[Hong Kong—20 December 2021] On Sunday, 19 December 2021, Hong Kong Ballet’s annual The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2021 was held for the first time in its 13-year history at Hong Kong Cultural Centre’s Grand Theatre. After last year’s hybrid (both online and on-site) Benefit, over 360 guests attended this groundbreaking event organised by The Hong Kong Ballet Guild. The Benefit’s highlight was a delightful live excerpt of Septime Webre’s Hong Kong-themed The Nutcracker by 44 of the Organising Committee Members’ children ages 2-13.
Among the gracious hosts were The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2021 Organising Committee Co-Chairs: Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung and Mrs Emily Lam Ho. Distinguished guests included Ms Daisy Ho, BBS, Chairman of Hong Kong Ballet Board of Governors; Members of Hong Kong Ballet Board of Governors: Ms Lindzay Chan, Mrs Janice Chan-Choy, Ms Linda Fung, Ms Maya Lin and Mrs Liana Yung Yeung; and Organising Committee members Ms Veronica Chou, Ms Elaine Kwok, Professor Ava Kwong, Ms Wendy Law, Mrs Deirdre Fu Tcheng and many more.
The annual festive fundraiser was a memorable and joyful occasion for families and friends, culminating in the much-anticipated children’s performance. This was the first time the children performed on a professional stage in their charming tailor-made costumes alongside the extravagant life-sized sets from the historic production. The young performers gracefully danced to Tchaikovsky’s iconic music, and guests heartily applauded the performance.
The Hong Kong Ballet Guild hopes that children who experience ballet at a young age will eventually nurture a life-long love of the performing arts, and the Benefit gave them an early opportunity for a meaningful ballet experience. The unique performance allowed the younger generation to learn more about early 20th century Hong Kong to give them a deeper understanding of their city.
Afterwards, the Benefit’s engaging live and silent auctions and ‘Make a Pledge’ campaign raised money for HKB’s Accessibility Fund, Dancers’ Sponsorship Fund and Student Ticket Fund, as well as for new online and community outreach projects. ‘Make a Pledge’ raised much-needed funds for ‘Relaxed Performance’, which will bring ballet to every segment of the city, including those with autism, sensory issues and/or learning difficulties. Guests eagerly participated to help HKB continue its artistic development and share the joy of ballet in the community.
Organising Committee Co-Chair Mrs Emily Lam Ho welcomed guests and acknowledged the Benefit’s generous sponsors, ‘We are very excited to celebrate in person with our beloved family and friends and witness a live performance by our children on the professional stage used by the Hong Kong Ballet dancers. We are more than grateful to our dedicated Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors and Patrons and donors.’
Additionally, Co-Chair Mrs Colleen Yu Fung acknowledged the incredible team and said, ‘Special thanks to Creative Director Mrs Deirdre Fu Tcheng, who is also one of The Hong Kong Ballet Guild’s founding members, and to Linda Fung, a member of Board of Governors and Organising Committee, as well as one of today’s talented choreographers. Furthermore, we are indebted to our Artistic Director Septime Webre, Executive Director Heidi Lee and the Hong Kong Ballet dancers and administrative team, who have done such a fantastic job in ensuring that HKB’s reputation and artistic excellence constantly exceed expectations.’
Co-Chair Mrs Lillian Lee Fong sincerely thanked all the generous guests and concluded, ‘We would like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone’s support and donations today, making it possible for Hong Kong Ballet to promote the inspiring art form of ballet to the Hong Kong community. Thank you our brilliant MC Robyn Lamsam and exciting auctioneer Elaine Kwok. Lastly, we’d like to thank all the hard-working Organising Committee members for putting so much time and effort in making this such a wonderful event.’
The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2021
Mrs Lillian LEE FONG, Mrs Colleen YU FUNG, Mrs Emily LAM HO
Organising Committee Members:
Ms Chloe CHEN, Mrs Yena KIM CHEUNG, Ms Veronica CHOU, Ms Jessica CHOW, Mrs Ariel SHTARKMAN GHITIS, Mrs Stephanie POON HO, Mrs Lavina TIEN HUI, Ms Elaine KWOK, Mrs Rachel Qingqing KWOK, Professor Ava KWONG, Ms Wendy LAW, Mrs Christy LIANG, Ms Jolene LIN, Ms Maya LIN, Mrs Inna RODCHENKO-HIGHFIELD, Mrs Deirdre FU TCHENG, Mrs Emelda WONG TRAINOR, Dr Samantha SHEK TUNG, Mrs Elaine LUI WONG, Mrs Alice TONG WONG, Ms Sarah WONG, Mrs Connie WEI YANG, Ms Peggy Pei Chee YEOH, Mrs Liana YUNG YEUNG, Ms LeighAnne ZHU
CosMax, Perrier-Jouët Champagne, VITAE, XOVĒ
AMOREPACIFIC, Roger Lee Production Ltd.
