The Hong Kong Ballet | Casts announced for The Dream of the Red Chamber

October 16, 2013

Press Releases

The Hong Kong Ballet | Casts announced for The Dream of the Red Chamber

 

Photography: Bettina Stoess

Photography: Bettina Stoess

Artistic Director of The Hong Kong Ballet, Madeleine Onne, has officially announced which dancers will perform the lead roles in The Dream of the Red Chamber, The Hong Kong Ballet’s production which will be staged at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre from Oct 25 to Nov 3, 2013.

Speaking of the casts, Madeleine said “All the dancers are excited to be in this production, but those who have been cast as main characters are especially thrilled. They have all been working hard with Choreographic Assistant Raimondo Rebeck, who has been leading their rehearsals for the last couple of weeks. Each cast will bring its own interpretation of the ballet, and I know the audience will enjoy the experience, whichever cast they see.”

The Dream of the Red Chamber by choreographer Wang Xin Peng

The sun is setting over Grand View Garden at the rich and powerful House of Jia. Pao Yu, the only son of the family, has found the great love of his life; his cousin Dai Yu. However, his family insists he should marry another cousin, Pao Tschai. Denied happiness with Pao Yu, Dai Yu dies with a broken heart. Pao Yu cannot forget her and mourns her death for so long that the material world loses all significance and he retreats to become a monk. In Pao Yu’s eyes, the forbidden love between him and Dai Yu transcends all; the passing of time, the rise and fall of dynasties and even the shifting of society’s values.

The first cast features Jin Yao, who has been a Principal Dancer at The Hong Kong Ballet since 2005 – she performs the role of Dai Yu, the beautiful but fragile young girl that Pao Yu is in love with. Pao Yu, the only son of the powerful House of Jia, is danced by Li Jia-bo. And the other party in the love triangle is Zhang Si Yuan, who dances the role of Pao Tschai, the sensible and demure cousin that Pao Yu must marry instead of Dai Yu. This cast promises to give a nuanced, intelligent and elegant presentation of the story.

 

Li Jia-bo
as Pao Yu

Jin Yao
as Dai Yu

Zhang Si-yuan
as Pao Tschai

Wei Wei, Liu Yu-yao and Wu Fei-fei lead the next cast, performing as Pao Yu, Dai Yu and Pao Tschai respectively. Wei Wei, who has been with the Company for 10 years, was made a Principal Dancer earlier this year. Pao Yu’s beloved Dai Yu is performed by Liu Yu-yao, who was awarded a Hong Kong Dance Award in 2010 in recognition of her outstanding performance as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. The third member of the cast, Wu Fei-fei, has also won a Hong Kong Dance Award, this time in 2012 for her performance in A Room of her Own.

 

Wei Wei
as Pao Yu

Liu Yu-yao
as Dai Yu

Wu Fei-fei
as Pao Tschai

The cast featuring Dong Ruixue (as Dai Yu), Shen Jie (as Pao Yu) and Liu Miao-miao (as Pao Tschai) will be exciting to watch. This is one of the first times Ruixue has performed a main role, so she is extra excited to be cast as Dai Yu. Shen Jie has been taking on more and more lead roles recently, and he has a boy-like charm that is difficult to resist. Liu Miao-miao read the novel at school but says that as she gets older she understands more of its subtleties. These three dancers physically embody many people’s idea of Pao Yu, Dai Yu and Pao Tschai, because they are young, energetic and enthusiastic. The novel has been called a Chinese Romeo and Juliet, and with this cast you can really imagine that they are just young, inexperienced teenagers of 15 or 16.

 

Shen Jie
as Pao Yu

Dong Ruixue
as Dai Yu

Liu Miao-miao
as Pao Tschai

The Hong Kong Ballet commissioned choreographer Wang Xin Peng to create a full-length ballet with a Chinese them, and Wang Xin Peng chose to present his interpretation of Cao Xueqin’s great novel The Dream of the Red Chamber. Wang Xin Peng has been Artistic Director of Ballett Dortmund since 2003, and the Company has performed many one-act and full-length works created by him over the last decade. His most high-profile project was in 2000, when he collaborated with the well-known stage director Zhang Yimou to create a ballet version of Zhang’s iconic film, Raise the Red Lantern for the National Ballet of China. The choreographer has chosen to complement his ballet with Michael Nyman’s deeply moving music. Michael Nyman is an award-winning British composer, known for his innovative, minimalist approach, who came to mainstream prominence after composing the hugely popular score for Jane Campion’s movie The Piano.

