For the events industry, agility and adaptability have been key to their survival in 2020. Every year, to kick off the festive season, the Hong Kong Ballet organises a show-stopping Nutcracker Christmas Benefit, in which children aged 1.5 to 12 perform alongside professional dancers to raise money for the dance company. Due to the fourth wave of Covid-19 causing restrictions to be tightened in Hong Kong, the children's performance set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score will now be viewed online on December 26. The action may play out on a screen, but that doesn’t mean the team still don’t have a few surprises up its sleeve.
Here, we chat with the team behind the benefit to see how they’ve adapted to the changing circumstances, what they are doing to keep spirits alive and most importantly, how ballet fans can help this holiday season.
How did you all become involved with the Hong Kong Ballet?
Colleen Yu Fung: The time I first got involved with the Hong Kong Ballet was six years ago as I joined the Hong Kong Ballet Ball committee to support the ball back then. I was then asked to join and support The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit in 2016. It’s my third year co-chairing the event.
Emily Lam-Ho: Back in 2015, the benefit committee's former co-chair Anne Wang Liu invited my family to our very first Nutcracker performance. There, I experienced the most joyous festive event my whole family enjoyed, and since then it has become a family tradition to attend every year. I grew up taking ballet lessons and my daughter has inherited my love for this beautiful art. So in 2018, as soon as my daughter was able to perform, I joined the benefit committee as a member. This year is my first year as co-chair.
Lillian Lee Fong: My first encounter with the Hong Kong Ballet dates back to the nineties when I was still in high school. Back then, my dance teacher Mary Griffiths at King George V School was one of the founding members of Hong Kong Ballet. Over the years, I kept up to date with the company’s latest news and developments even though I had stopped training. I was invited to join The Hong Kong Ballet Guild six years ago and also took part in the Hong Kong Ballet Ball Committee in 2017. This is my first year co-chairing The Nutcracker Christmas Benefit.