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Family fun at arts carnival again this summer

The summer extravaganza, the International Arts Carnival, will be held again in July and August for the enjoyment of the whole family.

Organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the annual arts festival will run from July 14 to August 29.

This year, there will be nine performing groups from the Mainland, Japan, Canada, Spain, Australia and South Korea, along with 22 local performing groups. The carnival will feature 491 events including stage performances such as acrobatics, puppetry, music, dance, drama, black light theatre and physical theatre; participatory workshops; school and outreach tours; workshops on music, handicrafts and sport.

Kicking off this year's International Arts Carnival is "Dreamscape - the Secret Garden of Guizhou", a journey of discovery of the beauty of nature through 25 award-winning acrobatic acts and dances. The production, by the Zunyi Acrobatic Troupe and Guizhou Provincial Song and Dance Ensemble, is also the only acrobatic programme listed in the Top 10 Outstanding Stage Arts Projects in China 2002/03. Don't miss its Hong Kong debut. Members of the public are welcome to enjoy the all-day Summer Fun Party before the show.

The carnival has three main series: "HeARTS Linked", "ABC, Come and See" and "Sporting Leonardo".

The "HeARTS Linked" series will feature a number of fun and creative programmes, such as "Stringraphy" by Japan's Stringraphy Ensemble in which the audience will be surrounded by a huge acoustic harp made of silk threads and paper cups; an amazing puppetry show, San Guo Zhi (adapted from the Chinese novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"), a collaboration between Kageboushi Theatre Company from Japan and Chengdu Puppet Arts Theatre Company from the mainland; the folk ballet, "Cobbler's Princess", by the Ukrainian Shumka Dance Company from Canada, bringing you a journey of love, magic and triumph.

Local groups are also contributing to the "HeARTS Linked" series. They are the ballet classic "Swan Lake" by The Hong Kong Ballet Group celebrating its 40th anniversary; Theatre Ensemble's children theatre, "Quilly Kirky Lair"; Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra's "The Wacky Chinese Music Party"; Shu Ning Presentation Unit's creative and experimental youth theatre, "Our Prospects"; the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp Concerts by budding musicians; and films and animation presented in the "International Children's Film Carnival".

The "ABC, Come and See" series is a fun-fest for the kids, featuring the children's favourite, the black light theatre, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Fish" by Windmill Performing Arts from Australia; the creative children's show, "Journey of Hands" by SADARI Theatre Company from South Korea; and the interactive parent-child performance, "The Wizard of Oz", by the local Jumbo Kids Theatre.

In celebration of 2004 as an Olympics year, the "Sporting Leonardo" series combines art and sport in ways you would not have thought possible, resulting in the best exercise - laughter. These performances are fun and aimed at the whole family. They include "Slastic" by Clownic de Tricicle from Spain; the kung fu drama, "Kung Fu Clan", by the Chung Ying Theatre Company; and an outreach programme incorporating dance and sports, "Animal Olympics", by DanceArt.

"The New Generation" series for teenagers, launched in 2001, will continue with inspiring workshops followed by stage performances or video shows resulting from their discovery through lessons and sharing.

These include the concert, "Band 'Free' School", by Breakthrough Limited; the new era version of the drama, "Dancing on the Dune", by Prospects Theatre Company; and the video workshop, "Project V for the New Generation", jointly presented by Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Film Programmes Office and General Education Unit of The University of Hong Kong.

The festival boasts an array of events, including performances, workshops, school tours, exhibitions, cultural tours, a graphic design competition, library and museum activities suitable for all ages.

For the first time the arts carnival has produced a souvenir T-shirt and festival-goers have the chance to get one free! For every 10 International Arts Carnival tickets purchased, patrons can redeem a free T-shirt on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets priced from $40 to $280 are available at URBTIX outlets from tomorrow (June 4). Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Package discounts of up to 15% are available for performing arts programmes/films.

Programme guides are available at URBTIX outlets or at the website,

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044. Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at

Ends/Thursday, June 3, 2004
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