The biennial New Vision Arts Festival (NVAF), organised and presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, celebrates its fifth appearance this year. It does so, in characteristic innovative style, by bringing to Hong Kong audiences a top-quality collection of pioneering productions that cross cultural and geographical boundaries. Here, artists defy preset formats, setting out to explore fresh approaches to content, presentation and collaborative creativity in line with the Festival's "new vision" goal.
This Festival's opening performance, "Hear the World．DADAWA" in Concert 2010・HK, provides a dynamic concert by Dadawa, winner of the best world fusion album in the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards in the USA in 2008. The Chinese contemporary musician-singer's travels around the world in the past 10 years have culminated in a truly global vision and strikingly individual works that will captivate audiences.
Unconventional bands will also be making musical waves. The pulsating trio of drummers performing in The Butterfly Effect: East-West Percussive Parade – Budgie (English drums), Leonard Eto (Japanese taiko) and Mabi (African drums) – will take to the stage alongside Sugizo, guitar legend of Japan, and US guitarist and cellist Knox Chandler. Reflecting the recent avant-garde music boom in Mainland China, Mars News Ensemble sees top rock musicians Zhang Chu, Wang Yong and Wang Fan joined by cutting-edge artists from Japan, Sweden and Hong Kong to deliver an edgy improvised soundtrack on stage for a movie by international award-winning director Zhu Wen. In another remarkable combination of talents, Beijing-based post-80s Uyghur band JAM teams up with Hong Kong artist Jessica Yeung to present Sand•Moon: Jamming Muqam, a love story taken from The Twelve Muqams of Xinjiang and retold with contemporary music.
For chamber and orchestral music lovers, the internationally acclaimed Ensemble Modern from Germany gives the Asian première of works by five celebrated composers centred on the transformation of the Pearl River Delta. New compositions will also be premièred by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.
On the theatre front, the NVAF-commissioned Grand Expectations by the Edward Lam Dance Theatre features acting stars from the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The show, probing contemporary urban vision, has also been chosen to represent Hong Kong at Expo 2010 Shanghai. Feather is a novel work in which the Xinxin Nanguan Ensemble of Taiwan and renowned opera director Lukas Hemleb create a modern opera from the ancient Chinese musical tradition of Nanguan. Age-defying artistic magic can also be found in the Eileen Chang classic, The Golden Cangue, presented as a modern Peking Opera by the GuoGuang Opera Company of Taiwan. The production stars Wei Hai-min, winner of the coveted Plum Blossom Award for Chinese theatre.
Tang Shu-wing, a leading figure in Hong Kong drama circles, and ground-breaking local theatre company Zuni Icosahedron add further creative input through the breakaway contemporary theatre classic, The Next Generations, and digital media opera, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, respectively.
Mortal Engine, by energetic Australian group Chunky Move, engages in a startling inter-media dance performance while Hong Kong choreographer Pun Siu-fai, local composer Tang Lok-yin, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble reinterpret local cult movie "thrillers" in Mr. Vampire, a production exclusively created for the NVAF.
The Festival closes with an artistic tour-de-force in the form of Chinese Kunqu opera classic, The Peony Pavilion. The production boasts a Sino-Japanese cast starring Bando Tamasaburo, an iconic onnagata figure on the Kabuki stage in Japan, as the hauntingly beautiful female lead Du Liniang.
As can be seen, this year's programme is filled with a rich array of artistic styles and performances to mesmerise, entertain and inspire. We look forward to you joining us.
Senior Manager, Festivals Office
Leisure and Cultural Services Department