A Thrilling Explosion of Ballet!

Co-presented by Freespace of the West Kowloon Cultural District as part of Hong Kong Ballet in Residence 2021, the digital turn(it)out festival is a glorious two-and-a-half week explosion of dance, exploring ballet’s role in our modern world.

Bringing ballet fans together virtually, the festival features five(by)six, a compelling programme of five intriguing contemporary ballets by six international dance-makers, The Orpheus Cabaret, a fresh new collaboration between seven HKB emerging choreographers and a team of The University of Hong Kong creative writers, Ballet Classics for Children: Cinderella, a charming introduction to the world of ballet for young audiences, and BINGE-WORTHY, a dazzling collection of short videos from the HKB vaults. Plus, look out for exciting activities for both adults and children, including Open Company Class, Ballet Barre Classes, the interactive Cross Training for Dancers series, MASTERCLASS! series, ballet-blah-blah-blah and other unexpected experiences. Get the best seat in the house safely at home, and don’t miss this extraordinary online festival with its electrifying and thought-provoking works for all ages!

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Streaming Period: 18.3 (Thu) 10:00am - 4.4 (Sun) 23:59pm

Join us for an extraordinary production with five intriguing contemporary ballets by six international dance-makers.

Grappling with the role of ballet in the modern world, Holland-based American choreographer Stephen Shropshire begins a three-year artistic residency with Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) with Handelwerk, an intriguing new work set to sublime music by celebrated baroque composer George Frideric Handel. HKB’s Artistic Director Septime Webre’s world premiere of Second Movement brings together two stunning dancers in an epic duet with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. An excerpt from Nguyen Ngoc Anh’s Beyond The Line, a fusion of dance forms that symbolise strength and resilience to overcome personal challenges, premieres in Hong Kong.

The programme also features an award-winning piece by Hong Kong choreographic duo Justyne Li and Wong Tan-ki. Set to Philip Glass' driving score, their riveting Galatea & Pygmalion retells the classic Greek myth of the sculptor Pygmalion and his lifelike statue Galatea, exploring the relationship between a creator and their creation. Although Pygmalion eventually passed away, Galatea remained forever. Finally, the current ‘It Girl of Ballet’ Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s physically charged ballet Sombrerisimo features six blazing male leads and their incredibly malleable bowler hats in this sensual, innovative work. This will be an unforgettable programme filled with inspiring dance that you won’t want to miss!

Programme

Handelwerk (World Premiere)

Choreography and Costume Design: Stephen Shropshire^
Music: Keyboard Suite no.7 in G minor, HWV 432 by George Frideric Handel
Piano: Rachel Cheung
^Shropshire’s multi-year residency is supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL.

Choreography

Stephen Shropshire is a choreographer, curator and independent dance researcher who has created works for renowned ballet companies all over the globe.

Between 2009 to 2012, Shropshire was the artistic director of Noord Nederlandse Dans. In 2017, he was awarded a special honor prize from the Dansersfonds ’79 for the ‘consistent aesthetic harmony in his work’, and in 2018, his work We Are Nowhere Else But Here won the VSCD ‘Zwaan’ for most outstanding dance performance of 2017.

Shropshire is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City and holds an MA in Arts and Heritage from the University of Maastricht.

*Shropshire’s multi-year residency is supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL


Piano

Locally born Rachel Cheung was the first Hong Kong pianist to be a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition finalist in 2017, earning both critical acclaim and the Audience Award for 'outstandingly lyrical' playing that showed 'nobility in her interpretation’. Other accolades include prizes in the 2009 Leeds, 2010 Chopin and 2012 Geneva International Piano Competitions.

Cheung frequently performs both locally and internationally. Highlights of her 2018/19 season include recitals in the US, Mexico, Italy, Poland, the UK, Germany and Japan, and creative collaborations with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and Asian Youth Orchestra, among others.

©Cheung Tai Chi


Second Movement (World Premiere)

Choreography: Septime Webre
Music: Eine kleine Nachtmusik: movement 2 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Music courtesy of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra)
Costume Design: Yoki Lai


Excerpt from Beyond The Line (Hong Kong Premiere)

Choreography: Nguyen Ngoc Ahn
Music: Duong xa van dam (The Road to Infinity) by Quoc Trung

Choreography

Currently a Lecturer in Dance at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Nguyen Ngoc Anh is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. As a choreographer, Nguyen was invited to create works for Vietnamese Opera Ballet, Theatre Regensburg, Inverse Dance Company, Arabesque Dance Company, City Contemporary Dance Company and Hong Kong Ballet. He won third prize in the Vietnamese National Dance Competition, the New British Choreography Bonnie Bird Award, the Spotlight Award at the UK Critics’ Circle Dance Awards and Outstanding Choreography at Hong Kong Dance Awards. In 2019, Nguyen was appointed Artistic Director for the 21st Hong Kong Dance Awards.


