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The Hong Kong Ballet Group to perform Giselle

The ballet, "Giselle", is the epitome of 19th century Romanticism -- the freedom to express one's deepest and most personal feelings, without the constraints of convention. Even in the more everyday use of the word, everything about this ballet spells "romance" -- from how it was created, to the story itself.

The Hong Kong Ballet Group will perform "Giselle" at 8pm on August 18 and 19 (Friday and Saturday) at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall.

The story is about a young village girl, Giselle, who falls in love with Albrecht, a nobleman disguised as a peasant. When Giselle discovers the deceit, she is distraught and dies, broken-hearted. Albrecht comes at night to visit her grave, and is condemned to dance until his life-spirit is taken from him by the Queen of the Wilis -- the ghosts of betrothed girls who have died before their wedding day. The unyielding love of Giselle saves him, but at daybreak, she must part with him forever. They pledge their love for each other before Giselle returns to her grave.

The Hong Kong Ballet Group invited Zhu Yan to be guest ballerina and Yu Bo to be her male lead in the performance.

Zhu Yan joined the National Ballet of China after graduating from the Beijing Dance Academy. She has danced leading roles in many full-length ballets including "Swan Lake", "Don Quixote" and "The Sleeping Beauty". She has also danced principal roles in many Balanchine Ballets.

Zhu has won awards at major international ballet competitions, including the 6th Paris International Ballet Competition and the 18th Varna International Ballet Competition.

Following his graduation from the Beijing Dance Academy, Yu Bo joined the National Ballet of China. He has danced principal roles in the new full-length versions of "Coppelia", "Fountain of Tears" and "Sylvia". He has also danced as Solo and Coryphee in full-length ballets "The Red Detachment of Women", the Chinese version of "The Nutcracker", "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake". He won a Bronze Medal at the 4th Nagoya International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition in Japan.

The Hong Kong Ballet Group is the first ballet organisation in Hong Kong. Formed in 1964 by a group of local ballet teachers, the Ballet Group is dedicated to promoting ballet education and nurturing local talent. For the past 40 years, it has produced full-length ballet performances and educational seminars where students from all local private ballet schools participated.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, tickets priced at $200, $150 and $100 are available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients can have 50% off (limited quotas for CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. Tickets can also be booked online at .

Ends/Friday, July 14, 2006

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