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22nd Macao Arts Festival
Enjoy Life through Art

22/03/2011
Macao Arts Festival
The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government presents the 22nd Macao Arts Festival (MAF), to be held between 29 April and 28 May, 2011.
 
Featuring nearly 90 performances, by 29 acts from 7 different countries including Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Argentina and Mainland China, the coming Macao Arts Festival season is wonderfully diverse. In a clear show of support for local talent, more than half of the events programmed this year count on the participation of local artists. The Festival provides the platform for home-grown talent to present outstanding works from the region’s own performing arts scene, while on the international front, reaffirming itself as a window to the latest creative trends emerging on stages the world over. Embodying the motto “Enjoy Life through Art”, the Festival programme brings together theatre, traditional and modern dance, Chinese and Western music and multimedia and visual arts in a selection that extends as well to Cantonese opera, an art form officially inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 through the joint efforts of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Governments.
 
The 22nd Macao Arts Festival opens with Marco Polo: The Imaginary Voyage (29/4, Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium – MCCGA), a multidisciplinary show from Pietragalla Compagnie combining both real and virtual elements and mixing contemporary and classical music, hip hop, martial arts, song and animated images. The performance brings the audience on the futuristic adventures of famed explorer Marco Polo, who, guided by his muse, returns to the distant countries he visited in the past and rediscovers them anew.
 
This year, the MAF features a number of performances perfect for the whole family. The first among them, presented by Macao’s Little Mountain Arts Association, is Ten Brothers (30/4, 1/5, Dom Pedro V Theatre), a mythical fairy tale that has been enjoyed by both adults and children since ancient times. Its central characters are deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese people. Another treat for the younger ones is Kallima, the Gluttonous Caterpillar from the local group Black Sand Theatre (1, 2/5, Lou Kau Mansion). A fascinating lesson in natural science incorporating music, puppetry and human performance, this show enables children to observe and learn from the mysteries and greatness of nature. On 5 May the Guangdong Province Puppet Art Theatre Group presents Eighth Floor and a Half (MCCGA). Dubbed “the Chinese version of The Lion King”, this show has garnered enormous public praise and has won numerous prizes, among them the special “Wen Hua” Award. Eighth Floor and a Half is a green fairy tale, a story about the Earth and a hymn to life. From the Portuguese group Passos e Compassos, Ti-tó-tis – Dance and Music for Babies (14, 15, 20~22/5, Dom Pedro V Theatre Lobby) is a performance aimed at toddlers and infants combining dance and music in a comprehensive context where lighting, sound, sets and images intertwine. Yet another family programme is The Lotus Lamp (21/5, Alegria Cinema), from the Macao Kaifong Children’s Opera Troupe. This popular romantic story – about love and family affection between a mortal and an immortal – features an intense and intricate plot designed to transport the audience into a world of magical appeal and deep emotions.
The MAF continues its celebration of the 2009 inscription of Yueju Opera on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity with a large-scale, innovative production of De Ling and the Empress Dowager Ci Xi by Art of Cantonese Opera, a company from the Hong Kong SAR (24/5, MCCGA). The current version of this masterpiece, meticulously adapted by renowned Hong Kong director Law Kar-Ying, was first presented to the public in 2010. Starring Liza Wang and many other luminaries of the Cantonese Opera circle, this production is eagerly awaited! From the local front, the Macao General Association of Cantonese Opera and Music presents Cantonese Opera in Concert – I, II (30/4, 1/5, Alegria Cinema), featuring selections from the classic repertoire performed by an all-star cast on two consecutive evenings. Join in the celebration of this timeless art form!
 
