Madeleine Onne will leave Hong Kong Ballet at the end of the season after completing eight years as Artistic Director

[Hong Kong – 9 Aug 2016]  Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) announced today that Madeleine Onne will not renew her contract after the completion of her current and second contract as Artistic Director of the Company in June 2017. 

Ms Onne joined Hong Kong Ballet in 2009 and since then her contributions to the growth of the HKB has been highly praiseworthy. Under her artistic direction, HKB - as one of Asia’s premier ballet companies today - has made great strides in improving its body of classical and contemporary works, as well as the quality of the dancers.

Ms Daisy Ho, Chair of the Board of Hong Kong Ballet commented, “with Madeleine’s strong leadership and experience, she has made impressive contributions to the Company over the period of time, turning it into the artistically vibrant and highly reputed dance institution today locally and internationally. On behalf of my colleagues on the Board, the Management and the Artistic Team, I would like to offer my most sincere gratitude to Madeleine, for her fortitude, commitment, passion and artistry. She will leave behind a truly indelible legacy.”

Reflecting on her partnership with Hong Kong Ballet, Ms Onne said, “In June 2017 I will have been the Artistic Director for HKB for eight years. It is a long time, and for me and my family it is time to move on. It has not been an easy decision as I have had a fantastic and inspiring time together with my ballet masters, dancers and the rest of the Artistic Team.  I will leave a company that internationally has become well known for its high artistic and technical standard, its dancers' high working moral and the wonderful working atmosphere. All the dancers have a special place in my heart and I will follow their future development with excitement.”  

Over the years, Ms Onne’s commitment to expanding the Company’s repertoire has shaped and reinforced Hong Kong Ballet’s artistic profile tremendously. She has commissioned new ballets including Nina Ananiashvili’s Don Quixote, Cynthia Harvey’s The Sleeping Beauty, Pär Isberg’s Pinocchio, Terence Kohler’s The Nutcracker, Xin-peng Wang’s Dream of the Red Chamber and Peter Quanz’s Luminous, Jorma Elo’s Shape of Glow, Kinsun Chan’s Black on Black and Yuh Egami and Song-wei Hu’s Bolero. She has also initiated the popular series Ballet Classics for Children by Yuri Ng and expanded the Company’s repertoire with ballets by some of today’s most important choreographers, such as Alexei Ratmansky, Nacho Duato, Fei Bo, Nils Christie, Krzysztof Pastor and Christian Spuck.

Accompanying the expansion of the repertoire has been the growing scope of the Company, with the size of the troupe expanded from 36 to 46. Under Ms Onne’s watch, talented dancers Wei Wei, Jia-bo Li, Jie Shen, Yu-yao Liu, Si-yuan Zhang, Fei-fei Wu and Fei-fei Ye were promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer, joining Yao Jin. She was also successful in engaging renowned international stars, Yuan-yuan Tan (of San Francisco Ballet) and Jurgita Dronina (of National Ballet of Canada), to join as Guest Principals, both of which have brought their acclaimed techniques, styles and vast fan followings to the Company, and have been inspiring their fellow dancers to strive for higher artistic excellence. In addition, her creation of the positions of Apprentice provides more opportunities for dancers from the city to join the ranks each year. 

Further burnishing the artistic profile of the Company has been the increased international touring activities since Ms Onne’s arrival in 2009. During the last seven years, the Company has embarked on 12 highly acclaimed tours in North and South America, and across China, Macau and Japan. Highlights include performances at The Joyce Theatre in New York (2016), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts (2012 & 2014) and Fall For Dance Festival in New York City (2012 & 2016). Some of the accolades Hong Kong Ballet has garnered from overseas critics include: “Hong Kong Ballet, Polished and Ready for More” New York Times; “A number of individuals boasting generous artistry and technical prowess bathe the company in a warm glow.” The Boston Globe. In addition to its international engagements, the Company has been invited to be one of the partner companies of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne, and Ms Onne established exchange programmes between HKB and The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet of Flanders and The Royal Swedish Ballet.

Ms Onne is also a critical member in driving the rebranding project of Hong Kong Ballet launched in 2015, where she was one of the key brand architects behind the one year-long strategic review and rebranding process working closely with the board. Her international insights and a successful career in an international ballet company has taken Hong Kong Ballet to a next chapter with a new brand strapline of “Never Standing Still” – which strongly communicates Hong Kong Ballet’s strong artistic vision and its connectivity with the Hong Kong community as well as international performing arts community.   

Ms Onne’s last season with Hong Kong Ballet also promises to be another exciting one: the highlights include the Asian première of Val Caniparoli’s modern classic, Lady of the Camellias, as well as the one-act ballet, Carmen, by the Company’s choreographers/dancers, Yuh Egami and Song-wei Hu. The latter work will appear alongside with Jiří Kylián’s seminal Petite Mort and Sechs Tanze in the mixed bill programme in May 2017, which will be Ms Onne’s last stage production as Artistic Director. In addition, the Company will take part in three more tours under Ms Onne’s remaining directorship: Fall For Dance Festival in New York City in September this year and Macau and mainland China in January and June 2017 respectively. 

A Global Search Committee has been set up by the Board of Governors and the search for a new Artistic Director will be underway shortly.

About Hong Kong Ballet

An eclectic mix of talent, a balance of classical and contemporary works, and a unique repertoire are the trademarks of Hong Kong Ballet, Asia’s premier ballet company. Internationally recognised and acclaimed for its creativity, talent and artistry, the Company, led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne, is committed to providing captivating experiences that delight and inspire audiences from all walks of life, both at home and abroad.

For further information, please contact:

Brunswick Group

Mr Joseph Lo

M: 852 98505033


Ms Marjorie Law

M: 852 92271036


Ms Vince Chan

M: 852 96283095



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Madeleine Onne, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet