[Hong Kong – 14 November 2019] Hong Kong Ballet will participate in Festival Hong Kong 2019–A Cultural Extravaganza@Shanghai to perform Septime Webre’s lavish The Great Gatsby during The 21st China Shanghai International Arts Festival. The tour is generously sponsored by Official Tour Sponsor China Everbright Ltd. and further supported by the HKSAR Government, with PUMA as Tour Uniform Partner.
At its exhilarating Hong Kong premiere in February 2019, the hugely popular The Great Gatsby dazzled almost 5,000 people in five sold out performances and garnered unprecedented audience praise and critical acclaim. With opulent sets and costumes by Academy Award winner Tim Yip, live accompaniment by Billy Novick’s Blue Sycopators, award-winning blues singer E. Faye Butler, narrator and vocalist James Seol, and performances by Principal Guest Artist Matthew Golding and Chinese tap dancer Jiang Shaofeng, The Great Gatsby overflows with extravagant dancing, decadent parties and steamy jazz music. Shanghai audiences will be enthralled by the glamour of New York high society in the Roaring Twenties!
Artistic Director Septime Webre says, “We’re thrilled to share The Great Gatsby with Shanghai audiences. It’s set in New York during the 1920s—the Jazz Age—and New York and Shanghai had so much in common during this era: incredible wealth, and unbridled optimism about what was possible in the 20th century, and a crackling energy. I think this story of passion will resonate with the Shanghai audiences today.”
Executive Director Paul Tam adds, “In many ways, this return tour to Shanghai mirrors and builds on the success we had with our four-city Mainland tour, which included Shanghai, in 2017 to celebrate Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s 20th anniversary. The warm welcomes we received from the audiences, in particular in Shanghai from which some of our own dance artists originated from, was a testament not only to the artistic excellence of the Company but also its seamless ensembleship of global talent. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of HKSAR, our Official Tour Sponsor China Everbright Ltd. and Tour Uniform Partner Puma for their continued support. Like everyone else from Hong Kong Ballet, I very much look forward to our debut performance at the Shanghai China International Arts Festival.”
Two performances will be staged at Opera Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Shanghai, China during 15-16 November 2019. Tickets are priced at ¥780, ¥680, ¥580, ¥480, ¥380, ¥280, ¥180, and are available at www.artsbird.com. Suitable for children aged 6+ and over one meter.
A programme of ‘Festival Hong Kong 2019 – An Cultural Extravaganza@Shanghai’ and ‘Hong Kong Culture Week of the 21st China Shanghai International Arts Festival’
About The Great Gatsby
The enigmatic Jay Gatsby is a self-made millionaire whose infamous, extravagant parties are attended by many guests, but he still longs for his lost love. His neighbour, Nick Carraway, is a recent university graduate who rents a house in West Egg, Long Island across the water from his wealthy cousin, Daisy Buchanan. Nick learns that Gatsby and Daisy had been in love five years ago, but “rich girls don’t marry poor boys”, and Daisy had married the well-off Tom Buchanan after Gatsby went off to war as a soldier. Gatsby asks Nick to arrange for an afternoon tea with Daisy.
Gatsby and Daisy discreetly begin an affair, while Daisy’s husband Tom is also involved in an affair with garage-owner George Wilson’s wife Myrtle. One afternoon, Gatsby confronts Tom and pleads with Daisy to say she never loved Tom, but he asks too much of her, and Daisy cannot bring herself to do that. Despite everything, Gatsby resolutely still believes Daisy will come back to him. One night, Myrtle is killed by Gatsby’s speeding car, driven by Daisy. George sees Gatsby and assumes he killed Myrtle. Through it all, Nick watches as the idealistic Gatsby is betrayed by his own dreams.
Choreography: Septime Webre
Music (Compiled, composed and arranged): Billy Novick
Set & Costume Design: Tim Yip
Lighting Design: Billy Chan
Video Design: William Kwok, Tobias Gremmler
Sound Design: Sincere Li
Live Jazz Accompaniment: Billy Novick’s Blue Syncopators
Live Blues Singer: E. Faye Butler
Narrator and Vocalist: James Seol
Principal Guest Artist: Matthew Golding
Tap Dancer: Jiang Shaofeng
About Billy Novick’s Blue Syncopators
Live Jazz Accompaniment
The Blue Syncopators is the seven-piece group created specifically for performing The Great Gatsby score and is comprised of some of the finest traditional jazz musicians in the US. In 2010 The Washington Ballet commissioned Billy Novick to create a 1920’s period musical score for their original production of Septime Webre’s The Great Gatsby, which premiered at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It was phenomenally successful, selling out seven shows and garnering rave reviews. The Blue Syncopators’ musicians have never changed, and they have performed the score, with dancers and as a standalone concert piece, over 50 times.
About E. Faye Butler
Live Blues Singer
E. Faye Butler is an accomplished and celebrated theatre actress and singer based in Chicago, US, with over 40 years in the entertainment industry. She is versatile in different music styles and has performed at numerous concert venues, theatres, jazz clubs, music festivals and Broadway and Off
Broadway shows and tours such as Mamma Mia!, Nunsense and Nunsense II, among others. Butler is a recipient of seven Joseph Jefferson Awards, a RAMI Award, an Ovation Award, two Helen Hayes Awards, four Black Theatre Alliance Awards, and more. She also performed with The Washington Ballet in The Sun Also Rises, The Great Gatsby and other shows.
