31st Macao Arts Festival takes “Restart” as theme

24 March 2021

The 31st Macao Arts Festival (MAF), organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from its Portuguese acronym), will be held from 30 April to 29 May. This edition is themed “Restart”, featuring a total of 20 programmes covering theatre, dance, music and visual arts. A wonderful event is not to be missed.

The 31st Macao Arts Festival has been postponed to May this year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. As the global pandemic shows no signs of abating, this year’s MAF will focus on productions from Mainland China and Macao, presenting nearly 100 events including outreach activities in various districts, establishing a display and exchange platform, expanding the artistic vision and enhancing the aesthetic perception of its audience.

The production White Snake presents aesthetic innovation; closing performance Taking Leave presents the fragility and eternity of life

The grand opening White Snake by Lin Zhaohua Theatre Studio from Beijing, redesigns the characters of the classic folktale The Legend of the White Snake in an artistic and creative way, combing theatre, music, dance and multimedia art. The closing performance Taking Leave is a production adapted from American contemporary playwright Nagle Jackson’s namesake play by the National Theatre of China. In this play, the National First Class Director Wang Xiaoying will lead a cast of veteran actors to interpret the story of an acclaimed actor who used to play the role of King Lear, whom was approaching to the end of his life, wandering between reality and imagination, allowing the audience to witness the fragility and eternity of life.

Top modern dance company shows strong artistic impact; the classic Dream of Red Chamber presents an innovative reinterpretation of the classic

The Jin Xing Dance Theatre from Shanghai, one of the top modern dance companies in the China, acclaimed by critics as “an important unit in the history of Chinese dance”, presents two works, namely Wild Flower and Trinity. In Wild Flower, the dancers interpret a wild flower’s tenacious existence through marathon-esque non-stop dancing and movement, liberating themselves from the bonds of body and mind. The show Trinity, a performance of works by three renowned choreographers, namely Jin Xing, Emanuel Gat and Arthur Kuggeleyn, explores women’s independent existence and physiological space within each’s distinctive movements, and illustrates the courage and strength among people through dancers’ bodies, inspiring artistic appeal and avant-garde ideas.

Huangmei opera is a national intangible cultural heritage. The Anhui Huangmei Opera Theatre presents a new production of the classic play Dream of the Red Chamber. The play was created in the 1990s with Yu Qiuyu and Chen Xiting as the core creative team, starring Ma Lan, among other artists, who innovated the classics together from a new perspective. The play instantly gained much reputation, and thus became a reserved play in the theatre. On the MAF stage, the play will be performed by the new generation of Huangmei opera actors, passing on tradition and innovation.

Macao Arts Festival establishes a display and exchange platform, showing the cultural diversity of Macao

The Macao Arts Festival establishes a display and exchange platform that has witnessed the professional development of local art groups, which illustrate Macao’s cultural diversity from different perspectives. The dance theatre Drunken Dragon Dance by Four Dimension Spatial, innovates the festive tradition with contemporary dance elements; the documentary theatre See You through Memories by Soda-City Experimental Workshop Arts Association, explores the past and present landscapes of Patane, reviewing the transformation of the city; Dance Duo recounts the transformation of the local dancer Kam Hiu Lam in a decade, presenting her dance dialogue with choreographer Chou Shu-Yi and her joint creation with Wang Yuanqing; The Never-ending Task of Lust for Failure by Comuna de Pedra Arts and Cultural Association creates a worldview map beyond languages, labels and disabilities of the special-needs; Property Guide at Lou Kau Mansion by Jay Lei and Shuk Man Lee and A Short Time Escape by Lei Sam I, which were premiered at the Macao City Fringe Festival and were recommended by the artistic advisors of the Macao City Fringe Festival, will be staged at the Macao Arts Festival again.

Macao Arts Festival offers pleasant time for families and injects vitality into traditional culture

MAF also encourages parents and children to enjoy artistic experience. On the Other Side of Macao – A magical adventure by Bernardo Amorim, a plastic arts and multimedia artist based in Macao, brings the magic of narrative to life with the use of puppets and video mapping; The Coloane Game by Dream Theater Association offers guided tours visiting streets and alleys of Coloane, experiencing the residents’ spirit of mutual help and the prosperity and decline of the shipbuilding industry; the artistic and cultural performances Performing Arts Gala at the Iao Hon Market Park for three consecutive nights, inject vitality in the community through the arts. The Children’s Story World and art exploration activities will also be available this year, and all are welcome to enjoy the world of art.

Injecting artistic vitality into traditional culture, students from the Cantonese Opera Course at the School of Theatre of the Macao Conservatory step on the stage to present the Cantonese Opera Jiufeng Mountain; the Patuá theatre comments on all crucial issues of the city, including current affairs, humanism and dialect. This year, the Dóci Papiaçám di Macau Drama Group presents a hilarious production Boss for a Day, keeping the full house of audience in stitches. The Macao Orchestra and the Macao Chinese Orchestra present the classics of Mozart and a musical feast combing traditional Chinese culture and modern aesthetics concepts, respectively, carrying out a musical dialogue between the East and the West.

Scenography exhibition transcends dimension and time; photography art inspires contemporary expression and creativity

Ren Dongsheng, a National First Class Stage Designer, is dedicated to explore the stage design. He produced a collection of poetic, vibrant, and epochal works by repeatedly reviewing style, color, and techniques. The “Imagery and Space: Ren Dongsheng Scenography Exhibition” leads the audience to transcend spatial dimensions and experience the charm of scenography. Baptiste Rabichon, an emerging contemporary French photographic artist, will present “A Room with a View: Baptiste Rabichon Photography Exhibition”, whose works with a technique that combines traditional and innovative elements, introducing the contemporary expressions of photography and exploring the possibilities of artistic creation.

Tickets for the 31st Macao Arts Festival are available at the Macau Ticketing Network from 10am on 28 March (Sunday). This year’s MAF introduces several sales channels, encouraging residents to enjoy the convenience of e-governance. This edition of the MAF counts with the support of the Macao Government Tourism Office, TDM – Teledifusão de Macau, Air Macau and MGM. Macao Arts Festival website: www.icm.gov.mo/fam; email: fam@icm.gov.mo. For enquiries regarding the programme, please contact the Cultural Affairs Bureau through tel. no. 8399 6699 during office hours; 24-hour ticket reservation hotline: (Macao) 2855 5555; (Hong Kong) 2380 5083; (Mainland China) 139 2691 1111; online ticket reservation is available at www.macauticket.com. IC will strictly follow the anti-epidemic guidelines of the health authorities and implement appropriate measures for cultural activities. All participants must wear face masks, undergo body temperature checks and present a valid “Macao Health Code” of the day.

The presentation of the programme of the 31st MAF was held on 23 March, at 3:30pm, at Vista of MGM COTAI, and was broadcast live online by a number of media from the Greater Bay Area, with the presence of the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian; the Head of Organizational Planning and Development Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Ma U Leng; the President, Chief Strategic and Financial Officer of MGM, Kenneth Feng; the Deputy General Manager of Bank of China Macau Branch, Chan Hio Peng; the Vice President of Air Macau Company Limited, Liao Hanxi; the Member of the Executive Committee of Teledifusão de Macau, S.A., Lei Pek Ieng; the Head of the Department of Performing Arts Development of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Iu Wai Man; the Head of the Division of Performing Arts of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chou Wai In; and the representatives of the participating art groups.
(Cultural Affairs Bureau)

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