Over 350 people gathered inside the Lyric Theatre of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) for the annual Academy Ball, organised by the Society for the Academy for Performing Arts, the evening aims to raise funds that benefits Academy student scholarships. The theme of this year’s event was Circus, which saw the theatre transformed with special lighting effects which complemented by performances from acrobats and clowns as guests entered the theatre. Esther Ma, dressed in a ringmaster’s outfit, emceed and kicked off the evening’s program with a welcoming address where she introduced Winnie Chiu, the executive chairlady of the Academy Ball’s organising committee. Guests were treated to a sumptuous meal, which was prepared by the Grand Hyatt’s executive chef, Gerhard Passrugger, who conceived a menu that kept with the theme—many raved about the first course, a snack that included popcorn, nachos, and cheese puffs, which was Gerhard’s interpretation of traditional circus fare. High points from the night were the range of performances from the students by the HKAPA’s dance and drama students which brought scenes from The Greatest Showman to life. The evening concluded with a live auction, which saw five lots go under the hammer for well above their estimates.

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