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Lectures to explore universe of world-class ballet troupes

     Renowned local dance critic Ms Margaret Lau will foster a greater appreciation of several world-class ballet troupes in a new series of lectures. The lectures will be held from July to September and will be conducted in Cantonese, supplemented with English.

     In this fourth instalment of the Ballet Appreciation Lecture Series, speaker Ms Lau will take a look at five world-renowned ballet dance companies from the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Germany and the United States. By reviewing their repertoire and original creations, audiences can find out how each troupe has carved out a niche in the world of dance by establishing a strong identity, developing a hallmark style and bringing together a galactic cast. There will also be video demonstrations of the ballet companies' productions, such as "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", "The Taming of the Shrew", "The Nutcracker", "Don Quixote", "Giselle" and "Swan Lake".

     The five world-class ballet troupes have different characteristics. The history of the Birmingham Royal Ballet goes back to the founding of a troupe in London in the 1930s. The original company toured the UK and overseas in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1990, it was invited to relocate to Birmingham and since then it has strengthened culture and the arts in the Midlands. The Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg currently boasts a cast of 180 dancers. In its recent effort to expand and update its repertoire, the company has not only revived ballet classics that have become its hallmarks and staged new versions of classical ballets, but also re-staged the one-act modern ballet masterpieces by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Roland Petit and others. Founded in 1959, the National Ballet of China has built a repertoire that includes classical ballet, ballet with Chinese characteristics and new works by its resident choreographers. Having collaborated with famous overseas choreographers since 2000, the troupe has been recognised as one of the leading troupes in the international ballet scene. The Stuttgart Ballet rose to fame with its staging of the many full-length narrative ballets by John Cranko in the 1960s. The troupe has a diverse and eclectic repertoire, which includes new and original works by contemporary choreographers and budding talents. Last but not least, the New York City Ballet's stock repertoire is made up of works by its founding choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and the productions are acclaimed as exemplary American ballet works.

     Ms Lau is a renowned critic who writes for local newspapers and magazines. She is also a house programme writer and an author. She has worked as a researcher for the ballet section of the publication "A Dance History of Hong Kong". Her other engagements have involved writing feature articles, conducting dance appreciation talks and translating house programmes for dance performances as well as the teaching materials and prospectus for the Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Course programmes. Between 1995 and 1999, she was a member of the Dance Advisory Team of the former Urban Council, and since 2009 she has been the speaker for the Ballet Appreciation Lecture Series presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), for which she has received acclaim.

     Presented by the LCSD, the lecture series will be held from July to September at 7.30pm at AC1, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Details of the lectures are as follows:

July 12 and 19 (Thursdays)
Topic: Birmingham Royal Ballet

August 2 and 9 (Thursdays)
Topic: Mariinsky Ballet

August 16 and 23 (Thursdays)
Topic: National Ballet of China

August 30 and September 6 (Thursdays)
Topic: Stuttgart Ballet

September 13 and 20 (Thursdays)
Topic: New York City Ballet

     Tickets priced at $40 for each session are now available at URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients.) A package discount scheme is also available - please refer to the programme leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7323, or visit . For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit .

Ends/Thursday, June 21, 2012


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