In the Show – 28th February 2012

“The Geisha of Gion”

PictureThe geisha are a well-recognised symbol of Japan: traditional, female Japanese entertainers whose skills include performing Japanese music and dance.This year, the Hong Kong Arts Festival gave local audiences a rare chance to meet “The Geisha of Gion”.

PictureMen and a Robot Arm in “Sans Object”

It’s harder to find a bigger contrast to the femininity of geisha than the physical theatre of Aurelien Bory and Compagnie 111.“Sans Objet” is about two men interacting with a giant robotic machine. There’s a science fiction feel about the show, which is full of humour and acrobatics, but which gradually takes on a more and more disturbing atmosphere.

PictureMovie Review – “Hugo”

Martin Scorsese’s 3D movie “Hugo” based on the children’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” is all about a boy and machines. There are the station clocks in the Gare Montparnasse he has to keep winding, there’s the automaton left behind by his dead father he wants to repair, and there’s that most wondrous machine of all. The cinema. Gary Pollard reviews it.

PictureKarl Jenkins in Hong Kong

Welsh composer Karl Jenkins is said to be the most performed living “classical music” composer in the world. He’s best known today for his work with the choral group “Adiemus”, but not everyone knows he began as a jazz musician. Recently he was in Hong Kong to conduct his “Requiem” with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. The Works filmed the concert and spoke to Karl Jenkins about his life and career.

In the Show – 21st February 2012

“Tezuka”

PictureOsamu Tezuka was a Japanese cartoonist, manga artist, animator, and producer. In the Hong Kong Arts Festival this year, one choreographer has brought his work to life on the stage. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui says that the show, “Tezuka” is not only targeted at people who’ve read or watched Tezuka’s comics and animations.

PictureJessie Hou – Erhu Meets Jazz

Taiwanese-born musician Jessie Hou has been playing the erhu since she was a child, but the more she has travelled and toured with it, the more she wants to expand its range. What would it be like, she wondered, to use the erhu to perform jazz? Last year, she released a CD called, “Jazz Meets Erhu”. Recently, Hong Kong audiences heard her perform more traditional music.

PictureMovie Review – “Moneyball”

Lovers of baseball movies will know all the clichés: the triumphs over adversity, one man against his limitations or injuries, the team sorely in danger of losing but needing those last few points to succeed. Well “Moneyball” is about how to beat the world at baseball by using spreadsheets and formulae. Its central characters are the very people who’d be considered the bad guys in many sports movies: the bean counters. Gary Pollard’s here to review it.

PictureInk-Painter Zheng Chongbin

When Zheng Chongbin was learning to paint, his teacher asked him to buy an ink stick, a grinding stone, a set of brushes and sheets of rice paper. For almost two years, he wasn’t allowed to use them. Instead he was told to look at the works of Tang-dynasty ink painters and discover everything he could from them. Later, he was finally allowed to make copies of them. It was a strict traditional education. Today though, the artist, who was born in Shanghai but now lives both in China and in the United States, has moved on to more abstract work. You can see an exhibition of that work at the Hong Kong Arts Centre until next Monday.

PictureTwin Sister Pianists Chau Lok-ping and Chau Lok-ting

Twin sisters Chau Lok-ping and Chau Lok-ting have been performing together on the piano professionally since 2008. They’ve also won the First Prize and Best Performance Prize at the 2008 International Piano Duo Competition in Białystok, Poland, as well as other prizes as individual performers.Next Wednesday, they’re performing in the Hong Kong Arts Festival. They’re in the studio to give us a preview.