Hong Kong – 9th June 2014 This summer, 33 of The Hong Kong Ballet’s dancers will once again fly to the US at the invitation of America’s most prestigious and longest-running dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow. The Company made their Pillow debut just two years ago in 2012, and the performances were such a success that the Company has been invited to dance once again.
Three of The Hong Kong Ballet’s dancers, Wu Fei-fei, Wei Wei and Shen Jie will have the singular honour of participating in the gala performance that will mark the official opening of the festival, and soon after that the Company’s mixed bill of ballets will be the first programme at this year’s festival, with performances from 18th – 22nd June 2014. The well-rounded mixed bill shows the versatility of The Hong Kong Ballet, as well as showcasing the extraordinary talents and personalities of the dancers. On the programme is the pas de trois from Fei Bo’s A Room of Her Own; Castrati by Nacho Duato; and Krzysztof Pastor’s In Light and Shadow.
The three pieces have very different characteristics and different significance for the Company. A Room of Her Own represents The Hong Kong Ballet’s mission to perform and promote ballets by choreographers from our part of the world - Asia. Fei Bo is one of the most interesting choreographers in China at the moment, and in his work with the National Ballet of China he has developed a style with roots in both classical ballet and contemporary dance, with pieces that are often strongly influenced by the Chinese culture. He is still at the beginning of his career as a choreographer, and we are proud to introduce him to an international audience.
Nacho Duato is a well-established choreographer, whose ballets speak a language of movements that everybody recognises. This all-male ballet is a perfect piece to present The Hong Kong Ballet’s technically and artistically outstanding male dancers.
Krzysztof Pastor was the choreographer in residence of the Dutch National Ballet for a long time, and has more recently become the Artistic Director of the Polish National Ballet. His ballet shows his own as well as The Hong Kong Ballet’s dancers’ love of ballet. It’s a joyful piece set to Bach music with opportunities for all the dancers to show off. Inspired by a range of Baroque dances, and painters including Michelangelo, Vermeer and Rembrandt, In Light and Shadow begins with a delicate duet to the aria from Goldberg Variations before unveiling a rich tapestry of solos, duets and ensemble work set to the Third Orchestral Suite.
Artistic Director of The Hong Kong Ballet, Madeleine Onne, is just as excited as the dancers to be returning to Jacob’s Pillow. “Our 2012 visit to the Pillow was such an enjoyable experience, and our dancers really benefitted from the opportunity to dance overseas for a new audience. The dancers always develop artistically from touring, so while it’s wonderful to perform abroad I am also proud to show off our Company’s increased excellence when we get home.”
Touring has long been a crucial part of The Hong Kong Ballet’s vision, and the dancers relish the opportunity to introduce new audiences to the best of the Company’s repertoire. As a Cultural Ambassador for Hong Kong, the Company is proud to present works of outstanding quality overseas.
About Jacob’s Pillow
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival is "the dance center of the nation" (The New York Times). The Pillow is home to America's longest-running dance festival, is a National Historic Landmark, and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
Located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, Jacob's Pillow hosts more than 50 dance companies from around the world as well as 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, exhibits, films, classes, tours, and community events.
Jacob’s Pillow Festival Performance Details:
One of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia, The Hong Kong Ballet is becoming internationally recognized as a world-class institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. November 2013 marked the 35th anniversary of the Company, which has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organization with accomplished dancers, a strong repertoire and technically challenging productions.
The Hong Kong Ballet’s artistic team is led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne, with over 40 dancers originating from all over the world. Performing a repertoire that combines classical masterpieces and acclaimed contemporary works, the Company continues to commission works from today’s most sought-after choreographers. Recent commissions include new ballets from choreographers such as Fei Bo, Kinsun Chan, Wang Xin Peng, Peter Quanz, Yuri Ng, Cynthia Harvey, Terence Kohler and JormaElo.
Throughout its 35 year history, The Hong Kong Ballet has raised its international profile with more than 30 tours and prestigious accolades. The North America Tour in the summer of 2012 incorporated the company’s debut appearance at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival which was followed by an invitation to perform at the renowned Fall for Dance festival held annually in New York. In September 2013, The Hong Kong Ballet presented its production of Swan Lake at the Guangzhou Opera House, as part of the Guangzhou Arts Festival.2014 is an important year for The Hong Kong Ballet; in March 10 of the dancers performed Nacho Duato’s Castrati at the New National Theater in Tokyo, and in June the Company was invited to perform again at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In addition, The Hong Kong Ballet received the Hong Kong Dance Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in 2014 for its production of Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow; also in 2014 two of The Hong Kong Ballet’s dancers were nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse, held annually in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theatre.
An integral part of the Company’s activities is its extensive education and community outreach program, which brings the art of ballet to students as well as to the wider community of Hong Kong. Annual events include Ballet Classics for Children, abridged versions of full-length classical ballets geared towards young audiences. The Hong Kong Ballet’s Education and Community Outreach department’s endeavors were recognized in 2014 with the Hong Kong Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance.
For enquiries, please contact:
Assistant Marketing Manager
The Hong Kong Ballet
+852 2105 9716
[Press Ctrl and click on the photo to download full image]
A Room of Her Own
Dancer: Wu Fei-fei
Photographer: Conrad Dy-Liacco
A Room of Her Own
The Hong Kong Ballet Dancers
Photographer: Conrad Dy-Liacco