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East-West fusion dance pieces "city:zen" and "Exit No Exit"

An eye-opening collaboration between British-Indian choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh and local choreographer Mui Cheuk-yin brings together top talents from the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company (UK) and the City Contemporary Dance Company, presenting a world premiere "city:zen", a thought-provoking exploration of East-West fusion.

Completing the show is Shobana's signature piece "Exit No Exit". Blending Indian classical dance with contemporary dance style, it is set in a visually stunning dimension, characterised by multimedia images and a computerised score by iconic composer Michael Nyman.

"city:zen" and "Exit No Exit", performed in one show, is one of the programmes of the New Vision Arts Festival presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged at 8pm tomorrow (November 10), Saturday and Sunday (November 11 to 12) at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Studio Theatre.

"city:zen", a commissioned programme of the festival, is a Chinese/Indian crossover narrative that showcases two distinctive styles and identities bound together by a shared passion for honesty and power.

Home-grown talent Mui Cheuk-yin and London-based Shobana Jeyasingh see two sets of dancers creating and rehearsing simultaneously in two different locations. Renowned for their articulate use of trans-cultural body language, each award-winning choreographer will draw from their unique vocabulary to produce an unprecedented dance work.

In "Exit No Exit", signature piece of avant-garde choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, a central character, propelled by furious energy, seems unable to escape the boundaries of a beautiful world bathed in rich, watery colours and reflected in Michael Nyman's lyrical score played live on bass clarinet.

The Guardian described "Jeyasingh's dance jangles with an urgent and infectious city energy"; Evening Standard appraised the dance work as "Choreographically ingenious and visually stunning".

Born in Chennai, India and now living in London, Shobanna Jeyasingh has produced numerous dance works for stage, theatre and television. She was awarded a London Dance and Performance award in 1988, received three Digital Dance Awards and, in 1993, an Arts Council Women in the Arts Project award in acknowledgement of her valuable contribution to the arts over the past decade.

Mui Cheuk-yin became an independent choreographer/ dancer/ teacher in the 1990s. Under the auspices of Asian Cultural Council, she took part in the International Choreographer's Programme at the American Dance Festival. Mui is an internationally renowned solo artist and has been invited to many international arts festivals. She was named the "Dance Ambassador" (2000) and awarded the "Hong Kong Dance Awards 2001" by the Hong Kong Dance Alliance.

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, founded by Shobana in 1988, has received numerous awards, including Digital Dance Awards and London Dance and Performance award. The Company tours throughout Britain and has visited major European and North American festivals.

City Contemporary Dance Company, founded by Willy Tsao in 1979, has since become Hong Kong's most active promoter of modern dance and contemporary culture. The company has toured over 30 major international cities.

Tickets for "city:zen" and "Exit No Exit", priced at $240 and $120 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking discounts are up to 20% off.

A post-performance talk will be given on Saturday (November 11).

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044.

Ends/Thursday, November 9, 2006

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