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HK Dance Company to perform at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (English only)

     The Hong Kong Dance Company (HKDC) will perform a dance drama, Qingming Riverside, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on January 11 and 12 (Washington time).

     Supported by Hong Kong's Home Affairs Bureau, the performance celebrates the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

     Speaking at a welcoming reception in Washington DC, the Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Mr Donald Tong, commented that Hong Kong's artistic scene had been shaped by "the cross-fertilisation of Eastern and Western cultures" and that the convergence of these influences spurred a "distinct cultural narrative."

     He said that the city's vibrant arts and cultural scene was aptly exemplified by the HKDC with its fusion of traditional Chinese culture and contemporary arts.

     Mr Tong noted that the Hong Kong Government had worked to nurture an environment conducive to artistic expression and encourage free participation in all aspects of cultural life.

     At present, there are about 34,000 cultural and creative industry-related establishments in Hong Kong. They contribute about five per cent, or US$10 billion, to Hong Kong's GDP annually, making the sector a driving force in the city's development.

     HKDC's production of Qingming Riverside is inspired by the renowned Chinese scroll painting, Along the River during the Qingming Festival, by imperial court painter Zhang Zeduan. The scroll, painted between AD 1119 and 1125, details the prosperous and lively streets of the Northern Song Dynasty capital, Bianjing (now Kaifeng, Henan). The HKDC vividly brings the scroll painting alive by depicting life along the Bian Canal in the early 12th century.

     Script and Research Director of Qingming Riverside, Mr Gerard Tsang, said that the script was written based on the history, customs and art of the Song Dynasty. "It is not a story of kings and queens, but of the daily life of the hard-working common people of the early 12th century China. It is a combination of romantic imagination and humanistic concern of the well-being of the people."

     Mr Tsang remarked that the performance leads audiences in a discovery of Chinese elegance and the country's fine cultural tradition.

     Director and Choreographer of Qingming Riverside, Mr Leung Kwok-shing, said the performance embodied Chinese culture by "distilling and representing in the language of dance, the movement, personality and spirit of the 800-plus characters depicted in the painting."

     "Its style pushes beyond the boundary of Chinese ethnic dance and Chinese classical dance, creating a new aesthetics that exemplifies the vernacular, traditional and classical," Mr Leung said.

     Qingming Riverside premiered at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in July 2007 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Capitalising on the successful production, it was invited to perform at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

     The production, which includes dancers from the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble, has been seen around the world by more than 40,000 people.

     Established in 1981 to promote Chinese dance, the HKDC has staged over 100 productions so far, to global acclaim.

     Tickets are available through the Kennedy Center. Additional information and a trailer are found at .

Ends/Thursday, January 10, 2013
Issued at HKT 07:07


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