Cosette* Jewellery, Foodmazing Limited, GOUTAL PARIS, Megan's Kitchen, ROCAS Jewellery, Ms Melody XU
BallroomBees, Baumhaus, Big Bang Academy, BYDEAU, Chicco, CURAPROX, Eaton HK, Epicurean Group, Fortnum & Mason, FOTOMAX (F.E.) LTD., Great Century Global Limited, H^4 Fitness, HK Headshots, Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, Imperial Springs, JEMS Character Academy, JSMP, La broderie, La Maison du Chocolat, Lai Sun Dining Limited, Ms Wendy LAW; L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts; Les Néréides Paris, Little Miss Luk by Vivian Luk Atelier, LPM Restaurant & Bar, Magic Organic Co., Mr Brod STORIE & Mrs Chloe STORIE, My Gym Children's Fitness Center (Wong Chuk Hang), NOMAD Caviar, One Personal Training, Prenetics Limited, Rosa & Daniel Photography, SAKEDEN LIMITED, Skin HQ, The Aberdeen Marina Club, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Ms Peggy Pei Chee YEOH, ZS Hospitality Group
Premium Benefit Patrons
Ms Chloe CHEN, Mrs Yena KIM CHEUNG, Ms Veronica CHOU, Ms Jessica CHOW, Mr & Mrs Ryan and Lillian LEE FONG, Mrs Colleen YU FUNG, Mrs Ariel SHTARKMAN GHITIS, High Fashion Charitable Foundation; Ms Daisy HO, BBS; Mrs Emily LAM HO, Mrs Stephanie POON HO, Mrs Lavina TIEN HUI, Ms Elaine KWOK, Mrs Rachel Qingqing KWOK, Professor Ava KWONG, Mrs Christy LIANG, Ms Jolene LIN, Ms Maya LIN, Ms Karen LO, Mrs Inna RODCHENKO-HIGHFIELD, Sun Hung Kai & Co. Foundation Limited, Mrs Deirdre FU TCHENG, Mrs Emelda WONG TRAINOR, Dr Samantha SHEK TUNG, Mrs Elaine LUI WONG, Mrs Alice TONG WONG, Ms Sarah WONG, Ms Melody XU, Mrs Connie WEI YANG, Mrs Liana YUNG YEUNG, Ms LeighAnne ZHU
Dr Eden WOON, JP
Ms Elaine Kwok (Auctioneer), Ms Robyn Claire Lamsam (MC), EX-R Consulting Ltd. (Event PR), Sing Tao Daily (Chinese Media Partner), Ming Pao Weekly (Chinese Media Partner), Hong Kong Tatler (English Media Partner)
About The Hong Kong Ballet Guild
The Hong Kong Ballet Guild was established in April 2008 by a group of Hong Kong’s most avid ballet enthusiasts. The objectives of the Guild are to promote Hong Kong Ballet, raise its public profile and preserve its heritage. By increasing awareness of and support for ballet among diverse sectors of society through extensive community engagement programmes, the Guild hopes to achieve its dual objects of developing a wider audience for Hong Kong Ballet, and fostering a society that appreciates this art form, thus enabling Hong Kong to flourish as a global cultural hub.
About Hong Kong Ballet
One of Asia’s premier ballet companies, Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) is internationally recognised as a vibrant arts institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Established in 1979 and led by Artistic Director Septime Webre, HKB has a dynamic repertoire performed by nearly 50 dancers from all over the globe and award-winning education and community programmes.
With almost 50 international tours, the Company has won recognition from critics and fans both at home and abroad. Its diverse repertoire includes classic and modern masterpieces, original full-length ballets created for the Company, an interactive ballet series for younger fans and groundbreaking dance by today’s most sought-after choreographers, including Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Jiří Kylian, Nacho Duato and Trey McIntyre, among others.
HKB maintains an active schedule of community initiatives throughout Hong Kong to ensure that ballet is accessible to people from all walks of life.
The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2021 | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet
Photo 1: The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2021 Organising Committee (back row, from left): Ms Jessica Chow, Mrs Inna Rodchenko-Highfield, Mrs Yena Kim Cheung, Mrs Lavina Tien Hui, Mrs Elaine Lui Wong, Mrs Ariel Shtarkman Ghitis, Ms Maya Lin (Member of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet and Co-Chair of The Hong Kong Ballet Guild), Mrs Colleen Yu Fung (Co-Chair of The Hong Kong Ballet Guild and Co-Chair of Benefit Committee), Mrs Emily Lam Ho (Co-Chair of Benefit Committee), Ms Daisy Ho, BBS (Chairman of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet), Mrs Lillian Lee Fong (Co-Chair of Benefit Committee), Ms Elaine Kwok, Mrs Liana Yung Yeung (Member of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet), Ms Peggy Pei Chee Yeoh, Mrs Alice Tong Wong, Ms Veronica Chou; (front row, from left): Mrs Stephanie Poon Ho, Mrs Emelda Wong Trainor, Mrs Christy Liang, Ms Wendy Law, Ms Sarah Wong, Ms Chloe Chen, Mrs Deirdre Fu Tcheng, Professor Ava Kwong, Ms LeighAnne Zhu, Ms Jolene Lin, Dr Samantha Shek Tung
Photo 2: (from left): Ms Heidi Lee, Mrs Liana Yung Yeung, Mrs Colleen Yu Fung, Ms Daisy Ho, BBS, Mr Septime Webre, Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Mrs Lillian Lee Fong, Ms Maya Lin, Mrs Janice Chan-Choy (Member of Board of Governors of Hong Kong Ballet)
Photo 3: (from left): Mrs Colleen Yu Fung, Mrs Emily Lam Ho, Mrs Lillian Lee Fong