The 29th Macao Arts Festival (MAF), organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), has been concluded on 31 May, presenting 26 excellent performances and artistic exhibitions as well as an outreach programme, in a total of over 100 activities, earning an enthusiastic response from local and overseas audience. The overall ticketing rate reached nearly 86%.
This edition of the MAF is themed “Origin”, which symbolises the “spring of life”, leading the audience to recall the core meaning of life by means of different art manifestations. The opening performance Das Kapital and the closing performance 13 Tongues, which were widely acclaimed by the public; performances such as Home Sweet Home, Sunset at the Shipyards, Infinita and Migration, among others, gave audiences a space to reflect on life; local performances were highly sought after, such as Les Curious Fringes – Blast of the Cave, The Night Just Before the Forests, Humming of the Landscape, Pissed Julie and In Search of Memory. The MAF continues to support the transmission and promotion of intangible cultural heritage. In this edition, it included the Classical Chinese Quyi Showcase, in which Au Kuan Cheong, the heir to this item of the national intangible cultural heritage, re-enacted the history of Guangdong’s Quyi with Nammyam narrative songs; the plays Hanjiang Gate and Dream of the Red Chamber, presented by young actors and the local Cantonese opera artists; as well as the satirical and humorous Patuá theatre What’s Serving?, thereby creating a rich artistic landscape. Local and foreign media and art critics made extensive reports and in-depth analysis of the Festival. Consuls accredited to Hong Kong and Macao were also invited to join a cultural tour to the MAF, which allowed them to feel the charm of Macao’s culture. In addition, promotion and ticket sales services were available at designated venues at higher education institutions and gaming corporations, in order to reach an even broader public.
This year, the MAF introduced the activity “I am a little audience” for promoting theatre knowledge before and after the performances to young audience, allowing them to further understand the theatre etiquette and the process of artistic creation, which was well received by the families. The Outreach Programme was also highly varied, offering talks, workshops, artist talks, art critique, accessibility services and movie screenings, among others, broadening participants’ artistic horizons and enriching the population’s cultural life; more than 1300 people attended activities of the Outreach Programme. IC also actively promoted the Festival through new means, launching two games on Facebook, which received a positive response and attracted over 590 people to participate. Results of the lucky draw will be announced during the month of June.
This edition of the MAF was strongly supported by the Macao Government Tourism Office, TDM – Teledifusão de Macau, Air Macau and MGM Macau, as well as with the cooperation with five banks and credit cards partners and five media partners, which brought information about the Festival through a variety of activities.
The MAF will mark its 30th edition next year. IC will continue to create an arts festival brand that integrates Chinese and Western cultures while breaking through traditional forms. MAF will keep pace with the times. It not only allow the audience to appreciate the traditional arts, but also offer more innovative artistic perspectives and lead performing trends. Stay tuned!