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Legends of China Festival
16.10 - 28.11.2003About the FestivalWhat's NewPerformancesExhibitionsLecture SeriesOther Programmes
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Opening Programme
Legend of Yao Ji
Chinese Operas
The Legendary Four of Cantonese Opera
The Hidden Concubine
Yan Xijiao
A Showcase of Chinese Regional Operas
A Night with Hebei Bangzi Opera
How a Dead Cat Was Substituted for a New-born Prince
Orchestral Concerts and Ensembles
Gallery of Chinese Symphonic Music
Chanting from Mountains Afar
2003 Chinese Componsers Festival Concert by Chinese Music Virtuosi
Guqin Culture and Guqin Masters of Hong Kong
Majestic Drums II
Theatrical Performances
The Seventh Drawer
Action! Mr. Lai!
18 Springs
Dance
Ancient Dance an Music of Dunhuang
 
About the Festival
 
  Chinese theatre lingo has an interesting way of using the figures 'one' and 'two' 'one table, two chairs' refers to the most basic props on the stage of traditional Chinese operas that pose limitless possibilities for acting and daunt one's imagination. 'One play, two performances' means an occasion when two regional schools of opera perform the same play but in different styles. There are other expressions like 'one actor, two roles' 'one platter, two tastes' etc., which pepper the theatre lingo as well as our vernacular. This year, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is presenting the second Legends of China Festival, following the success of the first of such thematic festivals in 2001. So what fares between the first and this second, or then and now?

As we pause to think, the element of 'two' of which 'second' is a derivation) is an interesting point for discussion. It suggests duality, as in 'rights and wrongs', 'warm hearts cold hands', 'sense and sensibility', and 'the traditional and the modern'. Phrases like these are in the very fabric of our everyday language, and often offer simplistic polarity that defies rational judgment. But the irony of it is that as our world evolves, the more complex things and situations have become. It is no longer a matter of 'either or' but 'somewhere in between'. The grey area gives birth to flexibility, multiplicity, and fundamental changes. Metamorphosing between the traditional and the modern, the second Legends of China Festival brings together talents from the most highly concentrated Chinese community in the world - or what is collectively called 'three places on both sides of the Strait' by the Chinese - and gives them a boundless platform to display what they are best at.

The programming direction follows that of the first, and the keyword is still in 'legend'. But other than confining the scope to legendary figures in history, myth and folklore, we have expanded it to include times, sacred music and novella of a legendary nature. While some programmes represent essentially traditional art forms at their best, others are looking for new meanings in the age-old traditions. Yet there is a third type - programmes that are so thoroughly modern you would not describe them as otherwise, but with an ethos that opens up a perspective into the past. Whether it is a classic in an age-old tradition, or a tradition renewed, or a tradition in modernity, all these we leave to our critic friends to decide. What we want right now is that the audience would come and share what we have laid out for them. If they happen to find truth, good and beauty in art, or the programmes can provide them food for thought, we are gratified. And to encourage them to see more of our shows (which indeed numbers a lot), we delightfully offer a more attractive package booking discount.

Hong Kong has had its fair share of happenings in 2003. We feel fortunate to be able to present the Legends of China Festival again and are going all out to make each and every programme worth your participation. We look forward to welcoming you, as well as your valuable opinions.