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About the Festival

Foreword


Since 2005, the biennial World Cultures Festival has journeyed through Latin America, the Mediterranean region, along the Silk Road and across Asia. This year’s spectacular destination is Eastern Europe, a region that has provided the setting for countless historic events and generated a fascinating range of performing and visual arts over the centuries and up to today.

Opening the festival is the pioneering Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, with its breathtaking contemporary choreography and striking reinterpretation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel Anna Karenina. Also hailing from Russia is the Don Cossacks State Academic Song and Dance Ensemble in honour of Anatoly Kvasov. The group, first established more than 70 years ago, provides a riveting tribute to the heroism of these legendary horsemen.

On the dramatic front, multi-award winning Russian director Lev Dodin stages Anton Chekhov’s 19th-century classic play Uncle Vanya, while Polish theatre luminary Krystian Lupa “dissects” the persona of 20th-century sex goddess Marilyn Monroe. Hong Kong’s Class 7A Drama Group also employs bureaucratic language games in a hilarious delivery of The Memorandum by the late Václav Havel, renowned playwright and president of the Czech Republic.

For concert-goers, Russia’s Terem-Quartet combines diverse musical styles with traditional folk instruments, while the divine voices of Serbia’s Divna Ljubojević and the Melodi choir soar as they bring Byzantine sacred chant to Hong Kong. The exuberant charm and energy of Roma culture is also set to enchant audiences through engaging performances by the Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra and Romafest Gypsy Dance Theatre of Romania. Local creativity is provided by the JohnChen Ensemble, which showcases Ukrainian instruments and sounds in Uasiankrainian Jam, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s evocative Eastern Europe Postcards programme.

In addition to this dynamic line-up, the co-organised Eastern Europe Arts Salon Series of bookstore talks offers a relaxed and atmospheric way to learn about the region’s cultural heritage and contemporary significance. Other extension activities include exhibitions, film and video screenings, workshops, talks, meet-the-artist sessions, a masterclass, a backstage tour, a sharing session, a script reading, and school tours, providing an all-round view of the amazing arts of Eastern Europe.


Elida Chiang
Senior Manager (Festivals)
Leisure and Cultural Services Department