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Fairytale ballet to take audiences into Andersen's fantasy world

The fairy-tales by Hans Christian Andersen, who was born in 1805, have an enduring moral quality that keeps them relevant today.

Hong Kong Ballet returns to Hans Christian Andersen, celebrating his 200th anniversary with a revival of Domy Reiter-Soffer's 1997 hit, "The Emperor and the Nightingale", based on one of Andersen's most abiding tales -- "The Nightingale". Reiter-Soffer described it as, "a journey of self-truth and fulfilment in search for life's beauty. Sometimes when we find it, we discard it for something dazzling and unnatural".

Indeed modern analogies of the Emperor's discarding of the real nightingale for the glistening mechanical one, are – in this modern high-tech world – probably more understandable now than ever before. Only when the mechanical nightingale breaks down, does the Emperor realise his mistake.

With colourful sets and costumes by Simon Wong and an exciting score by Hong Kong-born composer Richard Tsang, enhanced by live percussion, gongs and drums by Ronald Chin, Director of Hong Kong Drum Ensemble/Assistant Percussion Principal with Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, this promises to be a spectacular performance.

The South China Morning Post acclaimed "The Emperor and the Nightingale" as: "...a sumptuous visual feast woven around the ancient Chinese fairytale."

This exotic and mesmeric production – already seen on tour in America and Europe - returns for five performances only as part of the International Arts Carnival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

"The Emperor and the Nightingale" will be performed at 7.30pm on July 15 to 17; and at 2.30pm on July 16 and 17 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre.

Tickets priced at $100, $160, $210 and $260 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Package booking discounts are up to 15% for full-price tickets.

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

For programme enquiries, call 2105 9724. Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at

Ends/Wednesday, June 8, 2005

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