30,000 expected at open day

MORE than 30,000 people are expected at tomorrow's open day of the Academy for Performing Arts.

'It is an extremely popular event,' said Susanna Chan, the public relations officer.

The occasion will mark the academy's 10th anniversary celebrations.

'We can attract more people than many of the other tertiary institutions in Hong Kong because there are so many more chances to entertain people,' Ms Chan said.

'The academic institutes can only hold exhibitions; we can hold performances.' Admission is free and visitors are invited to bring their own dancing shoes, so they can take part in the open classes in jazz, ballet, modern dance and Chinese dance that will be taught by academy staff.

For the less active, students from the academy's School of Dance will give demonstrations and junior students will take classes in creative movement and ballet.

The programme will include more than 20 concerts, featuring Western and Chinese instruments ranging from the erhu to the french horn, with heads of departments available to advise and answer enquiries.

As well as organising class workshops, the School of Drama will be staging an open rehearsal of its production On the Other Shore, which will be performed later this month.

However, the most popular events of the open day are likely to be the guided tours of the backstage areas and workshops.

There will be tours to the scenic paint shop, the props and carpentry workshops and the wardrobe departments, with demonstrations of lighting and audio equipment.

'It gives people the rare chance to see how the magic of the stage is created,' Ms Chan said.

The other favourite among open-day visitors every year is the APA's television complex. It affords them the chance to look through the cameras and even appear on the academy's own in-house television channel.

'Not many people know about our TV studio, which is as big as the facility at RTHK,' she said.

Ms Chan said about 100 students at all levels took advantage of the television and film-making facilities.

Guided tours to the academy's fully automated library and physiotherapy studio will be arranged tomorrow.

The academy's doors will be open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm and, unlike other times of the year, photographers will have a free hand.