24th Macao Arts Festival opens with Dance and Theatre

The 24th Macao Arts Festival (MAF), organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, begins Friday, May 3, and will feature thirty-four diverse programmes over the course of a month. This year, the MAF opens with a re-creation of the contemporary dance work Drought and Rain. This show, commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival, continues a study of the memory of war by French-Vietnamese director and choreographer Ea Sola. Featuring a cast of singers who once performed to comfort soldiers on the front during the Vietnamese War, this moving ballet explores questions of survival, in times of war and against the extremes of the Vietnamese climate. Drought and Rain takes to the stage at the Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium on May 3, at 8pm. The MAF's opening ceremony will take place before the show, at 7.45pm, at the Macao Cultural Centre lobby, and all are invited to attend. The MAF, an event dedicated to promoting the development of the territory's arts, is not lacking in local productions. On May 4 and 5, at 3 and 8pm, the Old Court Building will host My Chair 20:13, the most recent production by the Contemporary Stage company. This work presents the thought-provoking story of a modern young woman, fighting her way to "victory" while exploring the meaning of the word and calling for introspection on the part of the audience, into their own values. The Sir Robert Ho Tung Library is host to Here She Dances, a production based on the poetry of Jenny Ng that combines multimedia arts with literary excerpts and dance. An extra performance on Monday, May 6, at 8pm has been added to supplement the sold out performances on May 4 and 5. Produced by the not-for-profit association Comuna de Pedra, Here She Dances is an excellent example of the abilities and creativity of local talents. Theatre is also present in the MAF's opening weekend, as Home Sweet Home features two of Portugal's most brilliant comedic stars portraying a variety of characters and their hilarious trials and tribulations in a nursing home. After months of touring Portugal and playing to sold-out auditoriums, Maria Rueff and Joaquim Monchique now present their must-see comedy in Macao, at the Dom Pedro V Theatre, on May 4, 5 and 6, at 8pm. Tickets for the 24th Macao Arts Festival are still available in limited numbers at all Kong Seng Ticketing Network outlets. Telephone bookings may be made on 2855 5555. For more information please check the MAF website at: www.icm.gov.mo/fam.

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