All Bach Hong Kong Ballet Lyric Theatre, HK Academy for Performing Arts Reviewed: Feb 13 Hong Kong Ballet returned to the Hong Kong Arts Festival after 14 years with a mixed bill titled All Bach. Originally, the programme was to have consisted of works by choreographers George Balanchine, William Forsythe and Stanton Welch, but it was flawed by the ill-judged addition of a fourth piece, Wang Xinpeng's Mein Bach. Balanchine's masterly Concerto Barocco places demands on the eight female corps de ballet, but the dancers coped with the technical difficulties and conveyed the lightness of mood and femininity the work requires. Chantel Elizabeth Roulston's exceptional performance as the second female lead showed exemplary phrasing and understanding of Balanchine's style. The whole cast of Welch's male-dominated Clear gave a strong performance, led by the superb musical pairing of Kyoko Tomimura and Carlo Pacis. There was outstanding work by Yuh Egami in the pas de trois and a promising solo debut by Ricky Hu in the duet. Clear and Concerto Barocco were enhanced by live accompaniment from the Hong Kong Sinfonietta under Andrew Mogrelia, with fine playing from soloists Sylvia Chow, Cai Yingqiong, Joseph Vickers, Huang Zheng and Matama Takahashi. Steptext, for three men and one woman, is the Ballet's first piece by Forsythe. There is nothing easy about this work for either dancers or audiences - it is as demanding intellectually as it is technically - and the dancers and guest repetiteurs are to be congratulated on a stunning performance. Brett Simon and Li Jiabo, in particular, captured Forsythe's style, and Jin Yao in the female lead was a revelation. Overly classical in Balanchine earlier, here she captured the essence of Forsythe - the reaching of physical extremes, the underlying anger and sexual tension, captured by the insolent, flat-footed walk. The programme should have ended there. Wang's overly long Mein Bach had its moments, but looked like two ballets spliced together, one modelled on Forsythe, the other a contemporary piece. The excellence of the dancing could not prevent it suffering by comparison to the preceding works.