We are back, LIVE! The West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon or the District) is proud to announce our brand-new 2021–2022 Performing Arts Season. Between June 2021 and March 2022, audiences can enjoy an exciting season of dance, xiqu, theatre, music and more at the Xiqu Centre, Freespace and the expansive harbour-side spaces of the Art Park.
‘The last two years have been a time of exploration and growth for all of us. Intermittent closing and re-opening of our theatres since January 2020 has challenged us to see the world and our work from different perspectives and explore new possibilities to engage artists, audiences and communities. Our new Performing Arts Season expands our live programmes beyond our theatres and studios into digital, outdoor and beyond. We continue to nurture local young and emerging artists, to begin with we have Xiqu Centre’s own Tea House Rising Stars Troupe and now we have Freespace Ensemble. This season also highlights the District’s long-term commitment to Art Tech to continue to push creative boundaries,’ said Paul Tam, Executive Director, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.
‘This season marks a new beginning. We are thrilled to introduce a range of multi-genre programmes and activities for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. We have invited renowned regional and international artists and partnered with local talent to provide a platform that promotes innovation and creativity, and explores new possibilities, both on site and online,’ said Alison M Friedman, Artistic Director, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.
Highlight dance events include, in July 2021, Rolex Presents: William Forsythe’s Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No.2, the Asian premiere of renowned American dancer and choreographer William Forsythe’s interactive installation that sees Freespace transformed into an undulating labyrinth. In October 2021, Gu Jiani and the Untitled Group, one of China’s most daring voices in contemporary dance, present the Hong Kong premiere of Transition, an epic creation of sound, light, movement and transformation.
At the Xiqu Centre, in October and November 2021, the annual Black Box Chinese Opera Festival offers audiences a glimpse of the diversity and vitality of this heritage art form with performances by local and regional troupes. In March 2022, the acclaimed Chongqing Chuanju Theatre presents a full length production of Li Yaxian – featuring the star pairing of Plum Blossom Award winners Shen Tiemei and Sun Yongbo – and A Master Selection of Sichuan Opera Excerpts, classic pieces highlighting a range of artistic singing styles.
This season’s bold theatre programme includes The Future of Performance: New Creations – three new works by Hong Kong artists from theatre, film, dance and digital media exploring new possibilities for live performance (dates to be announced) – and, in October 2021, Rimini Protokoll 100% Hong Kong, a collaboration between Rimini Protokoll from Berlin, On & On Theatre Workshop from Hong Kong, and 100 local citizens, who respond live to a series of questions and turn the stage into a living, breathing portrait of our city.
Music events include the return of our annual Freespace Jazz Fest in October 2021, which has fast become a key date on the event calendar of jazz fans across the city and beyond. In December 2021, legendary musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and long-time collaborator Shiro Takatani present the much-anticipated dis·play, a meditative experience of electronic music and visual compositions.
Other programmes include the weekend cultural celebration Summer Holiday: Hong Kong World Champs in July 2021, and on 31 December 2021 audiences can count-down into the new year at the Xiqu Centre with the Winter Holiday Comedy: The Emperor, an original Cantonese opera production from creative duo Wyborn Leung and Keith Lai. There are also a range of talks, screenings, works in development showcases, tours and learning activities for all ages and interests taking place regularly throughout the season.
Between 1 June and 21 June 2021, audiences can enjoy 20% early bird discount on selected programmes when purchasing tickets through the West Kowloon website or West Kowloon ticket offices (subject to availability). For full ticketing information and latest updates visit www.westkowloon.hk/season2122.
About the Art Park
The Art Park is the green heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District. With a rich variety of trees and green planting as well as open lawn spaces, the park provides a vibrant venue for open-air performances, art exhibitions and other cultural events. The Art Park also features a growing range of facilities, including the waterfront promenade, several large lawn areas, and harbourside restaurants and cafes for leisure and relaxation.
Freespace is Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performance. Located in the heart of the Art Park, Freespace presents multi-genre performances and events, produces boundary-pushing collaborations, and promotes new ways of seeing and experiencing performance. Freespace houses The Box, a flexible space for cutting-edge performances and one of the largest black box theatres in Hong Kong, two multi-purpose spaces, The Room and The Studio, designed for creative exchange and artistic collaborations, and Lau Bak Livehouse, an intimate bar cafe presenting live music from Hong Kong and around the world.
About the Xiqu Centre
The first landmark performing arts venue to open in West Kowloon, the Xiqu Centre acts as the eastern gateway to the cultural district. Specifically built for performances of Chinese traditional theatre, the Xiqu Centre is designed to conserve, promote and develop the art of Chinese opera. It also provides a centre for the production, education and research of this unique art form. In 2019, the Xiqu Centre was listed as one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.