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News Highlights

Acclaimed dancer and singers to bring Hong Kong folklore to life at Shanghai Expo (with photos)

Internationally renowned dancer Mui Cheuk-yin will join the Hong Kong SAR's a capella singers - the Yat Po Singers - to present a musical production on local traditional legends for Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

Ms Mui will dance to the music of the a capella singers in "Rock Hard", an edgy musical that looks at the history of Hong Kong from a new perspective.

It is an allegory that shuttles between urban and rural areas, as well as a sentimental journey that views Hong Kong with nostalgia and hope.

The production premiered in 2008 at the Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival and won the 2009 Golden Sail Music Award for Best Serious Music Composition.

"Without any aid from musical instruments, the singers can tell the story with the music they make with their voices," said Ms Mui, who has worked with leading performing groups around the world.

"The music they made was so charming that even a four-hour rehearsal was enjoyable!"

Ms Mui has performed in Beijing and Guangzhou but "Rock Hard" will be her first show in Shanghai.

"I really look forward to performing in 'Rock Hard', which is the first cultural performance to be presented by Hong Kong during the Expo period," she said.

"I hope the Shanghai audience and visitors from other places will enjoy this interesting and novel singing and dance collaboration."

Ms Mui started Chinese dance training in Hong Kong and was with the Hong Kong Dance Company from 1981 to 1990. She performed in "Yellow Earth", "Jade Love" and "Rouge" among other major productions.

She was an independent choreographer/dancer/teacher in the 1990s before moving to New York for further training.

She has been invited to many international arts festivals including the Ein Fest in Wuppertal, Venice Biennial Dance Festival, Dancing-World Festival in Copenhagen, the Lyon Biennale de la Danse, Beijing Modern Dance Festival 2001, Dance Biennale Tokyo and the Images of Asia Festival in Copenhagen.

She was also invited by Pina Bausch and Folkwang Tanzstudio to provide choreography.

Ms Mui was named the Best Dancer of the Year by the Hong Kong Artists' Guild in 1991 and received the Hong Kong Dance Alliance Dance Awards in 2000 and 2001.

She was also named "Outstanding Woman" by the Wai Yin Association in 2001, and was named one of the "Ten Most Successful Women" in 2005 by "Jessica" magazine.

During the six-month Expo period, the Hong Kong SAR will stage 26 programmes with over 70 performances, as well as four visual art exhibitions, in Shanghai.

The groups will perform at major Shanghai venues including the Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai Oriental Art Centre, Shanghai Theatre Academy and Shanghai Concert Hall.

Genres to be covered include Cantonese opera, Chinese and Western music, dance, drama, opera, music theatre and multi-media performances.

Information on ticketing as well as other performances and exhibitions is available on Hong Kong's Expo website, www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.

"Rock Hard"
Date: May 8
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Drama Theatre, Shanghai Grand Theatre
Length: Approx 70 mins
Ticket price: RMB 220, 180, 120
Booking hotline: (+86 21) 6286 2836
Online bookings: www.shgtheatre.com, www.ticket2010.com
Programme enquiries (HK): (+852) 9761 9991