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New Vision Arts Festival to break new ground in music, dance, theatre and multi-media crossover

The New Vision Arts Festival, featuring a cutting-edge line-up of innovative music, dance and theatre programmes, will showcase a spectrum of cross-media performing artists from Hong Kong and around the world.

The festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will run from October 20 to November 19.

From the talented Chinese contemporary dance choreographer Shen Wei's signature performances "The Rite of Spring" and "Near the Terrace, to renowned Japanese Ryuichi Sakamoto and German Alva Noto's stunning audiovisual collaboration "insen", the New Vision Arts Festival will bring to audiences an East-West cultural integration enriched with Asian elements.

Opening this year's Festival on October 20 and 21 are two signature pieces by Chinese contemporary dance choreographer and painter Shen Wei: "The Rite of Spring" and "Near the Terrace". Renowned for his unique style that combines dance with visual art, Shen Wei has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival to create works for seven consecutive years and he has been invited to many top international arts festivals.

In "The Rite of Spring", a canvas painting created by Shen Wei serves as the creative platform for his dancers' challenging exploration of movement while "Near the Terrace" marries delicate Oriental physique with Western aesthetics.

Completing Shen's performance will be an exhibition of his paintings that offers another means of expression, enabling him to fuse music and dance with visual art.

The closing performance "Geisha" conceived and directed by Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen uncovers fresh insights into the famous Japanese cultural symbol. New York-based actress and OBIE award-winner Karen Kandel, will interpret a range of roles, weaving together stories about different aspects of a Geisha's life. Joining her on stage will be legendary Japanese kabuki performer Masanosuke Gojo, who incorporates nihon buyoh (classical Japanese dance) into his traditional onnagata kabuki role. With a score that fuses electronic and three-stringed shamisen music, this is a crossover masterpiece where East meets West and contemporary meets classical.

Hong Kong avant-garde musician Li Chin Sung joins top musicians from East and West, fusing traditional Mongolian long song and throat singing in "Eclectric Tales from Mongolia" to open new vistas in crossover music for the festival.

The festival also commissioned a collaboration "city:zen" between leading British Asian choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh and Hong Kong dancer-choreographer Mui Cheuk-yin. It will be an unprecedented East-West dialogue through dance between Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and the City Contemporary Dance Company. Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company will also present in the performance a visual and aural masterpiece "Exit No Exit".

The festival will also feature:
*Li Liuyi New Drama "Mu Guiying".
*Yoshida Brothers(Japan)' shamisen concert.
*Theatre Ensemble's "Faust auf dem Klosett - Epic Toilet Opera".
*Theatre Fanatico's "Exposed/Still Burning".
*Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japan) and Alva Noto (Germany)'s "insen".
*Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's "The Rite of Spring". Conductor: Edo de Waart.
*JohnChen Ensemble's Total Music Theatre "Songs from Within".
*Roland Petit (France)'s "Soirée de Danse".
*Class 7A Drama Group and Shu Ning Presentation Unit's "i.Cherry".

Apart from performances, the festival offers exhibitions, workshops, lecture demonstrations, meet-the-artist sessions, foyer performances and outdoor performances.

The festival also jointly organise the "Theatre Criticism Project for Tertiary Students" with IATC -- the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong), The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, to give the students an opportunity to write critiques and appreciate arts.

A series of forums on "Vision and Fundamentals of Arts Criticism in Hong Kong" will be hosted as a platform for exchange of ideas and views.

Tickets for the New Vision Arts Festival are priced from $100 to $450 and they are available at URBTIX outlets from tomorrow (September 2). Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking discounts of up to 20% are available.

Programme brochures are now available at URBTIX outlets or at the website .

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044. Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009 (from September 3) and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at .

Ends/Friday, September 1, 2006
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