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New Vision Arts Festival begins

Shen Wei, the only Chinese contemporary dance choreographer who also enjoys major success in the US and Europe, opened the New Vision Arts Festival tonight (October 20) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre with his signature pieces "The Rite of Spring" and "Near the Terrace".

Organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the New Vision Arts Festival runs from October 20 to November 19, featuring a cutting-edge line-up of innovative music, dance and theatre programmes and showcasing a spectrum of cross-media performing artists from Hong Kong and around the world.

Officiating at the opening ceremony before the performance was the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping.

The performance will also be staged tomorrow (October 21) at 7.45pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre.

Well-known for fusing dance and visual arts, choreographer, dancer and painter Shen Wei is set to test the physical and technical limits of his dancers.

In "The Rite of Spring", dancers interact with a 13-by-14-metre canvas painting, visually amplifying the majestic score of Stravinsky's Le Sacré du Printemps, while "Near the Terrace" marries delicate Oriental physique with Western aesthetics.

The production contains scenes of nudity.

The festival will also feature:
* Closing performance "Geisha" by TheatreWorks/Ong Keng Sen (Singapore).
* Li Liuyi New Drama "Mu Guiying".
* Yoshida Brothers (Japan)'s shamisen concert.
* Theatre Ensemble's "Faust auf dem Klosett - Epic Toilet Opera".
* Eclectic Tales from Mongolia by Li Chin Sung and Khoomii Sound Machine.
* 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.
* "city:zen and Exit No Exit" by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company (UK) and City Contemporary Dance Company.
* 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, forums, foyer performances and outdoor performances.

Tickets for the New Vision Arts Festival are priced from $100 to $450 and they are available at URBTIX outlets now. 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 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at .

Ends/Friday, October 20, 2006
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