Other key characters in The Dream of the Red Chamber are the Shadow of the Stone (performed by Ricky HU / Jonathan Spigner / Yo Takahira), the Housekeeper/Master of Ceremonies (performed by Song Hai Feng / Frank van Tongeren / Kostyantyn Keshyshev) and Tai Tai (performed by Gao Suai-nan / Ye Fei-fei / Chen Jin).

 

 25 & 26 October   (7:30pm)
27 October (2:30pm)

1, 2 & 3 November (7:30pm)

26 October (2:30pm)
27 October (7:30pm)
2 & 3 November (2:30pm)

Li Jia-bo

Wei Wei

Shen Jie

Jin Yao

Liu   Yu-yao

Dong   Ruixue

Zhang Si   Yuan

Wu   Fei-fei

Liu   Miao-miao

CAST A

Jin Yao, Principal Dancer
Born in Jilin, China, Jin Yao graduated from Beijing Dance Academy in 1997 and joined the National Ballet of China in the same year. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2003, and was later ranked top-grade China National Dancer. Jin Yao won the Bronze Prize at the Shanghai International Ballet Competition in 2001, and a Gold Medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition in 2002.

Jin received a Career Outstanding Contribution Award from the Cultural Ministry of China in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, she was invited to perform at the World Ballet Star Gala in Seoul and the Varna International Ballet Competition. She danced in The Red Detachment of Woman, Etudes; Raise the Red Lantern directed by movie director Zhang Yi-mou; classical ballets including Don Quixote and La Bayadère; and George Balanchine’s ballets The Four Temperaments, Who Cares, Serenade and Allegro Brillante.

Jin Yao joined The Hong Kong Ballet as Senior Soloist in August 2004 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2005. She was awarded Dancers’ Dancer of the Season and Ballet Master’s Awards in Dancers’ Awards held by Friends of Hong Kong Ballet. In 2007, she was awarded Hong Kong Dance Award by Hong Kong Dance Alliance for her superb performance in Giselle and Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. She received the award of “Best Artist of the Year” (dance category) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2010.

Zhang Si Yuan, Soloist
Born in Henan, China, Zhang graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy and joined the National Ballet of China after her graduation in 2006.

Zhang won the Silver prize, Junior Section B of the 7th Peach and Plum Cup Dance competition in 2003, followed by another Silver prize in the Junior Section A in 2006. In 2004, she also won an award of excellence in the Junior Section of Shanghai’s 3rd International Ballet Competition. Most recently, she was the recipient of a Silver prize in the Junior Section of the Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria in 2010. She has performed in many productions including Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Flower Festival in Genzano, Giselle, Le Corsaire, Romeo and Juliet, Sylvia, La Bayadère, OneginThere, Memories, Goodbye Dance God and Little Blue Flower. Since joining The Hong Kong Ballet in 2010, she has performed lead roles in The Nutcracker and The Rite of Spring.

Li Jia-bo, Soloist
Born in Shanghai, Li Jia-bo started his ballet training at the Shanghai Far East Ballet School and went on to study at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He joined The Hong Kong Ballet after graduation in 2005 and was promoted to Soloist in 2012. He has danced many important roles including the Prince in The Nutcracker, Calaf in Turandot, and the male lead in A Room of Her Own. Li Jia-bo’s recent guest appearances included the 4th International Ballet Festival in Cali, Colombia in 2010 and the International Dance Gala in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2011.

CAST B

Wu Fei-fei, Principal Dancer
Born in Liaoning, Wu Fei-fei graduated from the Shenyang Conservatory of Music (Dance Major) in 2003. She joined The Hong Kong Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in the same year and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2012. Wu was awarded Second Prize in the Junior Section of China National Peach and Plum Cup in 2003 and Second Prize for Ballet in the Liaoning Juvenile Dance Competition in 2000. Most recently, Wu Fei-fei won the award for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer” at the 2012 Hong Kong Dance Awards.

She has danced major roles in a number of the Company’s productions including Odette (the White Swan Queen) and Odile (Black Swan) in Swan Lake, Cinderella in Cinderella, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Hanna Glawari (The Widow) in Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, Princess Turandot in Natalie Weir’s Turandot, Soloist in George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Caroline in Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas and the female lead in Fei Bo’s A Room of Her Own.

Liu Yu-yao, Soloist
Born in Sichuan, Liu Yu-yao graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy in 2005. She joined the Hong Kong Ballet as Corps de Ballet in the same year and was promoted to Soloist in 2010.

In 2000, she won silver in the junior group of the 7th Peach & Plum Cup Dance Competition, which is one of the highest-level dance competitions in China. Recently, Liu was awarded a Hong Kong Dance Award 2010 by the Hong Kong Dance Alliance for her outstanding performance as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.

