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April
Sweden's Cullberg Ballet to perform in Hong Kong
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Works created by two renowned European choreographers will be performed by Sweden's Cullberg Ballet in Hong Kong in June.

The three pieces are "Home and Home" and "Out of Breath" choreographed by Johan Inger and "A Sort Of" by Mats Ek.

The shows, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be held at 8pm at the Auditorium of the Kwai Tsing Theatre on June 3, 4 and 5 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).

"Home and Home" and "Out of Breath" were both created in 2002. Awarded the "Herald Angel" prize at the Edinburgh International Festival 2003, the energetic "Home and Home" has movements from classical ballet, jazz and hip hop. Full of sexual intensity and humour, "Out of Breath" examines man's competitive spirit.

Originating in 1997, "A Sort Of" won Mats Ek the title of Choreographer of the Year at the 50th Holland Festival. Guided by Ek's demonstrative sense of humour, the dancers blow up the tiniest gestures to cinematic proportions, revealing the very heart of the human condition.

Swedish choreographer Johan Inger took over artistic management of the Cullberg Ballet last year. A soloist with the Royal Swedish Ballet before he became a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) in Holland, charismatic Inger is regarded as one of the NDT's greatest character dancers.

Inger's official breakthrough as a choreographer came in 1995 with a ballet for NDT2, for which he was awarded the Philip Morris' Finest Selection prize. Since then, he has regularly choreographed new dances for the NDT. Humour, beauty and melancholy are recurrent themes of Inger's choreography.

At the age of 60, Mats Ek has choreographed dance for almost 30 years. He is one of the most important names in the international dance world. He joined the Cullberg Ballet as a dancer in 1973 and since 1976 also worked as a choreographer. From 1985 to 1993, he was the Artistic Director of the Cullberg Ballet, taking over from his mother Birgit Cullberg. Ek has created more than 20 works for Cullberg Ballet. Some are reinterpretations of the big classics such as "Giselle" (1982), "Swan Lake" (1987), and "Carmen" (1992). Since Ek left Cullberg Ballet in 1993, he has worked as a freelance choreographer with dance companies and theatres all over the world. He has created ballets for Hamburg Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and the Paris Opera.

Cullberg Ballet is in its fourth decade as a leading company at the frontline of modern dance. The ensemble has performed its innovative works in more than 40 countries. Its multinational dancers are known for their strong stage personalities.

Tickets priced at $320, $220 and $120 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 (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). For purchases of full-price tickets, the following discounts apply: 4-9 tickets, 10%; 10-19 tickets, 15%; 20 tickets or more, 20%. A 10% discount is offered to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

A free pre-performance lecture (in English) by Mikael Jonsson, Managing Director of the Cullberg Ballet, will be held on June 1 (Tuesday) from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at AC2, 4/F Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. A free workshop (in English) hosted by the instructors of the Cullberg Ballet will be held on June 4 (Friday) from 4pm to 5.30pm at GR2, Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323, and for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009. For Internet bookings, go to http://www.urbtix.gov.hk . For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp for more information on the programme.

Ends/Wednesday, April 7, 2004
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