32nd Macao Arts Festival kicks off in May Invigorates power of the times with art

Date of publication: 28/03/2022

Organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), the 32nd Macao Arts Festival (MAF), themed “Invigorate”, will be held from 29 April to 2 June, featuring 18 programmes, covering theatre, dance, music and visual arts, aiming to invigorate the power of the times with art.

The MAF is committed to building a platform for international art exchange and introducing exceptional programmes while fostering local productions. Amid the global pandemic, artists have transformed imagination in daily life into creative inspiration and developed more compelling works that speak for the times. This edition of the MAF will continue to focus on programmes from Macao and Mainland China and present top international productions through various means including screenings of stage performances and application of VR (Virtual Reality) technology, aiming to broaden the public’s artistic horizon and enhance their aesthetic sense.

Willy Tsao presents a contemporary dance theatre production to create poetic scenes; Liza Wang joins hands with the Macao Chinese Orchestra to present a closing performance

The edition of the MAF kicks off with the contemporary dance theatre production Free Man from the South by renowned choreographer Willy Tsao. Drawing inspiration from the poems of Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, the work weaves together poetry, dance and music, presenting a beautiful world of mountains, water, flowers and moon. A much-loved artist in the global Chinese community, Liza Wang will join hands with the Macao Chinese Orchestra to present the closing performance with a repertoire of classic songs.

Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre recreates Greek literary classic; Novel production duo presents urban stories on stage

Electra, jointly produced by the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and a Greek production team, is a classic play about vengeance and justice written by Sophocles, one of the three great ancient Greek tragedians. The script is translated by Luo Tong, who is the third generation of a family dedicated to the study and research of this domain of Ancient Greek literature and theatre, reproducing the original classic. Xiao Ke, jointly created by choreographer and dancer Xiao Ke and French choreographer Jérôme Bel, reflects the evolution of Chinese dance and culture over the past 40 years. I Am a Moon, written by young playwright Zhu Yi and directed by new-generation director Ding Yiteng, uses the craters on the moon to tell six independent but interrelated stories under the moonlight and the loneliness of urbanites.

Focusing on local talent, the Macao Arts Festival establishes a display and exchange platform

The Macao Arts Festival has adhered to the mission of promoting the development of local arts and building a display and exchange platform. This year, the Festival features an array of performances ingeniously produced by local art groups. Drawing inspiration from the old D. Carlos I Dock, Carlos I by Step Out is a performance with no actors but only lighting, sound and space installations to ignite the imagination of the audience from historical traces and inspire them to look ahead to the future. The physical theatre production The Vanished Figures combines the experience of Jenny Mok, director of the Comuna de Pedra, in the construction industry, in order to explore the topic of female labour in today’s society. The dance theatre piece Vaster Far than the Ocean, jointly produced by dancer Mui Cheuk Yin from Hong Kong, a choreographer ErGao from Guangzhou, and dancer Stella Ho from Macao, who gained inspiration from looking at the sea in different regions. In this production, Stella & Artists will combine dance and traditional bamboo scaffolding and explore the possibilities of dancers’ bodies on the bamboo scaffolding installation. The multimedia soundscape theatre Nine Soundscapes by Macau Experimental Theatre depicts the ups and downs of the city with the nine tones of Cantonese. Grandma’s Treasure Box, debuted in the Macao City Fringe Festival last year, will be staged at the MAF this year, presenting the daily life of the producer Mika Lee and her grandmother. The Macao Orchestra will present a live orchestral performance of the classic film Der Rosenkavalier, premiered in the 1920s, adapted from the eponymous opera by Richard Strauss,  depicting a romantic story full of wit and humour through music.

Traditional Chinese opera and Patuá theatre production highlight the charm of intangible cultural heritage

Adapted from the eponymous film, the new Shanghai-style Peking opera New Dragon Inn is produced by Shi Yihong, an accomplished qingyi actress of the Mei school from Shanghai Jingju Theatre Company, who also plays two roles in the production and reinterprets the story with both traditional opera aesthetics and innovative breakthroughs. The Phantom of Liaozhai, recreated by Cantonese opera veteran Chu Chan Wa from Macao, gathers local top and rising Cantonese opera artists to stage the sincere and touching love story of Nie Xiaoqian. Dóci Papiaçám di Macau Drama Group continues to explore the affairs in the city through Love Cruise, which tells a story of a luxury cruise, highlighting the characteristic of Macao as a city where multiple cultures coexist.

Audience of all ages are welcome to explore art together; artistic atmosphere spreads to the Community

The interactive family play Doodle POP by Grand Boat Culture takes audiences of all ages on a journey under the sea in search of a little sea turtle, exploring wonders in the sea world. The children’s musical The Story of Kong Yiji by the Little Mountain Arts Association, based on the eponymous story Kong Yiji by Lu Xun, invites the audience to perceive the experience of Kong Yiji through the eyes of children and rewrite the tragic ending together. The Performing Arts Gala will bring a range of wonderful performances for three consecutive nights, including hand puppet shows, swing dance, storytelling, aerial acrobatics and Portuguese music, infusing an artistic atmosphere into the community.

Contemporary ink art exhibition highlights imagery and expression of feelings with wild imagination as theme

Jointly organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government and the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province, and coordinated by the Macao Museum of Art and the Guangdong Museum of Art, the exhibition “Wild Imagination: Contemporary Ink Art in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao from 2000 to 2022” highlights ink art as a medium to express feelings, evoking the theme of this edition of MAF “Invigorate”. The exhibition features around 80 pieces/sets of works by more than 50 artists from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, tracing the development of contemporary ink art in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao over the past 20 years.

Tickets for the 32nd Macao Arts Festival are available at the Macau Ticketing Network from 10am on 3 April (Sunday). This year’s MAF introduces several sales channels, encouraging residents to enjoy the convenience of e-governance. This edition of the MAF counts with the support of the Macao Government Tourism Office, TDM – Teledifusão de Macau, Air Macau and MGM. Macao Arts Festival website: www.icm.gov.mo/fam; email: fam@icm.gov.mo. For enquiries regarding the programme, please contact the Cultural Affairs Bureau through tel. no. 8399 6699 during office hours; 24-hour ticketing hotline: (Macao) 2855 5555; (Hong Kong) 2380 5083; (Mainland China) 139 2691 1111; online ticket reservation is available at www.macauticket.com. IC will strictly follow the anti-epidemic guidelines of the health authorities and implement appropriate measures for cultural activities.

The presentation of the programmes of the 32nd MAF was held on 28 March, at 3:30pm, at the Conference Room of the Macao Cultural Centre, and was broadcast live online by a number of media and art groups from the Greater Bay Area, with the presence of the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Wai Man; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; the President, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of TDM - Teledifusão de Macau, S.A., Lo Song Man; the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and General Manager of Air Macau Company Limited, Chen Hong; Chief Strategic and Financial Officer of MGM, Kenneth Feng; the Deputy Director of Digital Finance Department of Bank of China (Macau Branch), Choi Ieng Chi, Sabrina; the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Cheong Lai San; the Head of the Department of Performing Arts Development of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Cheang Kai Meng; the Acting Head of the Division of Performing Arts of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Ian Sin; and the representatives of the participating art groups.



©️李孝萍 LI Xiao-ping


©️Cason Tam

© Comuna de Pedra Arts and Cultural Association


©Filmarchiv Austria