What's on

Dance Off

22-25 March, 8pm 24 & 25 March, 3pm

A highlight of Hong Kong’s contemporary dance scene, Dance Off continues to blaze new trails as works from the series catch the eye of the international dance scene and receive invitations from festivals and competitions across the globe. This year’s showcase sees the return of Tracy Wong, who reflects on the condition of one’s self being filled with pressures from the outside world. Sudhee Liao probes the performer’s relationship with a hyper-real dance space, and Felix Ke examines fear of death by drawing inspiration from Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise. Rex Cheng revamps the physical movements of Chinese opera in a contemporary dance duet, while award-winning street dancer Solong Zhang dances his dream of living as his authentic self. First-time choreographers Alice Ma and Evains Lui explore the sense of trust amongst city-dwellers and the state of our breathing in everyday life with their respective works.

The 7 pieces are:


La Double Vie

Choreographer and Dancer: Rex Cheng

Chinese Opera Performer: Ng Kwok-wa

Composer: Yuen Wai-fung


White Noise

Choreographer: Felix Ke

Dancer: Lo King-san, Christy Ma


Hermetic Diode

Choreographer and Dancer: Sudhee Liao

Dancer: LO King-san

Visual Artist: Andrew Luk



Choreographer and Dancer: Evains Lui

Dancer: Bobo Lai



Choreographer and Dancer: Alice Ma

Composer: Leung Po-wing


Sous vide

Choreographer and Dancer: Tracy Wong

Soprano: Shao Lok-man


Most Things haven’t Worked Out

Choreographer and Dancer: Solong Zhang


Doctrine of Happiness

16-17 & 22-24 March, 8.15pm 18 & 24-25 March, 3pm
By Tang Chi-kin

Written and directed by Tan Chi-Kin, Doctrine of Happiness follows the lives of secondary school students, Yin, Sau, Hua, Fatso and Ling, characters first met in Tang's Chinese Lesson (HKAF 2016), a play that was named by SCMP as one of HKAF’s “best drama productions in recent years”.

The play looks at Hong Kong’s education system and its social realities as the city enters a new phase with its first female Chief Executive at the helm. Contemporary issues such as student suicides are illuminated by flashbacks as the protagonists revisit the discussions they had in their secondary school classroom. Chu Pak-him reprises his role as Chu Sir with his words still resonant from the Chinese Lesson.

See also 'The Great Learning', also in this year's HKAF, which completes the trilogy.


Hong Kong Arts Festival 2018

February 23 - March 24, 2018

HKAF is a non-profit organization. The estimated budget for the 2018 Festival is around HK$125 million. 

HKAF presents top international artists and ensembles, which in the past have included Cecilia Bartoli, Yo-Yo Ma, Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Riccardo Chailly, Christian Thielemann, Gustavo Dudamel, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Sylvie Guillem, Kevin Spacey, Robert Wilson, Peter Brook, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre, Bavarian State Opera, the Bolshoi Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Zingaro, Royal Shakespeare Company, Berliner Ensemble and National Theatre of China.

For this year's programme, view the HKAF website at www.hk.artsfestival.org.

English language accessible performances are separately listed on the HKELD calendar.


The Suppliant Women

22-25 March,8pm; 24 & 25 March, 3pm
By Aeschylus

Written some 2,500 years ago, Aeschylus’ Greek classic has been adapted by leading Scottish dramatist David Greig  to retell the arrival of a group of refugee women provokes the ruler of a city-state to consider their obligations of hospitality and asylum. These women are escaping from forced marriage in their homeland, and now they must persuade the citizens of the country that now controls their fate to let them stay. A referendum is triggered to resolve a moral quandary.

True to ancient Greek drama practice, the production will feature a 40-strong chorus– recruited and trained from the local community to perform alongside a professional cast. Adding to the production’s authenticity and atmosphere, John Browne’s moving and earthy score uses a specially reconstructed, ancient, double-pipe instrument, the aulos, to accompany the women’s singing.


Whipped Cream

March 22-25, 7.30pm; March 25, 2.30pm

Commissioned by composer Richard Strauss when he was co-director of the Wiener Staatsoper between 1919 and 1924, Whipped Cream features one of only two scores he wrote for ballet. His aim was to provide distraction from the misery and hard times of post-World War I Vienna with a joyful, fantastical story that comprised enough waltzes, polkas, gallops and beautiful violin adagios to banish any darkness and lift everyone’s spirits. 

The story itself is pure confection. Following his first communion a young boy joins his friends at a pastry shop to indulge his passion for all things sweet, especially whipped cream. His excessive consumption leads him to fall asleep, only to wake in a strange, hospital ward. He escapes to an imagined fantasy land whose inhabitants include the Princes Cocoa and Coffee, Princesses Tea-Flower and Praline, and where sweets and treats come to life in dance.

Almost a century later this historic ballet gem has been re-imagined by ABT choreographer Alexei Ratmansky on the same lavish scale as the original. The fabulous sets are complemented by more than 150 costumes, designed by pop-surrealist art star Mark Ryden, sparkling with 75,000 Swarovski crystals.