Music makes a substantial contribution to the programme, beginning on 7 May with a concert by The Macao Conservatory School of Music (MCCGA). Conducted by Francis Kan, Assistant Conductor of the Macao Orchestra, Melodies of Youth 2011 features performances by local rising star of the classical guitar Chan Kai Ieng and teachers and students from the Macao Conservatory. The Macao Chinese Orchestra, in collaboration with the China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra and special guest Wu Bixia, presents a 20th-century musical setting of the Chinese literary classic Dream of the Red Chamber by famous composer Wang Liping (8/5, MCCGA). Showcasing the very latest in trends in classical music, the Macao Orchestra spotlights the talent of China’s most outstanding contemporary composers with a programme of rare and highly complex symphonic pieces. Meet the Composers – Premieres of Newly Commissioned Works (14/5, Macao Tower Auditorium) features new music from Ye Xiaogang, Bright Sheng and two internationally celebrated composers from Macao: Lam Bun-Ching and Doming Lam. With their creative exploration into the sonic potential of everyday objects, the French group Zic Zazou crafts superb musical poems to enchant every listener in La Brocante Sonore (10, 11/5, MCCGA), revealing an eccentric world of surprising sounds.
 
The Macanese Patois theatre group Dóci Papiaçám di Macau delivers yet another instalment in their now legendary series of satires on local society with the premiere of Qui Pandalhada! (What Pandamonium) (20, 21/5, MCCGA). This time, the topic is the panda – the new commercial symbol of Macao! Another local theatre company, Step Out, led by experienced director Mok Sio Chong, embarks upon a journey of memories in the context of multimedia environmental theatre. In The House of the Vagrants (7~10/5, Mandarin’s House) they trace the mixed fortunes of the Mandarin’s House over the past half-century through an oral account of historical facts, establishing a lasting testimonial. Macao's very own professional theatre company, the Hiu Kok Drama Association, stages Twelfth Night in Macao (21/5, Dom Pedro V Theatre), directed by Cheang Kai Sang. Adapting Shakespeare’s enduring comedy Twelfth Night, Cheang recreates the aura of this immensely powerful English play, allowing the enduring love story to be transformed into a humorous yet intriguing fantasia on Macao City. In another adaptation of a literary classic, the local flagship company Theatre Farmers presents Flowers for Algernon (26/5, Dom Pedro V Theatre), based on the award-winning novel by American author Daniel Keyes. Directed by Wong Shu Fai, the play is performed by a stellar cast of actors, who bring to life this touching story of love and tears through their subtle and intense delivery. Musical Theatre, a genre that has become fashionable recently in Macao, is also featured this year in the MAF. The Macao Portuguese Folk Dance Association “Macao’s Heart” has fused elements of Portuguese folk dance and folk song to create The Legend of Lilau (27/5, Dom Pedro V Theatre). Original music and songs combine with Portuguese folk dances to illuminate the rich and enduring multicultural environment created centuries ago in Macao.
 
International theatre also plays a role in the MAF. The Imaginary Book (7, 8, 10/5, Dom Pedro V Theatre), from Spain’s Companyia de Comediants La Baldufa, is a multidisciplinary show for all ages. An imaginary journey to an unreachable place, this is a voyage that will change forever the lives of all those who embark on it. From Israel comes Stones (14, 15/5, Dom Pedro V Theatre) by the Orto-Da Theatre Group. A show that deals with the passion for life, the heroic myth and the victory of the spirit within the modern world, Stones tells the rebel’s story through the eyes of a sculpture that comes to life. The Danish one-woman company Sofie Krog Teater presents Diva (20~22/5, Lou Kau Mansion), an almost wordless performance set in a rotating animation theatre. Behind an inferno of seven scenes of action and 21 curtains, everything can be moved, opened, shut and hoisted up or down. Diva looks like nothing you have ever seen before!
 
