In view of the reopening of performing venues on 19 February, the Hong Kong Arts Festival announces changes to in-venue programmes. Please visit this page for details.

The 49th Hong Kong Arts Festival closes on 26 March
with Igor Moiseyev Ballet Special online streaming
Five Encore Programmes to be launched in April

(Hong Kong, 26 March 2021)

The 49th Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) celebrates its official Festival Finale today (26 March) with a specially produced online performance by the Igor Moiseyev Ballet, sponsored by the Festival Finale Sponsor ICBC (Asia). Ahead of the performance, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, HKSAR Chief Secretary for Administration, toasts this major annual international event and highlight of Hong Kong’s cultural calendar.

“First of all, my heartfelt congratulations to the HKAF for a successful Festival this year. Over the years, the HKAF has strived to present an array of exciting programmes, and to promote Hong Kong as a capital of culture and arts,” says Mr Cheung. “In the past month, the Festival has presented many online programmes for public viewing, free of charge. This year, the Festival has also presented over 250 arts education and community events, including school performances and workshops suitable for the whole family, as well as programmes for “Young Friends” of the Festival.

All of these aim to bring artists and audiences together, and bring the arts into our daily lives. Finally, I must thank the Hong Kong Arts Festival team for their great effort, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and ICBC (Asia), which is sponsoring the Festival Finale performance for the ninth consecutive year. They have made it possible for the Festival to continue its important work for Hong Kong.” said Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung.

The 49th HKAF was a hybrid Festival with both online and in-venue programmes, in response to the extraordinary circumstances this year. Online presentations have included programmes especially produced and curated for the Festival as well as innovative real-time virtual performances involving artists from various locations, notably The Plague (English version), directed by Wang Chong and performed by actors in six countries around the world and Scott Silven’s immersive, interactive new work, The Journey. The Festival Opening concert, Music about China, by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra was streamed online, live from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Audiences also had the chance to watch it on the HKAF website for a further three days.

This year’s HKAF, with the additional programmes in April, includes ten in-venue and 28 online programmes, and featured a total of 25 new works, 21 of which were commissioned and produced by HKAF. Three series were presented, namely the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series (CDS) 10th Anniversary, Matthew Bourne’s Dance Films and National Theatre Brno’s Janáček Brno Festival. With the reopening of performance venues, several programmes were staged for live audiences in-venue, including Noah’s Ark and part of the CDS 10th Anniversary programme. In this extraordinary year, five Festival Encore programmes, programmes rescheduled because of the pandemic, and HKArtsFestival@TaiKwun will take place in April, May and June.


FESTIVAL ENCORE in April

Five Festival Encore programmes will take place in April:

  • Elim Chan and the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (online)
  • Wilson Ng and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (online)
  • China National Peking Opera Company: A Perfect Matrimony (online)
  • Donmar Warehouse: Blindness (in-venue)
  • The Chop: Pathetic Fallacy (in-venue)

Please visit the HKAF website at www.hk.artsfestival.org for details and latest updates.


PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 49TH HKAF

Programme highlights of the 49th HKAF include: Cantonese Opera Noah’s Ark; Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra—Music about China; The 10th Anniversary of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series; The Plague (English version), directed by Wang Chong; Matthew Bourne’s Dance Films—The Red Shoes, Swan Lake, Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet; Scott Silven’s The Journey; National Theatre Brno’s Janáček Brno Festival series— Jenůfa, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Diary of One Who Disappeared, piano recital by Jan Bartoš, the Pavel Haas Quartet and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir; Wiener Symphoniker’s Inaugural Concert of 2020/21 Season and The Beautiful Melodies of Franz Lehár; and Igor Moiseyev State Academic Ensemble of Popular Dance’s Igor Moiseyev Ballet Special, to name a few.


FESTIVAL PLUS

In this exceptional year, PLUS continues to bring “More than Great Performances” to enrich audience experience beyond the stage. Over 250 PLUS events and educational activities were presented as part of the 2021 programme, with highlights including:

  • Online Exhibition: Into the Czech Lands
  • Documentary Short: Telling Images of Xiqu on Porcelain
  • The Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series 10th Anniversary Campaign
  • Artist Sharing: Seeing Your Own Plague in Albert Camus’s The Plague
  • Distinguished Cultural Leadership Series (VIII): Going Online in the Pandemic
  • PLUS Films: The Making of An Artist Series

Most PLUS programmes would be available for free viewing until 30 June 2021.


OUTREACH

Young Friends, an integrated arts education programme designed to nurture students’ interest in the arts, has reached out to a remarkable 798,000 students over the past 29 years.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The 49th HKAF is most grateful to its many donors and sponsors, the main ones being: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, which has been a partner of the Festival for 49 years and the Festival Opening Sponsor; Festival Finale Sponsor ICBC (Asia); Programme Sponsors The Cha Foundation, HKR International, and Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund; Official Premium Car Partner DCH Motor Leasing; Official Airline Finnair; Official Film Studio Recording Partner Shaw Studios; Official Live Streaming Technology Partner TFI; and Major Hotel Partner Grand Hyatt Hong Kong


ABOUT THE HONG KONG ARTS FESTIVAL

Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the cultural life of the city. In February and March each year, the Festival presents leading local and international artists from all genres of the performing arts, giving equal importance to great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, music, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists, many of which have had successful subsequent runs in Hong Kong and overseas. Every year the Festival also presents over 250 “PLUS” and educational activities that offer diverse arts experiences to the community as well as tertiary, secondary and primary school students. In addition, through the “No Limits” project co-presented with The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Festival strives to create an inclusive space for people with different abilities to share the joy of the arts together.


MEDIA ENQUIRIES

For enquiries, please contact Ms Katy Cheng, Marketing Director, at katy.cheng@hkaf.org, or:


Mr Dennis Chan (Opera and Music programmes) at dennis.chan@hkaf.org
Ms Alexia Chow (Chinese Opera, Theatre and Dance programmes) at alexia.chow@hkaf.org