Annual Report 2004 - Leisure and Cultural Services Department Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
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  Performing Arts

The department continued to fulfil its commitment of shaping Hong Kong as Asia's World City, developing the performing arts, cultivating creativity, and sustaining life-long interest in the arts amongst the community. A rich, diverse and innovative programme featuring internationally renowned and local artists was presented during the year. This ranged from the New Vision Arts Festival and traditional festival events for mass participation to audience-building activities at community and school levels. The department also provides quality cultural performance facilities, including the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, as a vibrant place to facilitate cultural tourism.


Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Situated on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre is the home of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and a regular rehearsal base for the Hong Kong Ballet and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

Catering for a wide range and variety of performing activities, the centre comprises a 2,019-seat Concert Hall, 1,734-seat Grand Theatre and a versatile Studio Theatre with a capacity of 300 to 500. Some 800 performances were staged in 2004 attracting more than 750,000 patrons. Major highlights in the year included four large-scale festivals — the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the International Arts Carnival and the New Vision Arts Festival, as well as a three-month run of the musical Mamma Mia!. Other memorable performances included Komische Oper Berlin, the Zurich Ballet, Compania Nacional de Danza, the London Symphony Orchestra, and soloists Mikhail Pletnev, Jane Birkin, Lang Lang, Andre Watts, Vladimir Spivakov and Kathryn Stott.


Memorable performances by the Zurich Ballet (above) and Komische Oper Berlin (below) were highlights of the season at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
Memorable performances by the Zurich Ballet (above) and Komische Oper Berlin (below) were highlights of the season at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
Memorable performances by the Zurich Ballet (above) and Komische Oper Berlin (below) were highlights of the season at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The outdoor piazza is an equally popular spot for spectacular functions. The Year of the Monkey was celebrated with the first International Chinese New Year Night Parade featuring illuminated floats. Aerial dancers and giant puppets hosted the outdoor party for the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Aqua Fantasia turned the piazza fountain into a multi-media stage featuring the best of Hong Kong's tourist attractions.

Regular meetings are organised with the centre's patrons and hirers to gauge their views as part of the department's on-going commitment to provide quality services. In meetings with patrons in 2004, encouraging feedback reflected high satisfaction with the venue's environment, hygienic conditions and frontline services in ushering, ticketing and public enquiries.


Hong Kong City Hall

Opened in March 1962, the Hong Kong City Hall is the first multi-purpose cultural centre built for the Hong Kong community. It has hosted over 10,000 outstanding local and overseas arts groups and maintains an important link to the international arts scene, contributing to the convergence of the cultures of the East and West.


Hong Kong's first multi-purpose cultural centre — the City Hall — still attracts world-class acts.
Hong Kong's first multi-purpose cultural centre — the City Hall — still attracts world-class acts.

The City Hall houses a 1,434-seat Concert Hall, a 463-seat Theatre, a 111-seat Recital Hall, a 590 square-metre Exhibition Hall and a 260 square-metre Exhibition Gallery. The Concert Hall is suitable for various musical events as well as other performing arts activities, such as dance, drama and Chinese opera, while the Theatre is ideal for staging medium-scale productions and film screenings. Highlights of the year included the Hu Opera Theatre of Shanghai, a piano recital by Simon Trpceski, a jazz concert by Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner, a guitar recital by Manuel Barrueco, Musicarama 2004 and the New Vision Arts Festival. Some 600 performances were held during the year, attracting 309,400 patrons.

Significant improvements were made to the City Hall in 2004 to enhance its services to the public. More comfortable seating was installed in the Recital Hall; the Exhibition Hall was refurbished with state-of-the-art display panels, as well as new lighting, audio and projection equipment; and renovations to the Concert Hall saw new seating installed and a complete upgrading of backstage facilities.


Community Arts Facilities

A range of facilities for the arts is provided throughout Hong Kong and serve as a focal point for cultural activities in the community. The facilities include larger venues like the Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun Town Halls, the Kwai Tsing, Yuen Long and Ko Shan Theatres, and smaller venues such as the Sai Wan Ho, Sheung Wan, Ngau Chi Wan and Tai Po Civic Centres and the North District Town Hall. Major refurbishment projects were carried out at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall and the Sheung Wan Civic Centre to revitalise their image and give them a new and contemporary look.

To promote and encourage arts at the grassroots level, district arts bodies organising cultural activities for the local community can enjoy free use of these facilities through venue sponsorship. In 2004, 84 community arts groups were offered sponsorship for a total of 540 activities serving 133,200 people. Various independent organisations also frequently hire the ancillary facilities to organise arts-related activities.


Programme Partnership Scheme

The Programme Partnership Scheme was first launched in 2002-03 as an initiative to involve non-profit making arts organisations in organising programmes at LCSD performing arts facilities. Under the scheme, proposals were invited from the arts community for creative use of selected facilities over a period of time. An arts partnership is forged between the venue management and the local arts groups, creating well-conceived performing arts activities. These help to reinforce the image of the performing arts facilities and allow tailor-made arts education programmes to be offered to local communities.

The successful launch of the scheme in 2002-03, involving the North District Town Hall and Yuen Long Theatre, was followed up in 2004 with Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre partnering with the Wan Chai Theatre. Activities including drama, dance and music performances, workshops, and arts classes were organised. A total of 49 performances and 25 workshops and classes were arranged with an attendance of over 7,000.


The stage drama, Oldsters On Fire, kept audiences entertained as part of the Programme Partnership Scheme between the Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre and the Wan Chai Theatre.
The stage drama, Oldsters On Fire, kept audiences entertained as part of the Programme Partnership Scheme between the Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre and the Wan Chai Theatre.

The scheme will continue in 2005 at the Yuen Long Theatre, the Tuen Mun Town Hall, the North District Town Hall and the Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre.

 
 
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2005© Important notices Last revision date: 24/11/11