Parade to offer all singing, all dancing hello to Year of the Snake
Artists from 14 countries to join parade to usherin Lunar New Year
American cheerleaders, Japanese folk dancers, and Korean all-women percussion groups, as well as lion and dragon dancers will help revellers usher in the Year of the Snake next weekend.
Thirty-six floats and performing groups from 14 countries will take part in the Chinese New Year Night Parade in Tsim Sha Tsui next Sunday.
Cathay Pacific and the Jockey Club will use LED and LCD displays on their floats. The airline's will beam greetings from people the world over, and the club's will feature the contributions it has made to the city, with scenes from its riding schools and community facilities.
The club has hired dancers from the Academy for Performing Arts, which it helped set up in 1984, to perform.
"We've been practising for a week non-stop," said Yu An-ke, at 18 the youngest performer of the 30-member troupe.
A club spokeswoman said using dancers in the parade was a great opportunity to show Hong Kong there was "real local talent".
The dancers will carry large "coins" and when several line up together, a projector will beam images of Hong Kong's skyline onto the surface - a routine requiring tight choreography on the performers' part.
"The timing has to be precise, but it still needs to look easy and comfortable," said Simon Ho Xi-mon, a graduate of from the academy who has toured in national productions in Britain of The King and I and Miss Saigon.
The parade begins at 8pm and will make its way from the Cultural Centre Piazza along Canton, Haiphong and Nathan roads, ending at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers around 9.30pm
Performers from Estonia, Ireland, Poland and Bolivia will also be taking part.
TVB Jade will carry a live broadcast of the parade. People can buy tickets for a spot in the viewing stands at the Cultural Centre, while watching from streetside is free.
From 7pm, magicians, African drummers, ballet dancers, jazz musicians, DJs and other performers will be out entertaining the waiting crowds.