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March
Merce Cunningham Dance Company to revisit Hong Kong
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The celebrated Merce Cunningham Dance Company from the US will revisit Hong Kong after 20 years and give two not-to-be-missed performances on April 23 and 24 (Friday and Saturday).

The exhilarating shows will take place at 7.30pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre, featuring the Asian premiere of "BIPED". The programme for April 23 also includes "Suite for Five", "Native Green"; and for April 24, it includes "Fabrications".

Using a sophisticated computer-animation process known as "motion capture", "BIPED" is performed with animated imagery. The virtual dancers are sometimes processed into colourful and abstract patterns, while dancers occasionally dance with their virtual counterparts. At other times the two parties seem to co-exist independently in this magically theatrical space. Accompanied by a live and hauntingly beautiful score commissioned by Gavin Bryars, these magnificent figures envelop the stage.

Born in 1919 in the US, Merce Cunningham received his first formal dance and theatre training at the Cornish School in Seattle. After joining the Martha Graham Company as a soloist in 1939 and performing with the company for five years, he established the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 1953. Over the years, he has collaborated with many significant artists, including John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. To date, Cunningham has created nearly 200 works, among them works for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Paris Opera Ballet. Since 1991, he has used computer technology to choreograph all his dances.

Cunningham has been honoured with numerous awards including the National Medal of Arts, the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale and the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Over the past 50 years, the company has toured extensively around the world.

Tickets priced at $360, $280 and $160 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will also be group booking discounts: 10% for four to nine tickets, 15% for 10 to 19 tickets and 20% for 20 tickets or more. A 5% discount will be available for a single purchase of tickets for both performances.

For programme enquiries and details of associated events - a master class, pre-performance lecture (conducted in English), film/video screenings and exhibition - call 2268 7323 or visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at http://www.urbtix.gov.hk .

Ends/Friday, March 5, 2004
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