27th Macao Arts Festival takes “Time” as theme and “Reshape your Imagination. Experience the Spirit of the Times” as slogan

Lu You and Tang Wan

The 27th Macao Arts Festival (MAF), organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, will be held from 30 April to 29 May. This edition of the MAF is themed “Time” and has “Reshape your Imagination. Experience the Spirit of the Times” as slogan, conveying the message that the performing arts have undergone thousands of years of condensation, development and transformation. The classics, enriched by the spirit of the age, manage to provide guidance to our growth. The MAF presents 27 excellent shows and artistic exhibitions as well as an outreach programme, in a total of over 100 activities that bring the audience into the spaces of the Chinese and Western cultures. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the western world literary giant William Shakespeare and of Ming Dynasty’s famed Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu. The MAF will present “Thematic Highlights” in tribute to the two virtuosos. The Festival will kick off with Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, rendered by the Shakespeare Theatre Company from USA, featuring stunning and delicate sceneries and wardrobe. The Festival will draw to a close with an adaptation of Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s most renowned tragedies, presented by Third World Bunfight from South Africa, a show exploring a vision of the world through a post-colonial African scenery and the historical and current relations between Africa and the West. Tang Xianzu’s two acclaimed works will be staged, namely Excerpts of The Peony Pavilion, performed by the Zhejiang Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe from Mainland China, and the romantic tragedy The Legend of the Purple Hairpin, performed by renowned Macao Cantonese opera artist Chu Chan Wa and by other local Cantonese opera artists. The event also presents Micro-Shakespeare and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) for the audience to explore in depth the masterpieces by these two literary giants. In order to develop an even broader perspective of the performing arts, the MAF introduces innovative and cross-disciplinary performances: Krapp’s Last Tape, Samuel Beckett’s famed work directed and performed by internationally acclaimed theatre and director Robert Wilson; Jérôme Bel and Swiss Theater HORA’s Disabled Theater performed by actors with cognitive disabilities reveals how these can question the contemporary society; the abstract dance pieces 6&7 by extraordinary choreographer Tao Ye and TAO Dance Theater which explore the potential of the human body; the dance piece Obsession by Japanese dance masters Saburo Teshigawara and Rihoko Sato, illustrating how an inner obsession torns the conscious while creating a poetic space; and the concert Coppia, an amazing journey in which dance and music play in a tennis court. The MAF is dedicated to promoting local creativity, the transmission of traditional culture and the arts in the community. In this context, this edition of the Festival features Shelf Life, a combination of visual art and installation; the musical performance The Fairy Tales from the World of Chaos; the uplifting experimental concert Journey to the Last Frontier - Concert; the satiric play in Patuá A Tea for a Dream; Mu Guiying Battling in Hongzhou by the Macao Kaifong Cantonese Opera Juvenile’s Troupe, which inherits the essence and aestheticism of intangible cultural heritage; and the play Someone in “Outlaws of the Marsh” featuring elements from Cantonese Opera. Aside from this, the Yue opera Lu You and Tang Wan performed by a top female Yue opera troupe from Mainland China, the Zhejiang Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe, presents the poetic style and aesthetics spirit of the region south of the Yangtze river. Several family shows, such as the fantastic In Chants, suitable for children between 6 months and 3 years of age, The Assembly of Animals, in which scientific experiments meet puppets, the high level ice skating and dance show Glide, the interdisciplinary performances featured in the Outdoor Performing Arts Showcase which promotes arts in the community, and the children’s puppet play Circles, which explores issues of marine conservation, among others. These, together with concerts by the Macao Orchestra and the Macao Chinese Orchestra, as well as two large-scale thematic exhibitions, reveal the diversity and richness of culture in Macau. Tickets for the 27th MAF are available at the Macau Ticketing Network from 10am on 13 March (Sunday). Reservations can be made by phone or online from 12pm onwards on the same day. On the first day of ticket sales, each person can purchase a maximum of ten tickets per performance, except for the performances The Assembly of Animals and Circles, a maximum of four tickets per person and In Chants, a maximum of two children packages and two observer tickets per person. Early bird discounts of 30%, subject to certain criteria, are available from 13 to 20 March and 20% discount will be offered from 21 March onwards. Members of the public who purchase their tickets with a BOC Multi-currency Credit Card or BOC card will receive a 30% discount on tickets for the opening and closing performances, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth, as well as a 20% discount on all other shows. A 20% discount for all shows is also available for those who purchase their tickets with ICBC Macao, BCM Bank, OCBC Wing Hang Bank or Tai Fung Bank MasterCard, Visa or Unionpay cards. A 50% discount will also be offered to holders of Macao Senior Citizen Card or the Disability Assessment Registration Card, with purchases limited to one ticket per person. For each purchase over MOP800 (net amount after discount), purchasers may receive a discount voucher and exclusive offers at MGM Macau’s selected restaurants and SPA (available while stocks last). In addition, the show In Chants offers special packages. For more information, please refer to the MAF’s booklet. This edition of the MAF has the support of the Macao Government Tourism Office, TDM – Teledifusão de Macau, Air Macau and MGM Macau. The 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. 8399 6699 during office hours. 24-hour ticket reservation hotline: (Macao) 2855 5555; (Hong Kong) 2380 5083; (Mainland China) 139 269 11111; online ticket reservation is available at www.macauticket.com. The 27th MAF’s press conference took place on 3 March, at 4pm at the MGM Macau The Grand Ballroom. Present at the press conference were the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Ung Vai Meng; the Head of Destination Marketing Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Betty Fok; the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leung Hio Ming; the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited, Grant Bowie; the Deputy General Manager of Bank of China (Macau Branch), Ip Sio Kai; the General Manager of Marketing of Air Macau, Ringo Chan; the Manager of Social Culture and Economic Program Department, TDM, Ltd., Yip Kuok Va; the Head of the Department for the Development of the Performing Arts of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Ieong Chi Kin and the Head of the Division of Performing Arts Activities of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Paula Lei.

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