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Jan. 19, 2016
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The 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival to open (Feb. 19 – Mar. 20, 2016)
This large-scale international performing arts festival, which has been presenting big-name artists from the East and West since 1973, will be held again this year on a grand scale in various theaters around the city. The festival’s executive director for the past eight years has been Tisa Ho, who has also handled marketing and curatorial responsibilities at Singapore’s Esplanade and the Singapore Arts Festival.
The theme of this year’s festival is “What comes after,” seeking to present a program of works that deal with the consequences of personal choice in times like these when the world is wrought with acts of terror, conflict, uprisings and demonstrations. Among the main performances will be a co-production of a theatre adaptation of Bronte’s Jane Eyre by the National Theatre of Great Britain and Bristol Old Vic; a production of BigMoutH/SmallWaR by the Belgian company SKaGeN; a series of the “History Plays” of Shakespeare from the repertoire of the Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company, including Henry IV, parts I and II and Henry V; and Battlefield directed by Peter Brooke, among others.
In the Hong Kong Arts Festival “tradition and renewal” is an important theme, and again this year this will be seen in productions of Cantonese Opera with the great master Yau Sing-Po performing Li Bai and Beijing Opera with a tribute to Zhang Junqiu as a leading presence in the female role qingyi in a program that features Zhang's most celebrated successor Wang Rongrong.

Festival Outline
One of the largest-scale performing arts festivals in Asia, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is annually held for about one month from February, after Chinese New Year. In 1972, the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society Ltd. was established by a gathering of prominent figures in Hong Kong society, and since the festival’s first edition held in 1973, it has been introducing excellent performing arts works from China and around the world for more than 30 years. It has been managed with support mainly from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
The festival program features performances of a wide range of arts productions from Asia and around the world, including opera, music, jazz, world music, theater, musicals, dance, exhibitions and more, as well as offering full programs of workshops for young people and educational programs.
In contemporary dance, the festival now includes a new “Asia Pacific Dance Platform” program presenting showcases of the works of young choreographers and dancers active in Asia. With the aim of growing audience for contemporary dance in Hong Kong, there is a concurrent program of workshops and discussions. Furthermore, a “New Stage Series” program has been newly established to present of experimental works across the full spectrum of contemporary genres.
+ Hong Kong Arts Festival