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Limited tickets available for Royal Ballet performances

The Royal Ballet's Hong Kong performance will be staged from July 17 to 20 and tickets for the first three performances are sold out. Limited tickets are available for the July 20 matinee and the evening show “Manon”. People should book now and not miss the chance to enjoy a most prestigious world-class ballet performance.

This is the first time “Manon” will be staged in Hong Kong. “Manon” was choreographed in 1974 by Kenneth MacMillan based on Abbé Prévost's “L'Historie du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut” (The Story of the knight des Grieux and Manon Lescaut) written in 1731. The story is a tragic tale of innocence corrupted in the pleasure-seeking world of Paris in the early 18th century. A modern masterpiece, “Manon” is different from classical ballet narratives involving fairies or honest characters. Apart from superb dance technique, it also requires acting skills from the dancers.

The ballet consists of ensemble scenes that portray the rich details of a Hogarth engraving. It is an extravaganza featuring lyrical music, lavish sets and glamorous costumes.

The Royal Ballet last visited Hong Kong in 1983, and gave seven full-house performances attended by more than 30,000 people. Its China visit last month (June) also was highly acclaimed. Led by artistic director Monica Mason, the 83-strong company is acknowledged as being in its best shape for decades. Its wide-ranging repertoire showcases the greatest classical ballets, with The Royal Ballet's own heritage alongside new works by the foremost international choreographers of today. In its 77-year history, choreographers for the company have included Sir Robert Helpmann, Frederick Ashton and Sir Kenneth MacMillan, and celebrated dancers have included Margot Fonteyn, Anthony Dowell, Gillian Lynne, Irek Mukhamedov, among many others.

Its coming visit also brings to Hong Kong its award-winning principals, Tamara Rojo, Mara Galeazzi, Marianela Nunez, Leanne Benjamin, Sarah Lamb and Rupert Pennefather.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, The Royal Ballet will perform “Sylvia” (in three acts) at 7.30pm on July 17 and 18 (Thursday and Friday), and “Manon” (in three acts) at 7.30pm on July 19 (Saturday) as well as 2.30pm and 7.30pm on July 20 (Sunday). All performances will be at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced from $180 to $880 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. (Limited tickets for full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323; for ticketing enquiries and reservations call 2734 9009. Internet bookings are available at . For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit for more information on the programme.

Ends/Monday, July 7, 2008

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