[Hong Kong—21 June 2023] From the dream team of acclaimed Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) Artistic Director Septime Webre, Olivier and Tony Award-winning design and production company 59 Productions (UK) and celebrated New York-based composer Nico Muhly comes a brand new high-tech adventure! HKB is thrilled to announce the world premiere of Sam and her Amazing Book of Dinosaurs, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, as the exciting opening programme at International Arts Carnival 2023 during 14 – 16 July. This combination of groundbreaking arts technology and breathtaking ballet will take the audience on a magical journey through time to a wondrous world of dinosaurs.
Nine-year-old Sam moves to a new neighbourhood in Hong Kong and faces the daunting challenge of making new friends and starting over at a different school. One morning, her teacher gives her a dusty old dinosaur encyclopaedia. Inside the yellowing pages, she discovers a portal that transports her back to prehistoric times. There Sam meets a baby dinosaur who becomes her best friend. But when Sam's newfound friend tags along back to the modern world, she realises that her already difficult new life just got a lot more complicated!
Webre explains, ‘Throughout the creative process, I’ve had some unexpected help from my two-year-old son Axel, who is completely obsessed with dinosaurs. Therefore, creating this show was a personal journey for me as well as an artistic one. I hope that children - and adults - of all ages will be entertained and delighted by Sam’s life-changing journey.’ Inside a mischievous dinosaur world with lively animation and immersive video projection, there’s a new, exciting scene every time we turn the page: a comical cockroach dance, an adorable baby dino dance and even a nerds vs bullies dance-off! Audiences will be dazzled by Webre’s exuberant choreography to Muhly’s lively score. Muhly has received commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and his work for screen includes scores for The Reader, Kill Your Darlings and Howards End.
Inspired by a children’s pop-up book, Mark Grimmer, a seasoned TV and film writer and producer from 59 Productions, created the playful world of Sam and her Amazing Book of Dinosaurs. He has also led many projects for the Royal Opera House, Lincoln Center and more, and his notable work includes the Victoria and Albert Museum’s David Bowie exhibition, which broke London box office records and toured around the world. 59 Productions is also the creative mastermind behind the London 2012 Olympic Games' Opening Ceremony video design and the Met Ball decor in New York. In early 2023, 59 Productions’ new immersive venue, Lightroom, in London had its inaugural exhibition ‘David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away)’, a 60-year journey of Hockney’s art through large-scale projection. Webre said, ‘It’s been a joy creating this show with 59 Productions, who effortlessly fuses the analogue and the high tech worlds together. Their designs are filled with breathtaking surprises.’
With fabulous costumes from local designer Yoki Lai, winner of the Hong Kong Drama Awards' Best Make-up & Image in 2005 and Best Set Design in 2006, each character in Sam and her Amazing Book of Dinosaurs will wow audiences and take them on an unforgettable prehistoric journey.
Five Sam and her Amazing Book of Dinosaurs performances will take place at Hong Kong Culture Centre’s Grand Theatre. Tickets priced at $580, $480, $380, $280 and $180 are now available at URBTIX. Suitable for ages 3 and above.
Concept: Septime Webre and 59 Productions (UK)
Choreography and Direction: Septime Webre
Music: Nico Muhly
Script: Mark Grimmer#
Set Design: Dayoung Shin#
Costume Design: Yoki Lai
Video Design: Tom Wexler#
Lighting Design: Sally Ferguson#
Sound Design: Ella Wahlström#
Performed by: Hong Kong Ballet
#For 59 Productions (UK)
14 - 16 Jul 2023
Fri 7:30pm | Sat - Sun 2:30pm & 7:30pm
$580, $480, $380, $280 and $180
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Suitable for ages 3 and above
For further information, please contact:
Hong Kong Ballet
Jerry Qiu | Communications & Programme Manager | T: 21059753 | [email protected]
Ruth Chung | Senior Marketing and PR Officer | T: 21059716 | [email protected]
Festivals Office, LCSD
Netta Fan | Assistant Manager | T: 2741 1524 | [email protected]
About Hong Kong Ballet
Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) is internationally recognised as a world-class institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Since its inception in 1979, HKB has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with a dynamic repertoire, forward-thinking community engagement initiatives and an emphasis on excellence.
With 50 dancers from all over the globe, HKB has restaged classical and neoclassical masterworks and dynamic original ballets created for HKB and about Hong Kong. Additionally, HKB performs works by some of today’s most sought-after choreographers as well as innovative new works by its Choreographer-in-Residence, Hu Song Wei Ricky, and numerous emerging Hong Kong choreographers.
In addition to almost 50 worldwide tours, HKB also maintains a full schedule of award-winning community programmes and crossover collaborations throughout Hong Kong to ensure ballet is accessible to all. HKB has also produced original videos and dance films that have collectively garnered over 5.2 million views online, connecting with ballet lovers worldwide.
About International Arts Carnival
The annual summer festival International Arts Carnival is a tailor-made arts festival for children and their families. Featuring various groups of outstanding overseas and local artists each year, the Carnival presents fun-filled online and stage programmes with unlimited intelligence, which covers musical, drama, puppetry, circus, music and multimedia theatre to widen the audience’s artistic vision and induce children’s infinite imagination wherever they are in or out of the theatres. The Carnival lines up a wide variety of extension activities including workshops, talks and exhibitions. It also includes parent-child activities organised by LCSD-managed museums and libraries over summer.
Cover | Dancers (from left): Lin Chang-yuan Kyle, Nana Saka | Creative: Rebecca Pitt | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet