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Art What!: Tai Kwun announces new performing arts season – SPOTLIGHT

Screenshot 2021-03-11 at 2.36.59 PM

HONG KONG – Tai Kwun—Centre for Heritage and Arts has announced a brand-new performing arts season, SPOTLIGHT, to be launched with 6 programmes being staged in April and May 2021, offering unique performance experiences to audiences at Tai Kwun.

With the new year and new programme, Tai Kwun will be presenting the performing arts season, SPOTLIGHT, in a multi-genre format which consists of music, dance, a capella and immersive theatre.

“Tai Kwun is really excited to welcome artists and audiences back this Spring for SPOTLIGHT. We are very grateful to all the artists who are helping Tai Kwun present these wonderful Performing Arts programmes for their patience and flexibility during these challenging times. We hope these programmes will once again bring forth the joy of being on stage for the artists on the one hand, and inspire our visitors on the other,” said Timothy Calnin, Director of Tai Kwun Arts.

In dance piece Unfolding Images: We Are Spectacle(s), choreographer Joseph Lee continues his inquiry into corporeal language, where he and his performers decode bodily postures in order to experiment with possible relationships of seeing and being seen. The five performers participating in this experiment turn their bodies into vessels, capturing and channelling this fleeting spectacle which embodies the essence of phenomena in the digital age.

A cappella theatre piece This Victoria Has No Secrets first premiered in May 2018 for Tai Kwun’s opening, with re-run performances in 2019 gaining enthusiastic responses from audiences. The show by Yat Po Singers garnered critical acclaim and reviews, bringing the audience together to reminisce on laughter and melancholy as shaped by events, experiences, perceptions and insight. Each of these memories, rooted in a locality, embroiders an album of our memories. Making its triumphal return to Tai Kwun in 2021 with an outdoor rendition, the production continues to blend historical fragments of the harbour—including souvenirs, languages, folklore—into a performance poignantly set against the backdrop of Tai Kwun, a significant landmark imbued with over a century of history.

Dance performance Under∞Line features choreographer Rebecca Wong, as she embarks on a no holds barred exploration of desire and gender identity. Presenting stories too reluctant normally to be told or too rousing as physical narratives. she teeters between pleasure and pain in rope bondage, as Under ∞ Line contemplates the debates of “nature versus nurture” with regards to sex and gender.

Helmed by playwright and director Yan Pat To, A Poem in Jail is an immersive theatre inspired by a bed-board with a love poem found in a women’s cell at Victoria Prison. The immersive production features artists across disciplines, with Kingsley Ng (media installation), Adrian Yeung (video artist), Jass Leung (dramaturg) and Chow Yiu Fai (lyric artist). Together, they reimagine a theatrical experience with lyrics, sounds, images and drama, guiding the audience to tread a path that explores Central then and now.

Patrick Yim, an active figure in Hong Kong’s contemporary music scene, brings his solo recital programme, “Virtuosity”, premiering three newly commissioned works by the Hong Kong composers Austin Yip, Kai-young Chan and Daniel Lo. The evening will also see the Hong Kong premiere of the Solo Violin Sonata by Ma Sicong, one of the most important and prolific Chinese composers of violin music. On the second evening, the programme will focus on new works by Hong Kong composers. The composers will also sit alongside the soloist and the audience to offer a personal sharing session on their compositions and provide an intimate encounter with the artists.

In a collaboration between quartets, CONG X ROMER: String QuartetS Recital features two concerts, where the Romer and Cong Quartet will perform the second quartet by Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff, Consensus for String Quartet by American composer Lawerence Dillon, and Shostakovich’s powerful third String Quartet in F respectively. They will also come together to perform the famous Mendelssohn String Octet, as well as presenting the premiere of a commissioned piece for double string quartets, Double Exposure, by Hong Kong Composer, Joyce Tang.

Eddy Zee

“In the past two years, we have been aiming to create a new platform and fertile ground for performing arts in Hong Kong, and to establish in-depth and long-term collaborative relationships with local artists. We have of course also been privileged, with Tai Kwun’s unique venues and outdoor spaces. Local audiences have been craving different forms of performing arts, with ‘participation’ being a key element in curating the best arts experience possible for the audience, which is one of the objectives of SPOTLIGHT,” says Eddy Zee, Head of Performing Arts at Tai Kwun.

Tai Kwun Performing Arts Season: SPOTLIGHT will be staged from 2nd April to 16th May 2021, site-wide in Tai Kwun. For more information, visit Tai Kwun’s website here

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