[Hong Kong—26 January 2021] Hong Kong Ballet (HKB)’s first ever ballet-themed festival turn(it)out festival will now go virtual and be free for all due to extended social distancing measures. Co-presented by Freespace at the West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon) as part of Hong Kong Ballet in Residence 2021, the highly anticipated dance festival explores ballet’s role in our modern world and will be available for streaming on the websites of HKB and West Kowloon for two and a half weeks during 18 March - 4 April 2021.
five(by)six presents five extraordinary contemporary ballets by six international dance-makers. Grappling with ballet’s role in the modern world, Holland-based American choreographer Stephen Shropshire begins a three-year artistic residency with HKB with Handelwerk, an intriguing new work set to sublime music by celebrated baroque composer George Frideric Handel. HKB’s Artistic Director Septime Webre’s world premiere of Second Movement brings together two stunning dancers in an epic duet with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A suite from Nguyen Ngoc Anh’s Beyond The Line, illustrating the courage to break one’s limits in a fusion of dance forms, will be performed for the first time in Hong Kong. The programme also features an award-winning piece by Hong Kong choreographic duo Justyne Li and Wong Tan-ki. Set to Philip Glass' driving score, their riveting Galatea & Pygmalion retells the classic Greek myth of the sculptor Pygmalion and his lifelike statue Galatea, exploring the relationship between a creator and his creation. Although Pygmalion eventually passed away, Galatea remained forever. Finally, the current ‘It Girl of Ballet’ Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s physically charged ballet Sombrerisimo features six blazing male leads and their incredibly malleable bowler hats in this sensual, innovative work. Streaming is available from 10:00am on 18 March HKT.
The Orpheus Cabaret is a fresh new collaboration that brings together seven choreographers associated with HKB and a team of HKU creative writers led by Chair of Creative Writing & Theatre Page Richards, a professor and director of the HKU Guild. The classic Greek myth of Orpheus journeying to the Underworld to bring back his beloved Eurydice gets a new twist in this provocative new dance cabaret online. The Orpheus Cabaret will be pre-recorded and screened on Zoom at 8:00pm on 19 March HKT (8:00am, 19 March EST; 12:00pm, 19 March GMT). Registration is required due to limited quota.
Other fringe activities include Open Company Class where HKB Ballet Master Luis Torres takes the dancers through their daily paces as they progress from warming up at the barre to extravagant pirouettes across the floor and the Cross Training for Dancers series with comprehensive 5-minute workouts led by HKB Ballet Master Yuh Egami. Additionally, audiences of all ages can explore creative movement and enjoy music from ballet classics with HKB’s Artistic Team in Ballet Barre Classes, which includes the first episode of ‘Silver Ballet’, HKB’s newest free virtual workshop designed for seniors , with gentle exercises that focus on enhancing physical fitness, cognitive stimulation and overall well-being.
Learn more about ballet from the new MASTERCLASS! where HKB’s Artistic Team and international guests coach HKB elite artists in classic and contemporary repertoire: in ‘La Sylphide: James’s variation’, distinguished August Bournonville répétiteur and expert Dinna Bjørn will coach HKB’s Jackson Dwyer in one of the most iconic solos in 19th century canon. In ‘The Art of the Pas de Deux’, Webre will coach HKB’s Dong Ruixue and Li Lin in Cinderella’s graceful Act II pas de deux, HKB’s Eunsil Kim and Nana Sakai tackle mercurial fairy variations with coaching by Tang Min in ‘The Fairies Dance!’. In ‘Cinderella’s Funny Man—the Jester’, HKB principal dancer Shen Jie pushes himself to the limit as he tackles the Jester’s challenging variation, coached by Webre and celebrated Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa will coach HKB’s male dancers through her dynamic ballet in ‘Coaching Sombrerisimo’.
The ballet-blah-blah-blah hosted by Webre will be back with an inspiring episode ‘Creating Work in a Pandemic: A Conversation with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Stephen Shropshire’ where two contemporary Europe-based choreographers discuss the ‘new normal’ of coaching and creating original content during the pandemic.
In addition, two new episodes of HKBALLT CLASSROOM focusing on Cinderella will be released. Explore Prokofiev's lush score for this cherished happily ever after fairytale in ‘Ballet Do Re Mi—Cinderella’ and learn some stage makeup basics in ‘Cinderella Makeover—Turning into an Ugly Stepsister’ where a HKB dancer will transformed by a professional makeup artist.
All turn(it)out festival fringe activities will be available at 10:00am on 18 March HKT and will remain available after the festival ends.
