Thursday, August 12, 2010

SATOSHI on New Vision Arts Festival


The programme list of the New Vision Arts Festival is out... so what? Seriously, this may not be as hot as the Hong Kong Arts Festival, but for anybody who is interested in how the traditional arts are transforming and how contemporary arts are developing, the New Vision Arts Festival could be the answer. If you are wondering why you rarely hear anything about this festival, well, it is because this is a biennial event.

Looking at the programme, I have to say that the highlight is The Peony Pavilion. For this particular version, Bando Tamasaburo, Japan's most celebrated onnagata (an actor who specialises in female roles), performs with the Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theatre of Jiangsu Province in an epic staging of Tang Xianzu's Ming Dynasty classic.


Bando Tamasaburo is an iconic figure on the Kabuki stage in Japan today. His grandfather, Kanya Morita XIII, performed with the legendary Mei Lanfang in Beijing in 1926. In the 1980s, Bando Tamasaburo learned the Peking Opera, The Drunken Royal Concubine, from Mei's son Mei Baojiu. He then applied Peking Opera technique to the Kabuki work Emperor Ming and Lady Yang. In 2007, he began studying the role of Du Liniang, the female lead in The Peony Pavilion, with a number of famous Kunqu opera artists. According to the programme, "While following Kunqu tradition, Bando Tamasaburo succeeded in externalising the classic heroine's inner emotions with a feeling that transcends cognition, a quality that typifies Japanese theatre".



This event is BIG! Mr. Tamasaburo performing in Hong Kong is a big deal. In fact, I have a friend who's going to Japan to see this same production and was very surprised that it is actually coming to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, he has already booked his ticket (HK$1,000). In any case, the solution is to watch it twice!

Another show I love to see is the Mortal Engine of Australia's Chunky Move. Mortal Engine is one of the group's latest work that has swept international award with its innovative blend of state-of-the-art technology infused in movements that brings a new dimension to the staging and a new way of viewing dance.



Other shows that I find interesting include: Hear the World. Dadawa in Concert 2010 (featuring the Chinese world music star Dadawa), the world premiere of Mr. Vampire (modern dance and live music by the Guangdong Modern Dance Company and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble); and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (A digital opera in 7 acts by Zuni Icosahedron featuring the famous Chinese bass Tian Hao-Jiang).

For more information about the festival, please visit the below website.

http://www.newvisionfestival.gov.hk/2010/en/prog/index.html

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