BNP Paribas supports Hong Kong Arts Festival in offering local students chance to learn dancing from Scottish Ballet

March 24, 2014

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BNP Paribas supports Hong Kong Arts Festival in offering local students chance to learn dancing from Scottish Ballet

With the continued support from BNP Paribas, the 2014 Artists-in-Residence Project of Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) has come to a successful close. Under the guidance of artists from the internationally acclaimed Scottish Ballet and a professional local ballet instructor, participating students from three local secondary schools showcased their five-month achievement to the public at Olympian City on 22 February and to their fellow students at North District Town Hall on 24 February, featuring a new piece of choreography based on Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling, a 42nd HKAF programme presented by Scottish Ballet.

The Artists-in-Residence Project invites one international artist ensemble featured in HKAF each year to provide in-depth workshops in three local secondary schools, where they help students explore their creativity and artistic potential. The schools which participated in the 2014 project were Elegantia College, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School, and Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School. From October 2013 to February 2014, participating students went through a series of workshops based on creative tasks developed by choreography genius Matthew Bourne, which has enabled them to experiment with creative movement, gain better understanding of contemporary dance techniques, as well as explore the characterisation aspect of Highland Fling to experience how original characters and environments can be created and developed. The Project provided a valuable experience for participating students, some of whom are new to dancing.

Scottish Ballet, one of the performing groups presented by the 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival, is the national dance company of Scotland. The group is distinguished for their broad repertoire of both classical and contemporary works, their long history of international touring, and extensive experience in providing dance education programmes for young people.

Lorraine Jamieson, Education Officer of Scottish Ballet, said, “The participants involved in the Hong Kong Arts Festival project are some of the most enthusiastic and engaged young people I have ever encountered and were a pleasure to work with. Developing a response to Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling provided a structure in which these young artists could confidently explore the material and develop their creative skills. They were such generous creators and performers that they made this project an enjoyable and extremely rewarding experience.”

Tisa Ho, Executive Director of Hong Kong Arts Festival, says, “The Hong Kong Arts Festival is committed to the development of the performing arts in Hong Kong and promoting arts education. We are most grateful to BNP Paribas for their continued sponsorship, enabling us to make this meaningful project happen.”

Paul Yang, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas Hong Kong, said, “BNP Paribas through its Foundation has a longstanding involvement in education and artistic creation. Now into its fourth year, the Artists-in-Residence Project has had much positive impact on students, helping to enhance their creativity and self-confidence. I would like to express my gratitude to the students, teachers, artists and friends from the Hong Kong Arts Festival who worked hard for this project.”

About Hong Kong Arts Festival

Launched in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a major international arts festival committed to enriching the life of the city by presenting about 150 performances and 250 PLUS and educational events in February and March every year. The Festival presents the world’s top artists as well as stars of tomorrow and gives equal importance to great traditions and contemporary creations. The Festival also commissions and produces work in theatre, chamber opera and contemporary dance by Hong Kong’s own creative talents and emerging artists. Many Festival productions have had successful runs in Asia after their Hong Kong premiere.

The Festival invests heavily in arts education, offering diverse arts experiences to tertiary, secondary and primary school students through a wide range of arts education programmes, including its “Young Friends” which has reached about 700,000 young people in the past 23 years.

The Festival is a non-profit organisation, with about 30% of annual revenue from government funding, around 40% from the box office, and the remaining 30% from sponsorships and donations from corporations, individuals, and charitable foundations.

About BNP Paribas in Hong Kong

Established in Hong Kong in 1958, BNP Paribas has built over the years a unique set-up to service institutional and private investors, corporate or financial intermediaries with a wide range of products and services. Combining global expertise and local know-how, BNP Paribas boasts leading positions in Corporate and Investment Banking (capital markets, advisory and financing businesses), Wealth Management, Asset Management and Securities Services.

BNP Paribas employs more than 2,000 people in Hong Kong – its regional platform for the Asia Pacific region.

About the BNP Paribas Foundation

Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation endeavours to preserve and promote the artistic treasures of museums, to encourage creators and performers in disciplines that rarely attract aid from corporate support programmes and to fund research programmes in high technology sectors such as medical and environmental research. It also supports projects aimed at promoting education and social integration.

As the Group’s corporate philanthropic arm for nearly thirty years, the Foundation also coordinates BNP Paribas’ philanthropic policy, thus ensuring the coherence of the sponsorship programmes conducted throughout the world by a network of local foundations, as well as by the Group’s various business lines and subsidiaries.

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