Get the best seat in the house safely at home, and don’t miss this extraordinary online festival with its electrifying and thought-provoking works for all ages!
Handelwerk (World Premiere)
Choreography and Costume Design: Stephen Shropshire ^
Music: Keyboard Suite no.7 in G minor, HWV 432 by George Frideric Handel
Piano: Rachel Cheung
^ Shropshire’s multi-year residency is supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL.
Second Movement (World Premiere)
Choreography: Septime Webre
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (music courtesy of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra)
Costume Design: Yoki Lai
Excerpt from Beyond The Line (Hong Kong Premiere)
Choreography: Nguyen Ngoc Anh
Music: Duong xa van dam (The Road to Infinity) by Quoc Trung
Galatea & Pygmalion (HKB Premiere)
Choreography: Justyne Li, Wong Tan-ki
Music: Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra—Movement 2 by Philip Glass
Choreography and Costume Design: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Music: Intro Espinita and Espinita by Banda Ionica, Klute by Titus Tiel Groenestege, Payo Mitcho by Titi Robin
The Orpheus Cabaret (World Premiere)
Choreography: Forrest Rain Oliveros, Jonathan Spigner, Jessica Burrows, Sarita Chan, Leung Chunlong, Lin Chang-yuan Kyle, Li Lin
Artistic Collaborator: Professor Page Richards
Ballet Classics for Children: Cinderella (World Premiere)
Choreography and Direction: Septime Webre
Associate Director: Ata Wong^
Script and Original Concept: Yuri Ng and Rick Lau
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Costume Design: Yoki Lai
Set Design: Leocampo Yuen
Narrator: Yung Yin Sing Lucas
^By kind permission of Théâtre de la Feuille
Programme Enquiries: 2105 9724
Hong Kong Ballet reserves the right to alter the programmes and artists.
About the Artists
Distinguished Bournonville specialist Dinna Bjørn was the Artistic Director of The Norwegian National Ballet and Finnish National Ballet and a ballerina at The Royal Danish Ballet. She has performed almost all of the major roles and dance parts in the Bournonville repertoire.
Bjørn is a resident Bournonville teacher at English National Ballet School, Bavarian Ballet Academy, Accademia Nazionale di Danza Roma and Oslo National Academy of the Arts, where she was appointed Honourary Professor in 2020. She has staged, re-staged and reconstructed numerous Bournonville productions, including La Sylphide, Napoli, Le Conservatoire, Natalia and Ponte Molle, for ballet companies around the world.
Bjørn is the recipient of the Danish Order of Dannebrog, the Norwegian Order of Merit by King Harald and the Finnish Order of The White Rose.
© Cheung Tai Chi
Locally born Rachel Cheung was the first Hong Kong pianist to be a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition finalist in 2017, earning both critical acclaim and the Audience Award for 'outstandingly lyrical' playing that showed 'nobility in her interpretation’. Other accolades include prizes in the 2009 Leeds, 2010 Chopin and 2012 Geneva International Piano Competitions.
Cheung frequently performs both locally and internationally. Highlights of her 2018/19 season include recitals in the US, Mexico, Italy, Poland, the UK, Germany and Japan, and creative collaborations with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and Asian Youth Orchestra, among others.
A graduate of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ School of Dance, Justyne Li is an independent dancer and choreographer. She previously danced with Hong Kong Ballet and Tanz Graz (Austria) and was a soloist with Ballett Bremerhaven (Germany) before establishing Neo Dance HK with Wong Tan-ki in 2010. Her choreographic work Division received first prize at the 7th Jerusalem International Choreography Competition, and other accolades include numerous Hong Kong Dance Awards, like Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer for Galatea X and Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for Galatea & Pygmalion.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh
Currently a Lecturer in Dance at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Nguyen Ngoc Anh is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. As a choreographer, Nguyen was invited to create works for Vietnamese Opera Ballet, Theatre Regensburg, Inverse Dance Company, Arabesque Dance Company, City Contemporary Dance Company and Hong Kong Ballet. He won third prize in the Vietnamese National Dance Competition, the New British Choreography Bonnie Bird Award, the Spotlight Award at the UK Critics’ Circle Dance Awards and Outstanding Choreography at Hong Kong Dance Awards. In 2019, Nguyen was appointed Artistic Director for the 21st Hong Kong Dance Awards.
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa has created works for over 60 companies worldwide, including New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Compania Nacional de Danza de Espana, Dutch National Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Joffrey Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Scottish Ballet and The Washington Ballet. A graduate of the Royal Ballet School of Flanders, she danced for 12 years, including as a soloist at Scapino Ballet, before focusing solely on choreography. In 2010, the Temecula Performing Arts Examiner wrote: ‘Ochoa is truly a masterful choreographer with an edge for what dance can and should be in this constantly changing industry.’
Stephen Shropshire is a choreographer, curator and independent dance researcher who has created works for renowned ballet companies all over the globe.
Between 2009 to 2012, Shropshire was the artistic director of Noord Nederlandse Dans. In 2017, he was awarded a special honor prize from the Dansersfonds ’79 for the ‘consistent aesthetic harmony in his work’, and in 2018, his work We Are Nowhere Else But Here won the VSCD ‘Zwaan’ for most outstanding dance performance of 2017.
Shropshire is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City and holds an MA in Arts and Heritage from the University of Maastricht.
^ Shropshire’s multi-year residency is supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL.
Wong Tan-ki is a freelance dancer, teacher, choreographer and multimedia designer. His work Division won first prize at the 7th Jerusalem International Choreography Competition, and other notable awards include Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for Galatea & Pygmalion at the 13th Hong Kong Dance Awards and Outstanding Choreography for Galatea X at the 16th Hong Kong Dance Awards. Additionally, Wong received the Award for Young Artist at the 2015 Hong Kong Arts Development Awards and won third place for male solo at the IDO World Tap Dance World Championships 2012.
Yung Yin Sing Lucas
Yung Yin Sing Lucas graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama in 2019. That same year, he was nominated for Best Actor for his role as Peter in Luna Gale at the 11th Hong Kong Theatre Libre and won HKAPA’s Outstanding Actor Award for his role as Zhu Yuanzhang in its production of Dust and Dawn. Recently, he was awarded Level 1-B in the PSC (National Putonghua Proficiency Test).
Hong Kong Ballet in Residence 2021
As part of Hong Kong Ballet’s three-year residency at Freespace, the troupe take over Freespace with a programme of virtual ballet experiences for audiences of all ages.
This event is part of the commitment of the West Kowloon Cultural District to establish long-term partnerships with local and international arts organisations.
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Photo 1: turn(it)out festival promotional image | Dancer: Ashleigh Bennett | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet
Photo 1: turn(it)out festival promotional image | Dancer: Ashleigh Bennett | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong BalletDownload
Photo 2: turn(it)out festival: five(by)six promotional image | Dancer: Ma Renjie | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet
Photo 2: turn(it)out festival: five(by)six promotional image | Dancer: Ma Renjie | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong BalletDownload
Photo 3: turn(it)out festival: The Orpheus Cabaret promotional image | Dancers (from left): Wang Qingxin, Garry Corpuz | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet
Photo 3: turn(it)out festival: The Orpheus Cabaret promotional image | Dancers (from left): Wang Qingxin, Garry Corpuz | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong BalletDownload
Photo 4: turn(it)out festival: Ballet Classics for Children: Cinderella promotional image | Dancer: Amber Lewis | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet
Photo 4: turn(it)out festival: Ballet Classics for Children: Cinderella promotional image | Dancer: Amber Lewis | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong BalletDownload
Photo 5: turn(it)out festival: BINGE-WORTHY promotional image | Dancers (from left): Shen Jie, Venus Villa, Leung Chunlong | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet
Photo 5: turn(it)out festival: BINGE-WORTHY promotional image | Dancers (from left): Shen Jie, Venus Villa, Leung Chunlong | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong BalletDownload
Photo 6: turn(it)out festival: fringe activities promotional image | Dancers (from left): Ashleigh Bennett, Ethan Chudnow | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet
Photo 6: turn(it)out festival: fringe activities promotional image | Dancers (from left): Ashleigh Bennett, Ethan Chudnow | Photography: SWKit | Courtesy of Hong Kong BalletDownload
About Hong Kong Ballet
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, HKB 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 HKB, 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.
Freespace is Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performance in the heart of the Art Park in the West Kowloon Cultural District, presenting multi-genre performances and events. It produces boundary-pushing collaborations and promotes new ways of seeing and experiencing performance. Freespace houses The Box, one of the largest black box theatres in Hong Kong, a flexible space for cutting-edge performances. Two multi-purpose spaces—The Room and The Studio—are designed for creative exchange and artistic collaborations. Lau Bak Livehouse is an intimate bar cafe presenting live music from Hong Kong and around the world.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.
For further information, please contact:
Director of Marketing
T: (852) 2105 9716
M: (852) 9728 1777