[Hong Kong - 8 January 2010] Firecracker, an original ballet based on the story of the traditional festive fantasy The Nutcracker but revisioned into a Hong Kong experience, will be staged at the Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre for 5 performances from 5-7 February 2010.
Ng's Firecracker is a personal voyage that began with the choreographer's experience as a dancer in the 1980s when, as part of an overseas ballet company, he would find himself performing the perennial Christmas show away from his family. His experience culminates in a contemporary ballet piece which explores the history of Hong Kong when the city is on the brink of a shifting social landscape and accelerating economic development in the late 1960s.
Taking E T A Hoffman's Nutcracker story as a base, the characters are reinvented and transported from their European roots into a new setting based around Hong Kong popular culture and history. Beginning in 1967 and speeding forward through events and fragments of memories, Firecracker recalls the experience of watching film trailers of old Cantonese films, as stars of yesteryears, parade floats and visits by Royalties drift by in a seamless vignette of recollections.
But not all of Firecracker's memories are straightforward, the central protagonist is no longer the young girl Clara in the Occidental tale. The focus is re-directed to the role of the caring uncle who brought Clara the Nutcracker, but then almost unseen for the rest of the popular show. In Firecracker, the uncle takes centre stage©§ re-cast as an elderly character©§ as he reminiscences the past, while old recollections come alive and soar into the present.
The inspiration for Firecracker©§ its mix of East and West, past and present, as well as a nostalgic yearning for the past©§ is reflective of Hong Kong and its inhabitants. With a checkered history that runs over the past decades, this ballet piece is reflective of a unique sensibility that holds its resonance.
5 February 2010 (7:30pm)
6, 7 February 2010 (2:30pm, 7:30pm)
$500 (VIP tickets), $380, $280, $180
Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
*Children aged 5 years old or under cannot be admitted into the theatre
Choreographer: Yuri Ng
Associate Choreographer: Yuh Egami
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set: Kelvin Tsang
Costume: Yoki Lai
Lighting: Billy Chan
About the Choreographer
Born in Hong Kong, Ng received ballet training in Hong Kong, Canada and England. He was awarded the Adeline Genee Gold Medal from the Royal Academy of Dancing in 1983 before joining The National Ballet of Canada as a dancer. Since his return to Asia in 1993, Yuri has choreographed for various performing companies including The Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong Dance Company, Zuni Icosahedrons, Cloudgate Dance Theatre 2 (Taiwan), Singapore Dance Theatre, and Archi-Tanz (Japan).
Yuri received the Artist of the Year Award ®C Choreographer, from the Hong Kong Artists' Guild in 1997. In 1998, he was awarded Prix D'auteur at the sixth Rencontres Choreographiques Internationale de Seine-St- Denis (Bagnolet) with his choreography of Boy Story.
His choreographies of Ciao Ciao Suzie Wong, Rite Of Spring, Min Jian Chuan Qi and A Soldier's Story received the Hong Kong Dance Alliance Dance Award 1999, 2004, 2006 and 2008 respectively.About the Associate Choreographer
Born in Okinawa, Japan. Started his ballet education locally and later at the Royal Ballet School in London. He was awarded Third Prize in Ursula Morton Choreographic Competition in 2001, and he performed with both of The Royal Ballet and The Birmingham Royal Ballet during his study in London.
After joining The Hong Kong Ballet in 2002, he has appeared in various soloist roles in The Hong Kong Ballet's repertoire, including Spanish dance in The Nutcracker, Executed Prince in Turandot, Lead Jester in Cinderella, lead dancer of Pontevedria in Merry Widow, Trio in Clear, Steptext and such.He created several dance pieces for the Company's choreographic workshops from 2005 to 2008, including Kag®¶, Sakula, and Collage of One.
About The Hong Kong Ballet
The Hong Kong Ballet is one of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia and continues to develop into a world-class institution with an identity that reflects the vitality of Hong Kong. Over the past 30 years, the Company has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organization with a cohesive core of dancers and an expanding repertoire that reflects the highlights of celebrated choreographers as well as the work of nascent artists from Hong Kong and China.
Our artistic team and 43 dancers originate from nine countries °™ with a strong contingent of Chinese artists °™ and perform a repertoire that combines 19th and 20th century classical masterpieces, challenging contemporary works and special commissions. During the 2008-09 season, the Company's 37 performances of seven productions and educational and community outreach programmes reached an audience of 70,000.
In recognition of the Company's efforts, we were the recipient of two Hong Kong Dance Awards in 2009: Tricolor, a collection of masterworks from 20th century ballet, and the original production Evolution of Ballet, which was credited for its informative and dynamic presentation of the art-form's history.
For further information on The Hong Kong Ballet, please contact:
Manager, Marketing and Communications
The Hong Kong Ballet
Tel. 2105 9716