The Hong Kong Ballet | An International Celebration of Ballet

October 18, 2012

Press Releases

The Hong Kong Ballet | An International Celebration of Ballet

Superstar choreographer Nacho Duato visits Hong Kong;
classic French love story Lady of the Camellias re-told in A Ballet Soirée

Castrati Stage Photo

Castrati Stage Photo
Photography: Mats Bäcker

The Hong Kong Ballet is delighted to announce that Nacho Duato, one of the most famous and influential choreographers in the world today, will be coming to Hong Kong to rehearse the dancers in his piece Castrati, which is to be performed in The Hong Kong Ballet’s upcoming mixed bill, A Ballet Soirée at Hong Kong Cultural Centre’s Grand Theatre from 2-4 November 2012. Mr Duato will also share with the audience about his creative insight of Castrati at the pre-performance talk on 2 November at 6.50pm before the opening night.

Nacho Duato, who has long been regarded as a star of the ballet world, has danced and choreographed thought-provoking works for Europe and America’s leading avant-garde ballet companies such as the Cullberg Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Never afraid to push boundaries or challenge pre-conceptions, Duato originally made a name for himself as a naturally talented dancer, but his stellar career in choreography over the last twenty years has won him the respect of peers, critics and audiences the world over. His contribution to the evolution of contemporary dance has been recognised by numerous prestigious awards, including First Prize at the International Choreography Workshop in Cologne, the Benois de la Danse and Spain’s National Dance Award. Nacho Duato is currently Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St Petersburg.

Nine of The Hong Kong Ballet’s male dancers will be performing Duato’s ballet, Castrati. Premièred in 2002, the ballet uses images of religion, devoutness and vulnerability to intensely moving effect. The master choreographer combines tragedy and beauty, provoking a reflection on the meaning of masculinity and the significance of sacrifice in a world that demands perfection. The all-male cast totally dominates the minimalist set, emanating a commanding sense of power.

Another piece on the programme, Pas de Deux from Lady of the Camellias provides a complete contrast; star ballerina Tan Yuan Yuan, Guest Principal Dancer of The Hong Kong Ballet and her partner in San Francisco Ballet, Vito Mazzeo, will perform a lyrical interpretation of the selflessness of true love. Choreographed by Val Caniparoli, Lady of the Camellias combines clean, precise choreography with a touching vision of the naivety of young love. Accompanied by Chopin’s joyous early work, the pas de deux from this ballet emphasizes the importance of romantic chemistry between a ballerina and her partner.

Based on a famous French novel by Alexandre Dumas, Val Caniparoli’s ballet tells the bittersweet tale of a true love between courtesan Marguerite Gautier and a provincial bourgeois, Armand Duval. In this scene from Act 1 of the full-length ballet, Marguerite has spurned the advances of her escort preferring instead the sincere embraces of the smitten Armand, her true lover.

Artistic Director Madeleine Onne said, “We are thrilled to welcome Nacho Duato to Hong Kong. His works are so influential, and it’s no exaggeration to say that he is the Steven Spielberg of the ballet world! We also welcome Tan Yuan Yuan and her partner Vito Mazzeo – it’s Vito’s first appearance with the Company – who will, together with the Company’s own dancers, present a veritable ‘world tour’ of ballet.”

Nacho Duato – Castrati
Val Caniparoli – Pas de Deux from Lady of the Camellias, performed by Tan Yuan Yuan and Vito Mazzeo
Li Jun from the National Ballet of China – Dancing with the Wind
Edwaard Liang – Pas de Deux from Symphonic Dances, performed by Tan Yuan Yuan and Vito Mazzeo
Christian Spuck – Le Grand Pas de Deux
George Balanchine – Theme and Variations

A Ballet Soirée will be staged at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre’s Grand Theatre from 2-4 November 2012. Tickets are available at all URBTIX outlets and via URBTIX website, Suitable for ages 6 and above. Programme Plus! activities include a Pre-performance Talk on 2 November and an Autograph Session with The Hong Kong Ballet’s dancers on 3 November.

A Ballet Soirée
2-3.11.2012 7:30pm
3-4.11.2012 2:30pm

Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$1000(VIP), $550, $350, $250, $100
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009
Credit Card Booking: 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries: 2105 9724 /


Pre-performance Talk

Date: 2. 11. 2012 (Friday)
Time: 6:50PM
Venue: Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

The programme is about 20 minutes long. Free admission with A Ballet Soirée tickets. Conducted in English with Cantonese translation.

Autograph Session

Date: 3. 11. 2012 (Saturday)
Time: After Matinée Performance
Venue: Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

For A Ballet Soirée ticket-holders only. Limited places available on a first-come, first serve basis.

About The Hong Kong Ballet

One of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia, The Hong Kong Ballet is becoming internationally recognised as a world-class institution with an identity that fully reflects the unique vitality of Hong Kong. The Company turns 33 in 2012, and over time has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with accomplished dancers, a strong repertoire, and sparkling, technically challenging productions.

The Company’s artistic team is led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne, with over 40 dancers originating from all over the world. The Company performs a repertoire that combines classical masterpieces and acclaimed contemporary works from the 19th to 21st centuries, as well as new commissions. Since 1997, The Hong Kong Ballet has raised its international profile by conducting over 30 tours; in the summer of 2012, The Hong Kong Ballet toured the United States and Canada, performing at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and in Aspen, Montreal and Santa Fe. An integral part of the Company’s activities is an extensive education and community outreach programme, which brings the art of ballet to students as well as to the wider community of Hong Kong.

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