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August
Hong Kong debut for La Scala Ballet
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Italy's Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company (La Scala Ballet) will visit Hong Kong for the first time in October and perform George Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Created by the legendary choreographer, Balanchine, in 1962 and with music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, this ballet is performed in Europe exclusively by the La Scala Ballet. Now it will be staged at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre at 7.30pm on October 27, 28 and 29 (Friday to Sunday), with the participation of the Hong Kong Ballet Group. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will accompany the ballet live under the baton of David Garforth.

At the age of eight, Balanchine played one of the elves in a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg. From then onwards he continued finding joy in reading Shakespeare's verses. However, without the inspiration of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's music, he would never have realised his own version of the comedy.

The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy, is one of the world's most famous opera houses. The theatre was inaugurated in 1778 and its history is interwoven with the birth of ballet itself. Balanchine's collaboration with La Scala, from 1952 to 1964, heralded an exciting time for ballet, thanks to a galaxy of dancers, especially Carla Fracci. Fracci was partnered by Rudolf Nureyev, who, from his arrival at La Scala in 1965, entrusted to the theatre nearly all his classics, including "Sleeping Beauty", "Don Quixote" and "Romeo and Juliet".

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It is also one of the programmes in the Year of Italy in China 2006.

Tickets priced at $550, $420, $280 and $150 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 students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will be a maximum of 20% off for a group booking. Please see the programme leaflets for details.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323 or visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at http://www.urbtix.hk .

Ends/Monday, August 28, 2006
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