Galatea & Pygmalion

Choreography: Justyne Li, Wong Tan-ki
Music: Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra—Movement 2 by Philip Glass

Choreography

A graduate of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ School of Dance, Justyne Li is an independent dancer and choreographer. She previously danced with Hong Kong Ballet and Tanz Graz (Austria) and was a soloist with Ballett Bremerhaven (Germany) before establishing Neo Dance HK with Wong Tan Ki in 2010. Her choreographic work Division received first prize at the 7th Jerusalem International Choreography Competition, and other accolades include numerous Hong Kong Dance Awards, like Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer for Galatea X and Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for Galatea & Pygmalion.


Choreography

Wong Tan-ki is a freelance dancer, teacher, choreographer and multimedia designer. His work Division won first prize at the 7th Jerusalem International Choreography Competition, and other notable awards include Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for Galatea & Pygmalion at the 13th Hong Kong Dance Awards and Outstanding Choreography for Galatea X at the 16th Hong Kong Dance Awards. Additionally, Wong received the Award for Young Artist at the 2015 Hong Kong Arts Development Awards and won third place for male solo at the IDO World Tap Dance World Championships 2012.


Sombrerisimo

Choreography: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Music: Intro Espinita and Espinita by Banda Ionica, Klute by Titus Tiel Groenestege, Payo Mitcho by Titi Robin

Choreography

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa has created works for over 50 companies worldwide, including New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Compania Nacional de Danza de Espana, Dutch National Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Joffrey Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Scottish Ballet and The Washington Ballet. A graduate of the Royal Ballet School of Flanders, she danced for 12 years, including as a soloist at Scapino Ballet, before focusing solely on choreography. In 2010, the Temecula Performing Arts Examiner wrote: ‘Ochoa is truly a masterful choreographer with an edge for what dance can and should be in this constantly changing industry.’

The Orpheus Cabaret

Date and time: 19.3.2021 (Fri) 8:00pm HKT (8:00am EST | 12:00pm GMT)

Pre-recorded and screened on Zoom
Limited Quota. Advance registration required.

The classic Greek myth of Orpheus journeying to the Underworld to bring back his beloved Eurydice gets a new twist in this provocative new dance cabaret online. This fresh new collaboration brings together seven choreographers associated with Hong Kong Ballet and a team of The University of Hong Kong creative writers led by Chair of Creative Writing & Theatre Page Richards, a professor and director of the HKU Guild

Creative Team

Choreography: Forrest Rain Oliveros, Jonathan Spigner, Jessica Burrows, Sarita Chan, Leung Chunlong, Lin Chang-yuan Kyle, Li Lin
Artistic collaborator: Professor Page Richards

Ballet Classics for Children: Cinderella

Streaming Period: 20.3 (Sat) 10:00am - 4.4 (Sun) 23:59pm

If the shoe fits…

Back by popular demand, Ballet Classics for Children: Cinderella returns online to bewitch audiences of all ages with its triumphant rags-to-riches story! Featuring fresh new choreography and direction by Septime Webre and based on an original concept and script by Yuri Ng and Rick Lau, this entertaining one-hour adaptation of the classic fairytale follows Cinderella, her Fairy Godmother and the handsome Prince on a whirlwind adventure to the Royal Ball where her enchanted transformation will only last until the clock strikes midnight! The ugly Stepsisters’ slapstick antics provide ample wit and humour to get the whole family giggling safe at home, and Hong Kong Ballet dancers show how heartbreak turns to joy as the power of love conquers all. In English and Cantonese; subtitles available.

Creative Team

Choreography & Direction: Septime Webre
Associate Director: Ata Wong^
Script & Original Concept: Yuri Ng and Rick Lau
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Costume Design: Yoki Lai
Set Design: Leocampo Yuen
Narrator: Yung Yin Sing Lucas

^By kind permission of Théâtre de la Feuill

 
Narrator

Yung Yin Sing Lucas graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama in 2019. That same year, he was nominated for Best Actor for his role as Peter in Luna Gale at the 11th Hong Kong Theatre Libre and won HKAPA’s Outstanding Actor Award for his role as Zhu Yuanzhang in its production of Dust and Dawn. Recently, he was awarded Level 1-B in the PSC (National Putonghua Proficiency Test).

