, try New York City based tap dancer Michelle Dorrance's advanced tap class and take your dancing to the next level.
The possibilties are endless with the Hong Kong Arts Festival. If you're a musician you may want to bring your instrument, dancers bring your dancing shoes and the rest of us will watch in awe. We can't all pull off a Rose Dawson and stand on our tip-toes on command.
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*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!