The MAF has also programmed both international and local dance. The Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo, from Portugal, presents the ballet Amaramália (2/5, MCCGA). This new version is a synthesis of three separate choreographies crafted by Vasco Wellenkamp between 1990 and 1994 for three important European dance companies. The result not only highlights the Portuguese Fado, it carries the essence of Lisbon to other places around the world. che… malambô (14, 15/5, MACCGA), from the Pampa Furiosa Ballet d’Argentine, is a dynamic performance that beautifully expresses the virtuosity and vitality of the malambo, a unique South American dance form. Among Argentinean dances it is exceptional, because it has no lyrics and is performed only by men with the support of elaborate guitar accompaniment. Complex and energetic, the malambo was traditionally danced in tournaments to exhibit the extraordinary skills of the gauchos.
Representing physical dance theatre is Scattered (18, 19/5, Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium – MCCSA) by British dance company Motionhouse. This work combines the company’s trademark highly physical theatre with mesmerising aerial imagery in a unique interaction between film and live performance exploring our relationship with water, an element that surrounds us in different forms throughout our lives.
 
The Macao Dance Groups Showcase (22/5, MCCSA) features a number of local people of varied heritage and backgrounds, all of whom will share in joyous and passionate traditional and modern dance languages. Among the performers are the V R Rockers, Núcleo de Goa, Damão e Diu with Renu Dhawan, Violet Dance Company, Casa de Portugal in Macao – Lebab, The Dancer Studio Macao, Grupo Axe Capoeira Macau, Batukada Brasil and the Cia. de Dança Afro Mavanjù.
 
Last but not least, the performance that will bring this 22nd edition of the MAF to a close is Momentum, from returning Israeli group Mayumana (27, 28/5, MCCGA). Time is the rhythm-pacer and the foundation for the development of music, song and dance. However, our actions have the ability to change our perceptions of time. In Momentum, Mayumana have the ability to stop time or slow it down in order to arrest the present moment; or reverse it in order to revisit the past; or speed it up in order to launch ourselves further into the future…
 
The performing arts contribute further to the MAF itinerary with a series of shows to take place in the north of Macao between 6 and 10 May. The Outdoor Performing Arts Showcase, held at Iao Hon Garden, brings together international and Chinese artists, who present a marathon of performances falling just outside the mainstream. Among the scheduled groups are Motionhouse (UK), La Passionata Svironi Company (Israel), Zic Zazou (France), Orto-Da Theatre Group (Israel), Osadía (Espanha), the Macao Federation of Trade Unions Dance Group, the Macao Juvenile Group of Guzheng Arts, the Macao Fringe Club, the Macao Percussion Association, the Southern Music Association of Macao, the Macao Taoist Orchestra Association, Au Kuan Cheong, City in Emotion, the Bridge, L.A.V.Y., the Shinshins and Bruce Pun.
 
The MAF also features two art exhibitions. The 2011 Macao Annual Art Exhibition, titled A Decade of Glory (22 May~7 August 2011, Old Court Building), marks the 10th anniversary of this annual show, which consistently lends flair to the Macao Arts Festival, encouraging open-minded thinking and creative techniques within the local visual arts scene. The Exhibition “A Glimpse at French Contemporary Painting” (28/5~14/8, Tap Seac Gallery) presents an overview of contemporary painting in France through a selection of eight famous and promising French artists. These daring painters create art that is variously figurative, abstract or somewhere enigmatically in between. They demonstrate with brilliance that painting is thoroughly alive and kicking in France.
 
The varied MAF programme also features an audiovisual mapping performance by Spain’s Telenoika.Net Audiovisual Open Creative Community. Encounters (13~22/5, St. Paul’s Ruins) retells stories of times past while simultaneously drawing attention to the current remnants of Macao’s most iconic façade – the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
 
Also provided are workshops and pre- and post-performance talks supporting the events – activities aimed at 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 22nd 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 22nd Macao Arts Festival will be available after 10am on 27 March 2011 at all Kong Seng Ticketing outlets. Telephone and online bookings will be available from 1pm on 27 March. There will be a variety of discount plans (up to 40%) and a special promotion package for local performances. 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

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 


The 22ⁿᵈ Macao Arts Festival

2011‧04‧29 ~ 05‧28

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