Speech by Ms Grace Lang (Programme Director of Hong Kong Arts Festival Society Ltd) at the 2004 Festival Kick-off Press Conference

October 16th, 2003

An arts festival celebrates creations by living talents. This year, a wealth of international artists presents their works at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. They include eight choreographers - Nacho Duato of the Compania Nacional de Danza in Spain, Heinz Spoerli of the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland, Emio Greco and Pieter Scholten of the Netherlands, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui of Les Ballets C. de la B. in Belgium, Mui Cheuk Yin and Lin Yuan Shang with Flight, a Hong Kong/France collaboration, and Dick Wong of Hong Kong with B.O.B.*. A wonderful dance feast for all.

New collaborations enable writers, composers, directors, designers, visual artists and performers to meet and confront one another, stimulate different ways of thinking, and discover new ideas. Young cellist Chui-Yee Lee will interpret the premiere of a Joyce Tan work; Chet Lam, The Pancakes and Ketchup will blend their music in VIVA Indie!, Chan Ping-chiu will co-direct at Cattle Depot with Lee Chun-chow; playwright Chip Tsao, film directors Stanley Kwan and Pang Ho-cheung will create a new theatrical model for actress Karen Mok to interpret, and theatre director Hui Shu Ning, music director Peter Kam and writer Chan Wai will venture a multi-media presentation together with dancers Abby Chan and Andy Wong. A unique experience will be created this year for Bobby McFerrin to improvise with local talents. All these are cross-over opportunities not to be missed! Radio Two of Radio Television Hong Kong will also be producing a programme series Chasing Hong Kong Arts Festival, hosted by theatre/TV artist Louisa So, to keep track on the creative development of all local commissioned productions.

Bringing in a diverse variety of artists and creations new and old leads to the question of arts appreciation. The public will have many opportunities to meet the artists and participate in workshops from January onwards. We are also in the process of organizing a conference on "The Business of Performing Arts" where arts administrators will exchange information, in particular about practices in China.

We hope the Festival will not only bring you artists of prestige but help build quality budding artists and audiences.


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