Hong Kong shows off its arts and culture for a week in Taiwan

Arts groups from dance to theatre and jazz will stage 19 performances at week-long event

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2012, 3:42am

Hong Kong will stage the largest roadshow of its arts and culture in Taiwan as a belated response to the island's upbeat cultural display in the city.

Nine local art groups will showcase their works over 19 performances in Taipei during the event, called "Hong Kong Week 2012 - Culture & Creativity @ Taipei", which will run from November 23 to December 2.

Fredric Mao, chairman of the event's organiser, the Hong Kong-Taiwan Cultural Co-operation Committee, lamented the lack of efforts in promoting the city's arts beyond its shores.

"There has been a Taiwan Month [in the past six years], and what have we got?" said Mao, a veteran drama director. "For nine major art groups to perform back-to-back over 10 days outside Hong Kong is something we have never done before."

The HK$8 million Taiwan roadshow will open with the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre's musical drama I have a Date with Autumn. It will close with a show by the 85 musicians of the flagship Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Other events include the experimental theatre company Zuni Icosahedron performing the stage play 1587, A Year of No Significance and the Saturday Night Jazz Orchestra under music director Taka Hirohama forming a 40-strong band with its Taiwanese counterpart for a show called Let's Swing, Taipei.

The Arts Centre will curate an exhibition on Hong Kong comics from the 1960s to the present.

Collaboration with Taiwanese artists is a common theme among all the participating groups.

Dance veteran Mui Chuek-yin, who is performing in an event called the Hong Kong x Taipei Dance Exchange, said: "All 18 of us will perform our own works in a [seven-hour] dance marathon at the Rose Historic Site. We will partner with one or more Taiwanese artists, say, a dancer or a pianist."

Katherine Lee Ying-ping, the new director of Taiwan Kwang Hwa Information and Cultural Centre, said the event would narrow the cultural gap between the two regions.

"It's a pity Hong Kong's first impression, to Taiwan, is shopping," Lee said. "I do think the Hong Kong Week and our Taiwan Month will change such an impression in a fairly short time."