One of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia, Hong Kong Ballet (HKB) is internationally recognised as a top institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Since its inception in 1979, HKB has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with a strong repertoire composed of a range of artistic and technically challenging productions, showcasing our exceptional dancers.
The Company’s repertoire includes full-length ballets, the finest classical and neo-classical works of the 19th to 21st centuries, acclaimed contemporary ballets, and abridged classic productions choreographed especially for children. Recently, the 2015/16 season presented the world premières of Pär Isberg’s Pinocchio, Fei Bo’s Shenren Chang and Edwaard Liang’s Sacred Thread. The Company performs works by today’s most sought-after choreographers including Nacho Duato, Alexei Ratmansky and Christian Spuck, in addition to commissioned works by Jorma Elo, Cynthia Harvey, Yuri Ng, Xin-peng Wang, Terence Kohler, Peter Quanz and Kinsun Chan. The repertoire will include ballets by Jiří Kylián and Christopher Wheeldon in the years to come.
HK Ballet’s Education and Community Outreach Department has a wonderful team whose sole purpose is to design and deliver informative, educational and inspiring programmes, opening up the amazing world of ballet to the broadest possible audience, and cultivating within them, a love of ballet and the performing arts. The passionate team entertains, informs, educates and connects with audience members of all ages through three main avenues:
Production Programmes, such as pre-views, pre-prformance talks etc. are designed to inform and entertain. Audience members, young and old, can enjoy learning more about
a production, developing a deeper awareness, understanding, and feeling for a ballet which leads to a more meaningful experience at the theatre.
Community Programmes are developed to engage the wider community in ballet and the arts by providing opportunities for everyone, with the core aim to open up the world of ballet to those who may otherwise never have the opportunity to enjoy the performing arts. These programmes foster an appreciation for the arts and, develop, educate and nurture future audiences by cultivating a keen interest in, and love of, ballet:
- Open Dress Rehearsals
HK Ballet regularly invites underprivileged families, minority groups, volunteer workers and senior citizens to attend complimentary open dress rehearsals so that these members of the community are afforded the opportunity to enjoy the art of ballet. Prior to the rehearsal, the Company hosts an informative talk which can be translated into sign language for those with hearing impairments. For visually-impaired participants, a visual interpreter can be arranged to provide live audio description of what is happening on the stage. The participants can also have the chance to meet our dancers and feel the costumes, making the experience a thoroughly enjoyable and educational one for all involved.
- Ballet Workshops
Ballet Workshops are the perfect way to learn more about ballet’s fascinating background and evolution throughout the years. From our interactive Family Fun workshops for all ages to our informative Ballet Talks at community centres for NGOs, these events are designed so that the entire community can experience the various aspects of ballet, including learning ballet movements and mime and appreciating the beauty of the intricate costumes up close!
- Magic Theatre
As part of the Creative Ballet Training Project presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and supported by HK Ballet, Magic Theatre is a demonstration of behind-the-scenes wizardry, teaching participants all about the sound and lighting effects used on stage. In addition to the technical demonstration and an introduction to stage etiquette, the participants have the opportunity to watch excerpts from a signature performance, danced by the HK Ballet dancers, and to get on the stage to enjoy interactive and educational activities.
- Studio Visits
Studio Visits offer the opportunity for schools and community groups to visit the professional dancers’ studio, allowing them to witness a class or a rehearsal in progress. These visits nurture an interest in the arts, giving students the chance to learn more about the daily life of a dancer, and bringing ballet to life in the intimate setting of the Dance Studio.
- Design Competitions and Exhibitions
Design competitions and exhibitions encourage creative exploration and result in stunning creations from the community! Through mask and pointe shoe design competitions, among others, based on interpretations of the themes from popular Hong Kong Ballet productions, participants raise public awareness and interest in the world of ballet.
School Programmes are designed to ignite children’s interest in ballet and the arts, to educate, delight and inspire them – to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of ballet. Our varieties of School Programmes are tailor-made to introduce students to the multi-faceted task of staging a ballet production, including both the creative and administrative aspects. These programmes are designed to broaden student horizons and to give them creative learning opportunities they may not otherwise attain in their academic career:
- School Performance Arts in Practice Scheme (SPAPS)
- School Ballet Talk/Demonstration
- School Culture Day Scheme
- Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students
- Arts Journey
Image Credit: Hong Kong Ballet
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