In 2010, she was invited to perform a pas de deux from Coppélia and In Light and Shadow at the Queensland Ballet 50th Anniversary International Gala in Australia. She has performed leading parts in many of the company’s productions, including Swan Lake and Allegro Brillante.

Wei Wei, Principal Dancer
Born in Liaoning, Wei Wei was admitted to the Attached School to Shenyang Conservatory of Music (Dance School) at age 12, then to Shenyang Conservatory of Music (Dance Major) in 2000. He received a scholarship from the conservatory in 2002 and graduated with Bachelor Degree in 2003. Wei Wei won the Third Prize in male ballet dancers category at the China National Peach and Plum Cup and 2nd Prize in ballet category at the Liaoning Juvenile Dance Competition.

Wei Wei joined The Hong Kong Ballet in September 2003 as a member of the Corps de Ballet and was promoted to Principal Dancer in March 2013. His major roles include Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, Count Danilo Danilowitsch in The Merry Widow, Hilarion in Giselle, Prince Calaf in Turandot, The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker.

CAST C

Dong Ruixue, Coryphée
Born in Shaanxi, Dong Ruixue graduated from the Secondary School of the Beijing Dance Academy. Since joining The National Ballet of China in 2006, she has performed in many productions including Swan Lake, Giselle, The Nutcracker, The Peony Pavilion and The Butterfly Lovers.

Liu Miao-miao, Coryphée
Born in Sichuan, Liu Miao-miao graduated from the Secondary School of the Beijing Dance Academy (Majoring in Ballet). Since joining The Hong Kong Ballet in 2005, she has performed in many productions, with roles including the Arabian dancer in The Nutcracker, Liu in Turandot and the Princess from Russia in Swan Lake.

Shen Jie, Soloist
Born in Zhejiang, Shen Jie started his ballet training at Zhejiang Vocational Academy of Art, then went on to Study at Guangzhou Dance School and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He joined The Hong Kong Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2007. He was promoted to Coryphée in 2012 and Soloist in 2013. He has performed lead roles in many of the Company’s productions, including Fritz in The Nutcracker, Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty, Young Uncle Tak in Firecracker, the male lead in Castrati by Nacho Duato, Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle and the Frog Prince in The Frog Prince – A Ballet Chinois.

 

About The Dream of the Red Chamber

The Dream of the Red Chamber weaves a rich social tapestry that looks back through centuries of China’s history at the country’s greatest love story, intertwined with melancholy threads of duty and despair.

The sun is setting over Grand View Garden at the rich and powerful House of Jia. Pao Yu, the only son of the family, has found the great love of his life; his cousin Dai Yu. However, his family insists he should marry another cousin, Pao Tschai. Denied happiness with Pao Yu, Dai Yu dies with a broken heart. Pao Yu cannot forget her and mourns her death for so long that the material world loses all significance, and he retreats to become a monk. In Pao Yu’s eyes, the forbidden love between him and Dai Yu transcends all; the passing of time, the rise and fall of dynasties and even the shifting of society’s values.

The Dream of the Red Chamber performance details
25-27.10.2013 – 7:30PM, 26-27.10.2013 – 2:30PM
1-3.11.2013 – 7:30PM, 2-3.11.2013 – 2:30PM
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
10 performances
Programme Duration: approximately 2 hour and 36 minutes including 1 intermission
Suitable for ages 6 and above

The Dream of the Red Chamber is the opening programme of Hong Kong Dance Festival 2013

Choreographer: Wang Xin Peng
Choreographic Assistant: Raimondo Rebeck
Chinese Dance Choreographic Assistant: Shao Weiqiu
Music: Michael Nyman (Music by Michael Nyman, by arrangement with Chester Music Limited on behalf of Michael Nyman Limited)
Concept and story: Christian Baier
Set Designer: Frank Fellmann
Costume Designer: Han Chunqi
Chief Stylist: Flora Zeta Cheong-Leen
Assistant Costume Designer: Cui Xiaodong
Lighting Designer: Leo Cheung
Video designer: Piotr Gregorowicz
Production manager: Tobias Ehinger
Live Accompaniment: Hong Kong Sinfonietta
Conductor: Motonori Kobayashi

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 34 in 2013, and over time it 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 continued to raise its international profile with more than 30 tours.  Most recently, in the summer of 2012, the Company made its debut appearance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival – the longest-running international dance festival in North America – and then performed in Aspen, Montreal and Santa Fe. An integral part of the Company’s activities is its extensive education and community outreach programme, which brings the art of ballet to students as well as to the wider community of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Ballet is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Hong Kong Ballet is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

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