30 years of Performing Arts – Three Anniversaries
1979 was a big year for Hong Kong’s performing arts scene. It’s the year in which The Hong Kong Ballet Company, the City Contemporary Dance Company, and the Chung Ying Theatre Company were founded. To end 2009, we’re looking back, with them, at their first thirty years.
Lin Hwai-min teaches Hong Kong children to “Leap”
Supported by the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation and three nurseries under the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, “Leap” is a dance class for children between four and six. Lin Hwai-min, the founder and Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, has brought the Taiwan curriculum to Hong Kong. Based on the course developed eleven years ago at the Cloud Gate Dance School, the Hong Kong version is slightly modified. In a rare English interview, Lin talks to us about the class, and looks back on his long career with Cloud Gate.
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A Musical Celebration of Christmas
In tonight’s The Works, we have a mini musical party in the studio, as guests help us celebrate the Xmas season. They include singer Ginger Kwan (who performs her Christmas single), soloists and chorus from RTHK Radio 4’s Christmas Concert in the Park (who treat us to excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah”); Gloves Handbell, with two Christmas songs, and an award-winning Santa Claus, who gives presenter Ben Tse a little advice on how to improve his own Santa act.
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Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture
With land scarce in Hong Kong, and property fetching some of the most exorbitant prices in the world. There tends to be an emphasis on maximising space and maximising profit here. That doesn’t leave much room for considering the finer points of architecture. The Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture aims to provide an opportunity to do that, and to raise a few new ideas.
Movie Review – “Don’t Look Back”
In Marina de Van’s film, “Don’t Look Back”, Sophie Marceau plays Jeanne, a successful writer who can’t remember her childhood before the age of eight. Suddenly, reality seems to get strange. Watching a video her husband has just shot, she sees him and their children making strange semaphore gestures. She is convinced someone has changed things around in her apartment. And, also on the video she sees her face replaced by that of another woman, played by Monica Bellucci. Her reality, and even her own face, are slipping away. Gary Pollard tells us more.
A Slam Poet in Hong Kong
Slam poetry is a form of performance poetry where the works are judged by members of the audience. It’s different from much traditional poetry in that the poems are written to be performed, rather than read off the page. Modern slam poetry originated in the US and has since spread throughout the world. Even to some Hong Kong schools.
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A sandy beach in the middle of Central is not an everyday sight. Even less so when it is in a former Police Married Quarters that’s been abandoned for over a decade. It’s part of an event called Detour 2009. From last week, members of the public have been able to relax on this beach, see exhibitions put up by designers, artists and architects, and attend film screenings here. It also provides an opportunity for the public and the government to exchange views on issues like urbanism and heritage conservation.
Movie Review – “Synecdoche, New York”
Charlie Kaufman wrote “Being John Malkovich”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Adaptation”. “Synecdoche, New York” is his first film as a director. If you saw the films based on his earlier screenplays you’ll know that Kaufman excels at taking us into a labyrinthine world where the edges of the real and the unreal blur. “Synecdoche, New York” takes that to new extremes, as reviewer Gary Pollard tells us.
The artist Subodh Gupta was born in Khagaul, and is now based in New Delhi. He trained as a painter, but has since gone on to experiment with a variety of media. Now world-renowned, he’s best known for incorporating everyday objects that are found throughout India in his work. In Hong Kong recently, he spoke to The Works.
Local musical group SIU2 produces music that’s challenging and innovative, but that may combine such disaparate elements as bossa nova and Chinese instruments. They play two songs for us tonight.
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The third Hong Kong International Antiquarian Book Fair opens this Friday, and runs until Sunday. There are 36 exhibitors here presenting the rare, the old, and the otherwise collectable. We talk to two of them, and look at some of their exhibits.
Nora Ephron’s “Julie and Julia” is based on the stories of two women. One is Julie Powell, a 30-year-old woman in Queens, New York, who created a blog about cooking 524 recipes in a year. The other woman is Julia Child, who collected those recipes in her legendary “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in the 1940s and 1950s. In the present day, Amy Adams plays Julie. In the earlier era, Meryl Streep is the inimitable Julia Child. Reviewer Gary Pollard tells us more.
On Friday evening, Hong Kong concert-goers were able to experience a multimedia adventure across time, space, and cultures.The occasion was a performance of Tan Dun’s “Map Concerto” by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra with Lawrence Renes conducting and Richard Bamping as principal cellist.
This coming Saturday, three talented young female players from the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra are performing interpretations of Chinese classics. The show’s called, not too surprisingly, “Three in Concert”, and with us in the studio are two of those three: Liu Hsin-lin on the daruan and Lin Yu-hsien on the xiao. They play us out with “The Chill of the Sweeping Pines” by Lin Jiliang and Ning Yong.
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