BINGE-WORTHY

Streaming available from: 21.3.2021 (Sun) 10:00am

A dazzling collection of short videos from the Hong Kong Ballet vaults

You’ll love this collection of short videos from the Hong Kong Ballet vaults, including riveting excerpts from the classical and contemporary repertoire, refreshing human moments, and interactive content. Pop some popcorn, plop on the coach, and BINGE!

Fringe Activities

Go deeper inside ballet with this suite of behind-the-scenes programmes

Streaming available from:  18.3.2021 (Wed) 10:00am

OPEN COMPANY CLASS

 

Every dancer starts their day with a company class, refining essential classical techniques and fusing vigorous athleticism with pure artistry. Watch HKB ballet master Luis Torres take the dancers through their daily paces as they progress from warming up at the barre to extravagant pirouettes across the floor!


 

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Intriguing conversations about the fascinating world of Ballet

Creating Work in a Pandemic: A Conversation with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Stephen Shropshire

How are artists continuing to create dance during a pandemic? Does a work change when it’s envisioned for online streaming rather than a live experience? Join two contemporary Europe-based choreographers at the top of their game as they discuss the ‘new normal’ of coaching and creating original content over Zoom. Annabelle and Stephen will share about keeping up motivation and momentum virtually when dancers are half a world away and how the pandemic influences their work, among other relevant topics.


 

CROSS TRAINING FOR DANCERS

This pair of comprehensive 5-minute workouts are fabulous as stand alone sessions when time is limited or as a prelude to a challenging dance class or any other physical activity!

Cross Training for Dancers: 5-Minute Killer Core  

HKB Ballet Master Yuh Egami leads the dancers through an essential 5-minute core routine that has been known to produce killer abs…you’ve been warned!

Cross Training for Dancers: 5-Minute Total Body Workout

Work out with HKB’s Yuh Egami in an intense crash course designed to be a warm up for a dance class or for a quick workout routine effectively targeting all your muscles.

 
 

BALLET BARRE CLASSES

Sweat with us at home! Explore barre work and enjoy music in these ballet barre classes led by HKB’s artistic team. No prior dance experience is required. 

Ballet Barre for Adults

Improve your posture, flexibility and balance as you learn some ballet basics with gentle warm-up exercises and fundamental barre techniques to relaxing classical music.

Ballet Barre for Children ages 7-10

Through fun and engaging activities, children’s muscles and flexibility are further developed through lively barre exercises as foundational ballet building blocks are introduced.

Ballet Barre for Children ages 4-6

This enjoyable children’s class introduces young students to ballet and improves spatial awareness by exploring creativity and expression through imaginative movement in floor exercises and at the barre.

Silver Ballet

Ballet classes can improve the quality of life for senior citizens in a number of ways, including improved physical fitness and increased mental stimulation. Silver Ballet is HKB’s newest free virtual workshop designed for seniors, with simple exercises taught at a leisurely pace by HKB dance instructors to classical ballet music. Participants will progress from gentle warm up exercises to sequences from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker in the comfort of their own homes.



 

MASTERCLASS! SERIES

HKB’s Artistic Team and international guests coach our elite artists in classic and contemporary repertoire, bringing out the best in their artistry and creativity.

La Sylphide: James’s variation

Distinguished August Bournonville répétiteur and expert Dinna Bjørn coaches HKB’s Jackson Dwyer in one of the most iconic solos in 19th century canon.

The Art of the Pas de Deux

Septime Webre coaches HKB artists Dong Ruixue and Li Lin in Cinderella’s graceful Act II pas de deux.

The Fairies Dance!

HKB’s Eunsil Kim and Nana Sakai tackle Cinderella’s mercurial fairy variations with coaching by Tang Min.

Cinderella’s Funny Man–the Jester

HKB principal dancer Shen Jie pushes himself to the limit in the Jester’s challenging variation, coached by Septime Webre.

Coaching Sombrerisimo

Celebrated Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa coaches the men of Hong Kong Ballet through her dynamic ballet Sombrerisimo.


 

HKBALLET CLASSROOM

Ballet Do Re Mi—Cinderella

Go deeper into the gorgeous music of Cinderella at HKBALLET CLASSROOM as we explore Prokofiev's lush score for this cherished happily ever after fairytale!

Cinderella Makeover—Turning into an Ugly Stepsister

Learn some stage makeup basics in this HKBALLET CLASSROOM episode that transforms a dancer into one of Cinderella's Ugly Stepsisters! Using various products and tools, a professional makeup artist demonstrates each step of the process.

Partners

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