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HK to host international performing arts congress in June

The International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) will hold its 20th international congress in Hong Kong from June 6-11.

The theme for the congress will be "The New Silk Road for the Performing Arts", which extends the legacy of the Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty (7th Century) when the exchange of goods was developed to establishing arts and cultural links between the East and the West.

"Hong Kong is honoured to offer a special opportunity for ISPA delegates to meet their peers from around the world to explore areas of common interest," said Ms Agnes Tang In-kwan, Assistant Director (Performing Arts) from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

"Located at the centre of Asia, Hong Kong has always had been a favoured destination for touring performing groups coming to the region.

"Now, we also have an opportunity to serve as an information highway for the exchange of ideas and knowledge among performing arts professionals and managers from across the region.

"Hosting the ISPA congress provides us with an opportunity to showcase Hong Kong's strengths as Asia's world city, especially our cultural sector and the way in which the East and the West blend together in our community."

The Congress will include a wide spectrum of activities such as seminars, workshops and performances.

Well-known artists, festival directors, arts practitioners and producers will also attend.

They will include: Mr Lin Hwai-min, Founder and Artistic Director of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan; Mr Mansai Nomura, Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theatre, Japan; Mr Pai Hsien-yung, Chinese author; Ms Chen Yi, composer; Mr Lee Jong-ho, Artistic Director of Seoul International Dance Festival, Korea; Ms Marty Jones, Executive Director of Boston's Celebrity Series; Mr Graham Sheffield, Artistic Director of London’s Barbican Centre; Mr Benson Puah, Chief Executive Officer of Esplanade Theatre, Singapore; Mr Yan Huichang, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; Mr Willy Tsao, Founder and Artistic Director and Chief Executive Director of CCDC (City Contemporary Dance Company); Mr Fredric Mao, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, and many more.

A number of important arts events will coincide with the Congress, including the 9th Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres Annual Conference, the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals, China (Hong Kong) International Performing Arts Fair, and the Hong Kong Dance Festival 2006.

"All these meetings in Hong Kong will offer great networking opportunities for all of those attending and involved in artistic pursuits here and elsewhere in the region," said Ms Tang.

Founded in 1949, the ISPA is a non-profit international organisation founded by over 600 executives and directors of concert and performance halls, festivals, performing companies, and artist competitions; government cultural officials; artists' managers; and other interested parties with a professional involvement in the performing arts from more than 50 countries in every region of the world, and in every arts discipline.

The ISPA's mission is to develop, nurture, energise and educate an international network of arts leaders and professionals who are dedicated to advancing the field of performing arts.

ISPA's 20th International Congress, hosted by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, follows a forum in Beijing (2002) and a congress in Singapore (2003).

For more details about the ISPA, please visit .

Ends/Monday, April 24, 2006
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