Contemporary dance drama "Mr Vampire" reinterprets comic cult film

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - "Mr Vampire" is a Hong Kong comic horror cult film that revolves around hopping vampires (jiang shi) and a Taoist exorcist. In a new take on this classic, choreographer Pun Siu-fai and composer Tang Lok-yin have transformed the movie into a riveting contemporary musical dance drama, performed by the talented Guangdong Modern Dance Company to the powerful fusion of Chinese and Western music delivered by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. The show will run from October 29 to 31 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Members of the audience are welcome to get in the mood by dressing up in Halloween costume. Jiang shi, otherwise known as "stiff corpses" or zombies, are said to emerge when a person's last breath (qi) fails to leave their body because of unresolved problems. Blending modern dance with cutting-edge visuals and live music, "Mr Vampire" retains the comic elements of the original movie while exploring the deeper psychology beneath the dark humour: the fine line between qi and death; the nature of jiang shi and whether they are lonely ghosts haunted by unfulfilled wishes; and what such spirits teach us about our own fears and insecurities.

Full of surprises, this wacky dance parody offers a pop culture-contemporary arts crossover that promises to be fun for all. The creative team includes Pun Siu-fai as artistic director and choreographer, Tang Lok-yin as music director and composer, William Lane as producer, Priman Lee as set & lighting designer and domting as video designer. Dancers of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company and musicians of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble will perform in the show.

The Guangdong Modern Dance Company was the first professional modern dance company in China. The company produced numerous prominent dancers, including Shen Wei, Xing Liang and Sang Jijia. The New York Times described the Guangdong Modern Dance Companyas "one of the biggest success stories of international dance." The Hong KongNew Music Ensemble is a modern chamber group seeking to foster innovative interdisciplinary collaborations as well as present high-quality contemporary music.

In 2008, members of the group had the opportunity to be artists in residence at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. "Mr Vampire", one of the programmes of the New Vision Arts Festival, will beheld on October 29 and 30 at 8pm, and on October 31 at 3pm, at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Studio Theatre. Meet-the-artists sessions will be held after the performances on October 29 and 30.

Tickets priced at $200 and $120 are now available at URBTIX. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking and package discounts of up to 20% are available.

A talk on the topic, "The Cult Memo", will also be held on October 26 at 8pm at AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Pun Siu-fai, the artistic directorand choreographer, will discuss the artistic concepts behind Mr Vampire, the process of recreating a cult classic, and his collaboration with other artists on this musical dance drama. The talk will be conducted in Cantonese.

Admission is free. Seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Programme brochures of the New Vision Arts Festival are available at URBTIX outlets or at the website, .

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044. Credit card telephone bookings: 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at .

Published on: 2010-09-24

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