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20th ISPA international congress opens today in Hong Kong

The 20th International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) International Congress opened today (June 8) in Hong Kong. Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Ms Carrie Lam officiated at a welcoming reception at the Museum of Coastal Defence to mark the launching of this four-day congress.

Under the theme of "The New Silk Road for the Performing Arts", the congress brings about new cultural expressions and exchanges between East and West.

"Our Congress in Hong Kong is the culmination of a long-term plan to bridge the East/West divide, and our theme articulates our intent: to explore the boundaries of artistic expression while building stronger professional relationships with colleagues from this region," ISPA chairperson Ms Martha H. Jones said.

The international congress - held in Hong Kong for the first time - has recorded the highest registration rate for the summer congress in the past 10 years with about 300 candidates from more than 30 countries.

The ISPA Congress, including a wide spectrum of activities such as seminars, workshops and performances, provides opportunities for peers and associates from countries all over the world to explore common interests in the industry of performing arts and realise the ISPA's objective to make possible a gathering of professionals from around the world.

Another highlight of the congress is the awards dinner to be held on Saturday (June 10) where the society will present awards to outstanding people in the field of performing arts in recognition of their excellent contribution.

With the ISPA in Hong Kong, a number of other activities happen at the same time. A China International Performing Arts Fair will be held at City Hall, one of ISPA's conference venues, and the two Associations of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres and Arts Festivals hold their meetings in Hong Kong. There is no lack of opportunity for exchanges and discussions. Full and excerpt performances by international and Hong Kong artists throughout the congress have been lined up and will take place in formal or informal settings.

The ISPA Hong Kong Congress starts today and will continue until June 11.

Ends/Thursday, June 8, 2006
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