The fourth World Cultures Festival, held every two years in Hong Kong, will this autumn showcase an array of traditional and contemporary performances spanning the Asian continent. And the organiser - the Leisure and Cultural Services Department - has embraced new media by developing its first iPhone application for the festival, to be held from October 20 to November 20. The free application, launched yesterday, allows users to browse through programme details, photographs and videos, and share the events on Facebook or Twitter. 'It is not a usual channel that LCSD is using, but we think it is an effective way to reach the audience,' said Esmond Chan, senior manager of the department's Festivals Office. 'Not only young people have iPhones, but also a lot of executives.' The department is one of the first to launch an iPhone application. Other agencies include the Observatory and the Information Services Department. The cost of developing the application was reasonable, Chan said. Every two years the World Cultures Festival highlights one particular region. In the past it has introduced audiences to Latin America, the Mediterranean and the Silk Road. This year's focus is on the art and culture of Asia. Performers range from the traditional - the Water Puppet Troupe of Vietnam and the National Ballet of China - to the contemporary with solo Bangladeshi dancer Akram Khan and the Legend Lin Dance Theatre of Taiwan. The dance theatre with Song of Pensive Beholding is one of the most highly anticipated events of the festival. The group will be making its first appearance in Hong Kong, having been lauded in Europe and the United States. In a sneak preview of the dance, Lin Lee-chen, founder of the dance theatre and world-renowned contemporary dance choreographer, sings and taps softly on a drum but with a steely steadiness. Two dancers are covered in body paint and dressed in Taiwanese tribal attire with a mythical flair, as they contort their bodies to the rhythm with a look of anguish on their faces. By the end of the performance, the dancers' faces are streaming with tears. 'They have reached into the tenderness of their hearts,' explains Lin, a place inside every individual that we are often not in touch with enough. The slow rhythm of the dance, Lin says, is to urge the audience to slow down and be introspective. 'You can't understand the world when you don't understand yourself,' she said. 'And when you live life too fast, you miss the sentimental details.' The performance will be at the Kwai Tsing Theatre auditorium on November 4-5.