Spring of Life: A May Full of Arts

The 29th Macao Arts Festival is themed on “origin”, which symbolises “the spring of life”, and explores a wide range of topics to broaden audiences’ thinking on life. There are a total of 26 programmes in seven categories this year, bringing superb international, national and local works together. The seven categories include “Thematic Highlights: Origin”, “Groundbreakers: Connection”, “Cross-disciplinary Creations: Theatre”, “Family Entertainment”, “Quintessence of Tradition”, “Melodious Music”, and “Exhibition”. With outreach activities that promote arts in the community, the Festival presents more than 100 shows in total.

“Thematic Highlights: Origin” takes inspirations from “the spring of life” to explore various living-related issues. In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre turns his masterpiece into a theatre play, Das Kapital, to discuss capital with Macao elements, an exquisite show that kicks off the Festival. Contemporary theatre master Tadashi Suzuki presents his adaptation of The Trojan Women to showcase the misery and desolation in the post-war period, while Korean renowned theatre group Sadari Movement Laboratory brings its adaptation of Kafka’s classical work The Trial to the city to explore the definition of crimes with unique body movements and language. Eisa Jocson, an upcoming Filipino choreographer in Europe, presents her recent work Host to us, examining feminine body and gender politics, whilst Subject to_change from the United Kingdom introduces its award-winning work Home Sweet Home, in which participants can build their cardboard houses and form a community. The Festival goes out on a high note with 13 Tongues, a captivating show with dance and music by internationally reputed dance group Cloud Gate 2 to exhibit the folk aesthetics.

“Groundbreakers: Connection” lays out the bond between local artists and others from Europe and Asia: local theatre group Dirks Theatre Arts Association in collaboration with an Irish director and its team members from all over the world presents their adaption of The Night just before the Forests, a work written by renown French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès; Sunset at the Shipyards by Dream Theater Association tells you the history of local shipbuilding industry; Migration, a documentary theatre created by Macau Experimental Theatre with Indonesian migrant workers. The Macao Arts Festival has also commissioned Singaporean group Nine Years Theatre to co-produce Pissed Julie, an acclaimed work by Swedish playwright August Strindberg with a new sarcastic twist, featuring actors from both Macao and Singapore.

“Cross-disciplinary Creations: Theatre” presents you theatre in various formats such as physical theatre 32 rue Vandenbranden by Belgian greatly-admired art group Peeping Tom, and dance and installation theatre Humming of the Landscape, a show developed by Comuna de Pedra Arts and Cultural Association based on its previous performance in the Macao City Fringe Festival. With more under this category, a Portuguese artist presents experienced theatre Parasomnia at the Mandarin’s House, while local choreographer Tracy Wong returns to the Festival with Les Curious Fringes – Blast of the Cave, a performance incorporated with dance, visual elements and installations. Besides, classical Cantonese operas Hanjiang Gate and Dream of the Red Chamber, concerts, family entertainment programmes and exhibition are available for audience to enjoy a sumptuous feast of arts.

This year’s Macao Arts Festival starts from “origin”, creating a multi-layered artistic landscape. We cordially invite you to embark on a journey of arts in this early summer.