Cover Paethos (Image: Andrea Gianfortuna)

Thinking of where to go this weekend? Dodging the summer heat? The cultural scene is coming back in full swing as arts groups kickstart the summer with innovative productions and new arts festivals

1. Dance: Pa | Ethos

Acclaimed Tibetan choreographer San Jijia’s dance production will have its Hong Kong premiere next month following its tour of mainland China and Italy. Presented by City Contemporary Dance Company, Pa | Ethos explores the concepts in Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric: to reflect pathos, the dancers move with precision, following the standards demanded by traditional dance; while for ethos, their movements focus more on evoking passion. San’s two-part work looks at rigid social rules, which are represented by carefully measured space and accurately executed movements; and emotions translated into the physicality of dancers.

From August 26 to 28. Sha Tin Town Hall

2. Dance: All About The Three Kingdoms

Hong Kong Dance Company, which is known for reimagining Chinese folk stories, legends and literature onstage—including The Legend of Mulan and L’Amour Immortel—will put on another classic next month: The Three Kingdoms, a 14th-century historical novel that documents the war-torn years towards the end of the Han dynasty. This production is an excerpted version of the original dance drama staged in 2010. It will be paired with companion dance and puppet-making workshops this month.

From August 5 to 7. Sha Tin Town Hall

3. Mixed Arts Experiences: Creative Tomorrow

At this new West Kowloon arts festival, technology is pushing the boundaries of the performing arts. Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the festival will see events held across its performance venues, including Xiqu Centre, Freespace and Art Park, which will be upgraded with new technological experiences.

As well as new visual effects for its flagship events, such as Freespace Jazz Fest and the Cantonese opera programme Tea House Theatre Experience, the team is also introducing new sensory experiences that will blow your mind.

A Switzerland-based theatre group will stage The Northern Lights at Art Park, casting artificially created aurora lights on to the night sky, an installation which has previously been shown in Hull in the UK, Suwon in South Korea, and Caen and Lyon in France.

The Xiqu Centre, meanwhile, will host a new media art exhibition, where visitors can see, hear and even touch the sounds that travel through the space, as the vibrations caused by sound waves create ripples on the surface of water.

Until March 2023. West Kowloon

4. Music: Ji

Who says traditional Chinese music is a thing of the past? In Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra’s concert Ji, tai chi master Xing Qi-Lin and the orchestra’s artistic director Yan Huichang use music and different types of performing arts to explore the modern understanding of traditional Chinese culture. The word ji refers to tai chi, but also to millennia-old Chinese values signalling the affinity between heaven and Earth, moral cultivation and family bonds. A collaboration between the 90-member orchestra, award-winning choreographer Yuri Ng and tai chi dancer Linda Fung, this multimedia show combines orchestral music, singing by a children’s choir, tai chi movements, modern dance and lighting effects.

July 15 and 16. Hong Kong Cultural Centre

5. Theatre: Soundscape Magic Flute

Mathias Woo, the artistic director of Zuni Icosahedron and a local pioneer in multimedia theatre who has spent years experimenting with stage aesthetics and visual imagery, directs a new show: Soundscape Magic Flute. Adapted from Mozart’s Magic Flute, this children’s production features ten tunes with lyrics which have been translated into Chinese. It tells the tale of Prince Perseverance, who sets out to find a magic gadget to restore balance of the world after it is turned to chaos by Queen Charity, who has caught the “greed virus” and become stingy.

August 6 and 7. Yuen Long Theatre

6. Theatre: Love à la Zen

Hong Kong’s longest standing and largest professional theatre company has two productions this summer. Love à la Zen, a 1996 classic by dramatist and screenwriter Raymond To—best known for the film I Have a Date with Spring, which won Best Screenplay at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1994—will return to the stage this month. The comedy follows how two women seek to seduce a monk whose temple is the refuge for the women’s boyfriend and fiancé, who are hiding from the mundaneness of the world and from his marriage respectively.

July 16 to 31. Hong Kong City Hall Theatre

7. Theatre: Female No. 7

Written by HK Rep company member Mercy Wong, this is being staged for the first time after the script was presented to the annual playwrighting scheme by local community theatre group Prospects Theatre, where it received rave reviews. The play examines the life of a middle-aged woman called 7 who reassesses her resilient attitude to coping with life’s hurdles over the years.

July 2 to 16. HKRep Black Box

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