Going to a performing arts show in Macau? This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are planning a trip to the Las Vegas of Asia. But one of the biggest arts event in the city – the Macao Arts Festival – opens today and is presenting some captivating overseas and locally produced programmes under the theme of Heterotopia. Among this year’s 25 programmes, here are five performances that we think you shouldn’t miss.

Letter to My Nephew

Famous for integrating innovative dance moves with visual installation, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company presents a night of music and dance performance, bringing together social and political elements and deeply personal impulses in Letter to My Nephew.

Acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones brings his private story on to the stage through the skilled dancers of the Company with a mix of pop music, lullabies and house music as well as a video designed by Janet Wong.

8pm, May 1

Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium

The Seagull

Award-winning Lithuanian director Yana Ross gives Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece The Seagull a new, modern and Icelandic twist. The theatre drama is produced by Iceland’s Reykjavik City Theatre.

The story, set in a Russian country estate in the original play, is now staged against the backdrop of a luxurious Icelandic lakeside summer house with parties and karaoke sessions. The setting has changed, but the conflicts between the characters and the elements of suppression, paranoia, anger, desire and love remain.

7.30pm, May 27 and 28

Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium

Westland Feuds

An adaptation of Chinese author Chen Zhongshi’s novel White Deer Plain, the stage drama produced by Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre tells the story about the love, hatred and revenge between two big families living in the White Deer Village located in Shaanxi province during the late Imperial China era and the beginning of the Republic.

It reflects the multiple facets of society at the time. With meticulous attention to detail, it is regarded as the most satisfying interpretation of the novel.

7.30pm, May 12 and 13

Grand Auditorium, Macao Cultural Centre

Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker

It might be one of the craziest shows you have ever seen. Blending elements like high school musical, extreme Japanese TV reality show, cheesy pop video and an out-take from Les Miserables, this theatre performance directed by Toco Nikaido, one of the most talked-about artists in Japan today, is full of pop and sub-cultural references as well as political symbols.

While young Japanese performers dance energetically on the stage and just next to the audience, all kinds of objects fare flying back and forth inside the theatre. But don’t worry, raincoats will be provided when you enter this frenetic world.

8pm, May 19 to 21

2/F, Old Court Building

Remote Macao

This unconventional walking tour theatre takes the audience through the streets and lanes in the city. Produced by Germany-based art group Rimini Protokoll, the 100-minute “guided tour” is part of the group’s Remote X environmental artwork series which has shown in over 30 cities around the world.

Put your headphones on, and a synthetic voice will guide you to explore the city through elements of theatre, living space and the general public, just like playing an online video game.

11.30am, 4.30pm, May 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28

Meeting Point: São Miguel Arcanjo Cemetery