The 31st Macao Arts Festival (MAF) gets underway at the end of April, and will feature 20 programmes covering theatre, dance, music and visual arts. The event, organised by the Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau, will be held from 30 April to 29 May.
Running under the theme “Restart”, after the event cancelation last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of this year’s MAF events will be on productions from Mainland China and Macao.
There are nearly 100 events scheduled, including outreach activities around Macao. Among the not-to-be-missed performances are the grand opening event “White Snake”. The Lin Zhaohua Theatre Studio from Beijing interprets the classic folktale “The Legend of the White Snake” in an artistic and creative way, combining theatre, music, dance and multimedia art.
The closing performance “Taking Leave” is a production adapted from American contemporary playwright Nagle Jackson’s namesake play by the National Theatre of China. In this play, the National First Class Director Wang Xiaoying will lead a cast of veteran actors to interpret the story of an acclaimed actor, known for the role of King Lear, who is nearing the end of his life, wandering between reality and imagination, and allowing the audience to witness the fragility of life.
Platform for exchange
This year’s MAF re-establishes a display and exchange platform that has witnessed the professional development of local art groups. A number of the featured groups illustrate Macao’s cultural diversity.
“Drunken Dragon Dance” by Four Dimension Spatial is a dance-theatre that includes contemporary elements and festive tradition. In the documentary theatre “See You Through Memories”, Soda-City Experimental Workshop Arts Association explores the past and present landscapes of the Patane district.
“The Never-ending Task of Lust for Failure” by Comuna de Pedra Arts and Cultural Association, creates a worldview map beyond languages, labels and disabilities. And there’s “Property Guide at Lou Kau Mansion” by Jay Lei and Shuk Man Lee, and “A Short Time Escape” by Lei Sam I, which premiered at the Macao City Fringe Festival.
MAF also encourages parents and children to engage with the arts. The “Other Side of Macao” is a magical adventure – using puppets and video mapping – by Bernardo Amorim, a plastic arts and multimedia artist. “The Coloane Game”, by Dream Theater Association, are guided tours through Coloane that portray the residents’ spirit through the prosperity and decline of the shipbuilding industry. Also, The Performing Arts Gala at the Iao Hon Market Park will be held for three nights, with artistic and cultural performances that bring vitality into the community. “The Children’s Story World” and art exploration activities will also be available this year.
Acclaimed modern dance company, Shanghai’s The Jin Xing Dance Theatre will present two works. In “Wild Flower”, the dancers interpret a wild flower’s tenacious existence through non-stop movement. The show “Trinity” sees a performance by three renowned choreographers that explores women’s independent existence and physiological space. The piece illustrates the courage and strength among people through dancers’ bodies, inspiring artistic appeal and avant-garde ideas.
Huangmei opera is a national intangible cultural heritage. The Anhui Huangmei Opera Theatre will present a new production of the classic “Dream of the Red Chamber”. On the MAF stage, the play will be performed by the new generation of Huangmei opera actors, passing on tradition and innovation.
Injecting artistic vitality into traditional culture, students from the Cantonese Opera Course at the School of Theatre of the Macao Conservatory step on the stage to present “Jiufeng Mountain”.
The Patuá theatre comments on all crucial issues of the city, including current affairs, humanism and dialect. This year, the Dóci Papiaçám di Macau Drama Group presents a hilarious production “Boss for a Day”.
A National First Class Stage Designer, Ren Dongsheng takes audiences on a journey to transcend spatial dimensions and experience the charm of scenography in “Imagery and Space: Ren Dongsheng Scenography Exhibition”.
Finally, concert-goers will be impressed by the musical feast combining traditional Chinese culture and Western concepts of aesthetics presented by The Macao Orchestra and the Macao Chinese Orchestra.
For more information about this year’s MAF, please visit the MAF website, www.icm.gov.mo/fam or contact the Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau on 8399 6699 during office hours. Tickets for the 31st Macao Arts Festival went on sale from late in March at the Macau Ticketing Network (www.macauticket.com), or the 24-hour ticket reservation hotline in Macao on 2855 5555.
The Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau will strictly follow the anti-epidemic guidelines of the health authorities and implement appropriate measures. To gain entry, all participants must wear a face mask, undergo body temperature checks and present a valid “Macao Health Code”.
| Month of Cultural Promotion to highlight Macao’s cultural diversity|
The Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau earmarked April as the Month of Cultural Promotion, with six highlight programmes and a series of outreach activities planned throughout the period. The activities are designed to reach the community in various districts, connecting with the lives of people there. The initiative will also encourage people to experience and share culture-related activities, thus enriching their lives through spreading and promoting Macao’s cultural diversity.
The six highlight programmes include, among others: seminars on the aesthetics of everyday things; workshops on drama, music and traditional crafts; video; and reading activities. The series of activities encompasses workshops on various kinds of handicrafts; concerts and sessions on Macao’s cultural heritage.
In aiming to bring art-related and cultural experiences to people’s daily lives, the Month of Cultural Promotion takes into consideration the need to engage the audience at a variety of levels. Aside from activities targeting the general public, there are also activities designed for families, as well as for children with special educational needs.
The Month of Cultural Promotion intends to raise awareness among the audience of the concepts of promoting culture, encouraging more people to spread and promote Macao’s cultural diversity, and building a more inclusive community.
Members of the public can enrol in these activities via the Bureau’s “Activities Registration System” (www.icm.gov.mo/eform/event). Other selected activities will be held in April, and more details on these can be obtained by telephone enquiry, on (853) 8399 6699, or by visiting the website of the Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau (www.icm.gov.mo). Information will also be available at the WeChat official account (IC_Art_Macao) and the official Facebook page (IC Art).