About James Seol
Narrator and Vocalist
James Seol is thrilled to be working with Hong Kong Ballet in The Great Gatsby. His numerous U.S. credits include: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way (Broadway, Roundabout Theatre Company); Henry VI (NAATCO); American Morning (Prospect Theater Company); KPOP (Lucille Lortel Nomination for Leading Actor in a Musical); The Great Leap (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Vietgone, The Orphan of Zhao (American Conservatory Theatre); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed Musicals and Paper Mill Playhouse); Hamlet (Hartford Stage). Seol will be featured in a new Netflix comedy, Living with Yourself, opposite Paul Rudd. He is a proud graduate of Juilliard and the University of Virginia.
About Matthew Golding
Guest Principal Dancer, Ballet Dortmund
Former Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet & Dutch National Ballet
Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, Matthew Golding won the Youth America Grand Prix Ballet Competition and the Prix de Lausanne in 2002, then joined American Ballet Theatre in 2003. He was promoted to Principal Dancer of Dutch National Ballet in 2010, and danced as a Principal of The Royal Ballet during 2014-2017. He has guest performed with Bavarian State Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, The National Ballet of Canada, English National Ballet and more. His accolades include the Dutch Zwaan Award in 2010, the Alexandra Radius Prize in 2011 and nominations for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2012.
About Jiang Shaofeng
Tap Dance Artist
The best American tap dancer in China, Jiang Shaofeng was hailed as the “Prince of Chinese tap dance” in 2008. He was the Champion of 2011 American Atlanta Tap Competition and was named “Cross-boundary Dancer of the Year” in 2015. Jiang specializes in mixing sounds of different instruments and electronic effects with tap dance, creating his own artistic style. Recently, Jiang has been working with handpan, which produces sounds of the universe. By mixing handpan, some unique musical instruments and experimental sound samples, he designs his own unique dance music.
Fri & Sat 7:15pm
Opera Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center
¥780, ¥680, ¥580, ¥480, ¥380, ¥280, ¥180
Telephone Booking: (86)021 6272 0455.
Website of China Shanghai International Arts Festival www.artsbird.com
Suitable for children aged 6+ and over one meter
The presenter reserves the right to alter the programme and artists
The performance lasts approximately 2 hours, including one intermission
|Tour Partner||Tour Uniform Partner||Costume Crystal Partner|
|Co-present by||Organised by|
[Press Ctrl and click on the thumbnails to download]
Photo 1: The Great Gatsby promotional image | Dancers (From Left): Chen Zhiyao, Lucas Jerkander (till 2017/18 Season) | Creative: Design Army | Photography: Dean Alexander
Photo 1: The Great Gatsby promotional image | Dancers (From Left): Chen Zhiyao, Lucas Jerkander (till 2017/18 Season) | Creative: Design Army | Photography: Dean AlexanderDownload
Photo 2: The Great Gatsby promotional image | Dancers (From Top, Clockwise): Chen Zhiyao, Li Lin, Jonathan Spigner | Creative: Design Army | Photography: Dean Alexander
Photo 2: The Great Gatsby promotional image | Dancers (From Top, Clockwise): Chen Zhiyao, Li Lin, Jonathan Spigner | Creative: Design Army | Photography: Dean AlexanderDownload
Photo 3: The Great Gatsby | Hong Kong Ballet Dancers | Photographer: Conrad Dy-Liacco
Photo 3: The Great Gatsby | Hong Kong Ballet Dancers | Photographer: Conrad Dy-LiaccoDownload
Photo 4: The Great Gatsby | Dancers (from left): Lai Nok Sze Vanessa, Gao Ge | Photographer: Conrad Dy-Liacco
Photo 4: The Great Gatsby | Dancers (from left): Lai Nok Sze Vanessa, Gao Ge | Photographer: Conrad Dy-LiaccoDownload
Photo 5: The Great Gatsby | Dancers (from left): Li Lin, Venus Villa | Photographer: Conrad Dy-Liacco
Photo 5: The Great Gatsby | Dancers (from left): Li Lin, Venus Villa | Photographer: Conrad Dy-LiaccoDownload
Photo 6: The Great Gatsby | Dancer: Ye Feifei | Photographer: Conrad Dy-Liacco
Photo 6: The Great Gatsby | Dancer: Ye Feifei | Photographer: Conrad Dy-LiaccoDownload
One of Asia’s premier ballet companies, Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) is internationally recognised as a vibrant arts institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Established in 1979 and led by Artistic Director Septime Webre, HKB has a dynamic repertoire performed by nearly 50 dancers from all over the globe and award-winning education and community programmes.
With almost 50 international tours, the Company has won recognition from critics and fans both at home and abroad. Its diverse repertoire includes classic and modern masterpieces, original full-length ballets created for the Company, an interactive ballet series for younger fans and groundbreaking dance by today’s most sought-after choreographers, including Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Jiří Kylian, Nacho Duato and Trey McIntyre, among others.
HKB maintains an active schedule of community initiatives throughout Hong Kong to ensure that ballet is accessible to people from all walks of life. The Company is celebrating its 40th Anniversary during the 2019/20 Season.
Everbright (stock code: 165.HK) is China Everbright Group’s largest cross-border asset- management and investment platform. It is the only listed company in China with alternative asset management as its core business. By the end of June 2019, the asset scale of the 64 domestic and overseas funds managed by Everbright exceeded HKD145.4 billion. Through its managed funds and principals, Everbright has invested in more than 300 companies in China and around the world respectively. Its investments include real estate, healthcare, new energy, infrastructure, high-tech, high-end manufacturing, fintech, cultural consumption and many other industries. Among them, more than 150 companies have already exited through listings or mergers and acquisitions in China and overseas markets, with outstanding investment performance. For more information about Everbright, please visit www.everbright.com.
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