[Hong Kong—28 September 2023] Hong Kong Ballet’s Roaring Twenties melodrama The Great Gatsby returns for eight performances during 27 October - 5 November after its sold-out 2019 debut when critics described it as ‘another triumph for Asia’s premier ballet company’(The Prickle) and ‘a feast for the eyes’ (South China Morning Post).
In opulent 1920s New York, Artistic Director Septime Webre's The Great Gatsby tells an extraordinary tale of stunning excess, unbridled greed and dark obsession. The enigmatic Jay Gatsby is a self-made millionaire whose infamous, extravagant parties are attended by many guests, but he still longs for his long-lost love. With the help of his neighbour, Nick Carraway, he reunites with his former lover Daisy Buchanan. Although Daisy is married to wealthy Tom Buchanan, Daisy and Gatsby rekindle their feelings and begin a secret affair. As heartbreak and tragedy ensue, Nick can only watch on the sidelines as idealistic dreams are destroyed and lives are changed forever.
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, this spirited production bursts with stylish dancing, shocking scandals and steamy jazz music performed live by Billy Novick’s Blue Syncopators and award-winning blues singer E. Faye Butler. As jealousy and tragedy ensue, the show reflects on the clash between 'old money' and 'new money', the disintegration of social values and the pursuit of luxury and pleasure.
'I'd always been interested in the history of the 1920s and the energy of New York. All of the steps are based in our classical vocabulary, but we've pushed them with some jazz rhythms and a little bit of social dancing from the 1920s thrown in. So it's a classical ballet experience through a contemporary and jazzy lens,’ said Webre.
'With stunning visuals, gorgeous music and an abundance of good dancing' (South China Morning Post), The Great Gatsby features Tan-ki Wong's bravura tap dancing, narrator James Seol and Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip's (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) original Art Deco sets and costumes that delightfully capture the sound and exuberant energy of the Jazz Age. Yip’s work won Hong Kong Dance Awards’ Outstanding Costume Design. ‘I turned Art Deco into music, Art Deco in movement. The whole ballet will give you a dreamy feeling,’ said Yip.
The Great Gatsby performances will take place at Hong Kong Culture Centre’s Grand Theatre during 27-29 October and 4-5 November. Tickets priced at $720, $490 and $220, with VIP tickets at $1,200, are now available at URBTIX. The show is suitable for ages 6 and above.
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 long-lost love. His neighbour, Nick Carraway, is a recent university graduate who rents a house in New York near 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 wealthy Tom Buchanan after Gatsby went off to war as a soldier. Gatsby asks Nick to arrange an afternoon tea with Daisy.
Soon 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 an overwhelmed Daisy cannot bring herself to do that. Despite everything, Gatsby still resolutely believes that Daisy will return to him. One night, Myrtle is killed by Gatsby’s speeding car with Daisy behind the wheel. George sees Gatsby and assumes he killed Myrtle. As tragedy ensues, Nick can only watch on the sidelines as idealistic dreams are destroyed and lives are changed forever.
Choreography: Septime Webre
Music (Compiled, Composed & Arranged): Billy Novick
Set & Costume Design: Tim Yip
Lighting Design: Billy Chan
Vocalist: E. Faye Butler
Narrator & Vocalist: James Seol
Tap Dance: Tan-ki Wong
Live Jazz Accompaniment: Billy Novick’s Blue Syncopators
27.10.2023 (Fri) 7:30pm
28-29.10.2023 (Sat & Sun) 2:30pm & 7:30pm
4.11.2023 (Sat) 2:30pm & 7:30pm
5.11.2023 (Sun) 2:30pm
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$1,200 (limited VIP tickets), $720, $490, $220
Suitable for ages 6 and above
For further information, please contact:
Jerry Qiu | Communications & Programme Manager | T: 21059753 | [email protected]
Ruth Chung | Senior Marketing and PR Officer | T: 21059716 | [email protected]
About Hong Kong Ballet
Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) is internationally recognised as a world-class institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Since its inception in 1979, HKB has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with a dynamic repertoire, forward-thinking community engagement initiatives and an emphasis on excellence.
With 50 dancers from all over the globe, HKB has restaged classical and neoclassical masterworks and dynamic original ballets created for HKB and about Hong Kong. Additionally, HKB performs works by some of today’s most sought-after choreographers as well as innovative new works by its Choreographer-in-Residence, Hu Song Wei Ricky, and numerous emerging Hong Kong choreographers.
In addition to almost 50 worldwide tours, HKB also maintains a full schedule of award-winning community programmes and crossover collaborations throughout Hong Kong to ensure ballet is accessible to all. HKB has also produced original videos and dance films that have collectively garnered over 5.2 million views online, connecting with ballet lovers worldwide.
Cover | Dancers (from left): Wang Qingxin, Garry Corpuz, Ye Feifei, Henry Seldon, Ye Feifei | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet