In a historic triple-bill programme, Hong Kong Ballet teams up with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for an exhilarating evening celebrating 21st century drive and innovation and bringing together a unique cadre of international talent.
This sensational event kicks off with a bang with The Royal Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor's signature masterpiece that won the 2007 Olivier Award, Chroma, premiering in Hong Kong. This ground-breaking work is set to original music by Joby Talbot and energetic rhythms by American rock band The White Stripes. With sets by minimalist architect John Pawson, this performance thrillingly redefines contemporary ballet using the drama and emotionality of the human body while expertly balancing the tension between chaos and order.
Nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2013, The Year of the Rabbit is Justin Peck’s joyful, kaleidoscopic work set to an orchestral adaptation of indie music sensation Sufjan Stevens’s Chinese astrology-inspired electronic score. At only 30 years old, Peck is one of the ballet world’s most talked-about choreographic stars and is only the second person in history to hold the title of New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer. He won his first Tony Award for his choreography in the musical Carousel on Broadway in 2018.
This remarkable evening will be rounded out with the electrifying world premiere of The Rite of Spring, set to Stravinsky’s seminal score and choreographed by Yuh Egami and Hu Song Wei Ricky, whose premieres of Carmen and Bolero have dazzled audiences in recent seasons. When The Rite of Spring first premiered in Paris in 1913, it so astonished audiences that a riot broke out in the theatre, and the score has been thrilling audiences ever since.
Wayne McGregor's award-winning signature masterpiece Chroma is set to original music by Joby Talbot and energetic rhythms by American rock band The White Stripes. With sets by minimalist architect John Pawson, this performance thrillingly redefines contemporary ballet using the drama and emotions of the human body while expertly balancing the tension between chaos and order.
Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Music: Joby Talbot & Jack White
Set Design: John Pawson
Costume Design: Moritz Junge
Lighting Design: Lucy Carter
Stager: Antoine Vereecken
Costume and Scenery: Courtesy of The Australian Ballet
Multi award-winning British choreographer and director Wayne McGregor CBE is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, founded in 1993. He is also Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, London. He is regularly commissioned by and has works in the repertories of the world's major ballet companies, and choreographs for theatre, TV and film, including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Accolades include four Critics’ Circle Awards, two Olivier Awards, two Golden Mask Awards and a Prix Benois de la Danse.
Photography: Pal Hansen
Chroma by Wayne McGregor
Hong Kong Premiere
Often in my own choreographies I have actively conspired to disrupt the spaces inwhich the body performs. Each intervention, usually some kind of addition, is an attemptto see the context of the body in a new or alien way. On reading John Pawson’s Minimum I was captivated by this notion of subtraction, the ‘essential’ space, which seems to reduce elements to make visible the invisible. Intriguingly, although Pawson’s do give definition to space(s), they are somehow always boundary-less. This potential ‘freedom space’ would be an extraordinary environment for a new choreography, where the grammar and articulation of the body is made crystal clear, graphic and unmediated. It could be a space where the body becomes absolutely architectural. At the same time, in creating volume(s) of tone for the choreography to inhabit the body can behave as a frequency of colour – in freedom from white: CHROMA.
–- Wayne McGregor
Justin Peck is one of the ballet world’s most talked-about choreographic stars. His Year of the Rabbit, nominated for the 2013 Prix Benois de la Danse, is a joyful, kaleidoscopic work set to an orchestral adaptation of indie music sensation Sufjan Stevens’s Chinese astrology-inspired electronic score.
Choreography and Costume Design: Justin Peck
Music: Sufjan Stevens (Arranged by Michael Atkinson)
Lighting Design: Brandon Stirling Baker
Répétiteurs: Michael Breeden & Zoe Zien
Justin Peck is a Soloist and the Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet (NYCB), the second person holding this title in NYCB’s history.
Peck has created over 30 ballets, which have been performed by NYCB, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and more. He also choreographed for Francis Lawrence’s film Red Sparrow and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story.
His choreography has won many recognitions, including a nomination of the Prix Benois de la Danse for Year of the Rabbit, a Bessie Award for Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes as well as a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his choreography in 2018 Broadway revival of Carousel.
Photography: Ryan Pfluger
Year of the Rabbit by Justin Peck
Set to an orchestration of Sufjan Stevens’ 2001 electronica album Enjoy Your Rabbit, Justin Peck’s acclaimed Year of the Rabbit presents an ever-changing kaleidoscope of visually arresting shapes, weaving six featured dances into the corps de ballet. Year of the Rabbit is Peck’s second work for New York City Ballet and an elaboration of Peck’s Tales of a Chinese Zodiac, which was created in 2010 for the New York Choreographic Institute.
Inspired by the energy residing in Stravinsky’s seminal music, Yuh Egami and Hu Song Wei Ricky have reimagined a powerful new version of The Rite of Spring. Through a dynamic creative process, they have imbued extreme human emotions into the score while questioning human existence, modern society and our relationship with nature. Come witness the birth of a truly remarkable piece!
Choreography: Yuh Egami & Hu Song Wei Ricky
Music: Igor Stravinsky (Orchestral Reduction by Jonathan McPhee)
Set Design: Leocampo Yuen
Lighting Design: Mak Kwok Fai
Born in Okinawa, Japan, Yuh Egami graduated from The Royal Ballet School in London and joined Hong Kong Ballet in 2002. He assumed the role of Repetiteur in 2014 and was named Assistant Ballet Master in 2018. He became Ballet Master in 2019. With the Company, Egami has choreographed many works, was the Associate Choreographer for Yuri Ng’s Firecracker (2010) and The Frog Prince - A Ballet Chinois (2013) and co-choreographed with Hu Song Wei Ricky for The Rite of Spring (2019), Carmen (2017) and Bolero (2015), which won Outstanding Ensemble performance at the Hong Kong Dance Awards 2016, among others. He also created and restaged works for E-Side Dance Company and Le Studio Ballet in Hong Kong and Architanz, Japan.
Born in Jiangxi, China, Hu Song Wei Ricky trained at Shanghai Dance School, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Hu joined Hong Kong Ballet as a dancer in 2008 and becomes Choreographer-in-Residence in the 2019/20 season. He has been invited to choreograph for Hong Kong Arts Festival, Shanghai International Arts Festival, Chinese Dance for 12 Days, National University of Singapore Arts Festival, Hong Kong Ballet and more. His Bolero (2015) with Yuh Egami won Outstanding Ensemble Performance at the Hong Kong Dance Awards 2016. Hu received the Award for Young Artist (Dance) at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2012.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is recognised as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra, attracting more than 200,000 music lovers every year by presenting more than 150 concerts.
Maestro Jaap van Zweden, one of today’s most sought-after conductors, has been the orchestra’s Music Director since the 2012/13 concert season, and now he is also the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Maestro van Zweden led the HK Phil successfully completed an epic four-year journey through Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” in 2018. The concert performances and live Naxos recordings have been enthusiastically received by audiences and praised by critics at home and abroad.
Yu Long is the Principal Guest Conductor.
British conductor Tim Murray is Associate Music Director at Cape Town Opera. He collaborated with choreographer Wayne McGregor on The Royal Ballet’s Obsidian Tear, The Royal Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet’s Tetractys - The Art of Fugue and Sadler’s Wells’ Undance. Other dance projects include New National Theatre Tokyo’s The Soldier’s Tale and John Neumeier’s Le Sacre du Printemps.
International appearances include Hong Kong Arts Festival, Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, New National Theatre Tokyo, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Copenhagen Royal Ballet. Teatro Real Madrid, Liceu Barcelona, Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, Oper Köln, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Barbican London, and BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Rite of Spring by Yuh Egami & Hu Song Wei Ricky
Dynamic music structures in Stravinsky’s emotionally passionate score provide motivating energy that inspires us to rethinkhow we have been shaped by society and how we view our relationship with nature. Yuh Egami and Hu Song Wei Ricky’s The Rite of Spring questions our origins, portrays human emotions under extreme circumstances and reveals the painful truths and strange phenomena of modern life.
For $1,000 VIP Ticket-holders
Present your ticket stub to Hong Kong Ballet’s reception counter (Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre) before the end of intermission to receive a coupon for a free drink. Each ticket stub is valid for one free drink only.
Pre or Post Ballet Dining Options at InterContinental Hong Kong
Ticket holders of this programme can enjoy 15% off food & beverage in all restaurants and bars at InterContinental Hong Kong before or after performance upon presentation of their tickets on the performance date. For details, please call 2313 2323 for details.