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19th Macao Arts Festival
Beautiful Arts, Beautiful Life!

Featuring more than 30 performances by artists from Israel, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and South Korea, the Festival season would not be complete without the ever-present spirit of performers from Macao and Mainland China, as well.

 

In a clear show of support for local talent, Macao artists are given the opportunity to début works reflecting the region’s own performing arts scene, while on the international front, the Festival reaffirms itself as a window to the latest creative trends to emerge on stages the world over. The programme brings together theatre, multimedia arts, dance and music in a selection extending as well to lesser-known Asian traditions like Indian classical dance.

The Aluminum Show, a unique performance from Israel combining movement, dance and visual theatre, opens the Festival on 1 May at the Macao Cultural Centre's Grand Auditorium. Through the use of special effects, creative mechanics and acrobatic dance, inanimate objects come to life with energy, emotion and even personality, as silver-coloured industrial materials create a luminous and reflective world.

This year The Macao Orchestra makes a substantial contribution to the programme, beginning on 5 May with Pictorial England, a musical snapshot of early 20th century England. The concert of British masterworks for small ensemble, belonging to the orchestra’s Chamber Music Series, takes place in the intimacy of the Dom Pedro V Theatre. The orchestra then invites renowned violin phenomenon Pinchas Zukerman to its Great Master Series on 16 May for a concert in the Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium. Zukerman and the Macao Orchestra bring us the music of two of the most famous and influential composers in Western classical music: Bach and Beethoven. Members of the orchestra then provide audiences with another gem from the Chamber Music Series on 17 May, sharing the Dom Pedro V Theatre stage with Zukerman in Deutsche Selektion.

The Macao Chinese Orchestra, in turn, offers Macao a pair of world premieres by famous Chinese composers, along with two of the most exquisite classics of the Chinese repertoire, in a concert titled The Yellow River Piano Concerto to be held on 3 May at the Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium. Joining forces with the orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Pang Ka Pang, are the young violin prodigy Li Chuan Yun, performing the Butterfly Lovers' Concerto, and the celebrated pianist Yin Chengzong, who once again interprets the Yellow River Piano Concerto he himself premiered and helped create.

The Macanese Patois theatre group Dóci Papiáçam di Macau creates their now legendary caricature of local society with the premiere of Sórti Dóci? (Sweet Luck), a play about Macao amidst the casino fever, at the Macao Cultural Centre's Small Auditorium on 10 and 11 May. This is the latest work by Miguel de Senna Fernandes, who for more than ten years has gathered Macanese friends to stage these hilarious stories about Macao.

The Macao General Association of Cantonese Opera and Music presents The Crossing on 24 and 25 May at the popular Alegria Cinema, maintaining the Chinese opera tradition that has increasingly become a hallmark of the MAF season. This year the Zhejiang Province Wu Opera Troupe brings an operatic style from the Mainland with The Legend of the White Snake. The mythological story, a popular theme in various genres of Chinese art and literature, is brought to life at the Alegria Cinema on 18 May.

The showcase of local talent continues on 29 and 30 May with a children's play that will charm audiences at the Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium. Macao's own Little Mountain Arts Association presents The Magic Stone, transporting both children and grown-ups to an entrancing universe where Imagination rules over the Real – eventually becoming Reality itself.

The Festival also offers multidisciplinary performances. South Korean group Noridan presents PingPangPong: Noridan Episode 5 on 3 and 4 May at the Clementina Leitão Ho Brito Theatre. This non-verbal performance and surrealist fantasy mixes live music, dynamic body movement, dance and circus arts. Canadian theatre company 4D art returns to the Macao Arts Festival with a modern version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest on 23 and 24 May at the Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium. Thanks to the virtual technology at their disposal, spells, visions and poetry create a previously unimaginable storm that appeals not only to the senses but also to the mind and conveys the dreamy opulence of Shakespeare’s work.

After the Canadians' thrilling performance, Mexico's Sensorama will surprise the public at Lou Kau Mansion on 16-18 and 20-25 May. Sensorama – The Four Elements – Native Chants is a voyage to the depths of emotions in which a blindfolded audience is led by the guiding hand of sensory perception to a place where time ceases to exist.

Dance rivals music as one of the main highlights of the Festival. Between 9 and 12 May, the Lou Kau Mansion hosts Pallavi Krishnan, one of the very few exponents of Mohiniyattam Indian Classical Dance and a trend-setter for many young dancers the world over. She has developed a performing style marked by creativity and is known for her tremendous efforts to promote and preserve this style of dance as a living tradition. The human form continues in motion with an exciting classical and modern dance showcase by choreographers and students of the Macao Conservatory Dance School. A Garden in the Heart is presented on 11 May at the Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium.

On the other extreme of the dance galaxy, the MAF presents the provocative Nederlands Dans Theatre II, one of the season's most anticipated performances and an event not to be missed on 27 May at the Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium. A true pioneer in its field, the ensemble is constantly striving to provide a platform for brave, new initiatives and aims particularly at getting young audiences interested in the dance of today.

Last but not least, the spectacle bringing the 19th edition of this festival to a close is Sangre Flamenca from the Nuevo Ballet Español. The company, at the vanguard of modern Spanish dance, embodies the combination of contemporary choreography with flamenco traditions. This passionate end to the Festival takes place at the Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium on 29 and 30 May.

The performing arts contribute further to the MAF itinerary with a series of shows to take place in the north of Macao between 16 and 18 and 24 and 25 May. The Outdoor Performing Arts Showcase, to be held at Iao Hon Garden, brings together international and Chinese artists who present a marathon of performances falling just outside the mainstream.

Also provided are workshops and conferences supporting the events, with the objective of stimulating public interest in the arts. In accordance with a long-standing MAF tradition, rehearsals for some of the performances will be open to the public.

The Macao Government Tourist Office kindly supports promotion of the 19th Macao Arts Festival in Mainland China and overseas. The performances held at the Macao Cultural Centre are supported by the Macao Cultural Centre’s rental subsidy scheme.

Tickets for the 19th Macao Arts Festival will be available after 10am on 9 March 2008 at all Kong Seng Ticketing outlets. Telephone and online bookings will be available from 1pm on 9 March. There will be a variety of discount plans (up to 40%). Detailed publicity materials are available at ticket counters.

For more information please check the website of the Cultural Affairs Bureau at www.icm.gov.mo/fam.

Information (853) 2855 5555 in Macao; (852) 2380 5083 in Hong Kong Online

Reservations: www.macauticket.com

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Macao Young Musicians Competition