The Hong Kong Ballet Debuts in Japan
on 20th – 21st March at the influential Architanz 2014 Company to perform at Tokyo’s New National Theatre
Ten of The Hong Kong Ballet’s outstanding male dancers are now in Tokyo, in preparation for the Company’s first official visit to Japan. Invited by Architanz, one of the most influential and forward-thinking dance organisations in Japan, the dancers will appear in 3 performances on 20th and 21st March at Japan’s foremost arts venue, the New National Theatre in the country’s capital.
The cast performing in Tokyo includes Principal Dancer Wei Wei as well as Frank Van Tongeren, Leung Chun Long, Li Jia-bo, Li Lin, Ricky Hu, Shen Jie, Song Hai Feng and Japanese dancer Yo Takahira. Another Japanese dancer, Yuh Egami, will be attending the tour in the capacity of répétiteur for Castrati. Both Yuh Egami and Yo Takahira have many fans at home in Japan, and the dancers’ arrival was eagerly anticipated.
The 10 male dancers will be performing in a Mixed Programme, hosted by Architanz 2014. Each of the three performances features four pieces, Boy Story by Yuri Ng (performed by The Hong Kong Ballet) The Second Symphony by Uwe Scholz (performed by Hana Sakai, Yuko Nishida, Alexander Zaitsev, and Iaroslav Salenko), Castrati by Nacho Duato (performed by The Hong Kong Ballet) and Mopey by Marko Goecke (performed by Hana Sakai). The Company is honoured to be invited by Architanz, a progressive organisation that aims to be a place of exchange for dancers and hopes to play a role in raising the Japanese dance scene to world-class levels.
The Hong Kong Ballet’s Artistic Director Madeleine Onne said “We constantly strive to increase our profile internationally, and we’re thrilled to have our first opportunity to perform in Japan. We are sure that the Company’s dancers will shine, and make a memorable impression on the Japanese audience.”
20.3.2014 – 7:15PM
21.3.2014 – 2:00PM
21.3.2014 – 7:15PM
New National Theatre, Tokyo
Set to Vivaldi’s richly structured baroque music, Nacho Duato’s Castrati is a deeply affecting, powerful piece for nine men. The perfectly constructed ballet explores the meaning of masculinity and the significance of sacrifice in a world that demands perfection. Castrati is an elegant showcase for The Hong Kong Ballet’s talented male dancers.
Hong Kong choreographer Yuri Ng was awarded the Prix d’Auteur at the 6th Les Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales de Seine-St-Denis for his choreography Boy Story. The ballet was created just before the Handover in 1997, when the sovereignty of Hong Kong passed from the United Kingdom to China. It is a particularly significant work for Architanz since the organisation was born when a group of architects came together to design the set for this ballet.
Architanz was born in 1996, when several architects volunteered to design the set of Yuri Ng’s Boy Story. In 2001, the team established Architanz, an architectural design office and also a dance studio. The tiny dance studio was initially in an office building in Hamamatsu-cho, then in 2007 Architanz moved to its current home in Tamachi, where the architectural team redesigned a warehouse to turn it into a dance studio. Now Architanz has three dance studios and an architectural design office.
Architanz aims to be a place of exchange for dance lovers. Architanz offers high quality classes and good facilities for training, along with internationally renowned dance teachers. The facility is open 365 days a year for classical ballet classes, contemporary dance classes, workshops and many other events. Over the years Architanz has presented the Japanese premieres of world-class pieces of classical ballet, contemporary dance and works that combine Western culture with Japanese tradition. The mission of Architanz is to contributing to raising the Japanese dance scene to world-class levels.
The Hong Kong Ballet
One of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia, The Hong Kong Ballet is becoming internationally recognised as a world-class institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. November 2013 marked the 35th anniversary of The Hong Kong Ballet, a Company that has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with accomplished dancers, a strong repertoire, and sparkling, technically challenging productions.
The Company’s artistic team is led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne, with over 40 dancers originating from all over the world. The Company performs a repertoire that combines classical masterpieces and acclaimed contemporary works from the 19th to 21st centuries, as well as new commissions.
Since 1997, The Hong Kong Ballet has continued to raise its international profile with more than 30 tours. The North America Tour in the summer of 2012 incorporated the Company’s debut appearance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival – the most prestigious and longest-running international dance festival in North America – as well as performances in Aspen, Montreal and Santa Fe. A few months later, the dancers were back in the US to perform at the renowned Fall for Dance Festival in New York. In September 2013, the Company presented two performances of Swan Lake at Guangzhou Opera House, as part of Guangzhou Arts Festival 2013.
An integral part of the Company’s activities is its extensive education and community outreach programme, which brings the art of ballet to students as well as to the wider community of Hong Kong.