The Macao Arts Festival (MAF) dramatically lights up the city every early summer, bringing together theater, dance, music, circus, multimedia and visual arts in an artistic panorama of events. A mix of local, regional and international performers from various regions and countries around the world present a diversity of programs. This year’s MAF will focus on productions from Mainland China and Macau, presenting nearly 100 events including outreach activities in various districts, establishing a display and exchange platform, expanding the artistic vision and enhancing the aesthetic perception of its audience.
The grand opening White Snake by Lin Zhaohua Theatre Studio from Beijing, redesigns the characters of the classic folktale The Legend of the White Snake in an artistic and creative way, combing 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 who used to play the role of King Lear, who was approaching the end of his life, wandering between reality and imagination, allowing the audience to witness the fragility and eternity of life.
The Jin Xing Dance Theatre from Shanghai, one of the top modern dance companies in China, acclaimed by critics as “an important unit in the history of Chinese dance”, presents two works, namely Wild Flower and Trinity. In Wild Flower, the dancers interpret a wild flower’s tenacious existence through marathon-esque non-stop dancing and movement, liberating themselves from the bonds of body and mind. The show Trinity, a performance of works by three renowned choreographers, namely Jin Xing, Emanuel Gat and Arthur Kuggeleyn, explores women’s independent existence and physiological space within each’s distinctive movements, and 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 presents a new production of the classic play Dream of the Red Chamber. The play was created in the 1990s with Yu Qiuyu and Chen Xiting as the core creative team, starring Ma Lan, among other artists, who innovated the classics together from a new perspective. The play instantly gained much reputation, and thus became a reserved play in the theatre. On the MAF stage, the play will be performed by the new generation of Huangmei opera actors, passing on tradition and innovation.
The Macao Arts Festival establishes a display and exchange platform that has witnessed the professional development of local art groups, which illustrates Macau’s cultural diversity from different perspectives. The dance theatre Drunken Dragon Dance by Four Dimension Spatial innovates the festive tradition with contemporary dance elements; the documentary theatre See You through Memories by Soda-City Experimental Workshop Arts Association, explores the past and present landscapes of Patane, reviewing the transformation of the city; Dance Duo recounts the transformation of the local dancer Kam Hiu Lam in a decade, presenting her dance dialogue with choreographer Chou Shu-Yi and her joint creation with Wang Yuanqing; 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 of the special-needs; Property Guide at Lou Kau Mansion by Jay Lei and Shuk Man Lee and A Short Time Escape by Lei Sam I, which were premiered at the Macao City Fringe Festival and were recommended by the artistic advisors of the Macao City Fringe Festival, will be staged at the Macao Arts Festival again.
MAF also encourages parents and children to enjoy artistic experiences. On the Other Side of Macao – A magical adventure by Bernardo Amorim, a plastic arts and multimedia artist based in Macao, brings the magic of narrative to life with the use of puppets and video mapping; The Coloane Game by Dream Theater Association offers guided tours visiting streets and alleys of Coloane, experiencing the residents’ spirit of mutual help and the prosperity and decline of the shipbuilding industry; the artistic and cultural performances Performing Arts Gala at the Iao Hon Market Park for three consecutive nights, inject vitality in the community through the arts. The Children’s Story World and art exploration activities will also be available this year, and all are welcome to enjoy the world of art.
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 the Cantonese Opera 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, keeping the full house of the audience in stitches. The Macao Orchestra and the Macao Chinese Orchestra present the classics of Mozart and a musical feast that combine traditional Chinese culture and modern aesthetics concepts, respectively, carrying out a musical dialogue between the East and the West.
Ren Dongsheng, a National First Class Stage Designer, is dedicated to exploring stage design. He produced a collection of poetic, vibrant, and epochal works by repeatedly reviewing style, color, and techniques. The “Imagery and Space: Ren Dongsheng Scenography Exhibition” leads the audience to transcend spatial dimensions and experience the charm of scenography. Baptiste Rabichon, an emerging contemporary French photographic artist, will present “A Room with a View: Baptiste Rabichon Photography Exhibition”, whose works with a technique that combines traditional and innovative elements, introducing the contemporary expressions of photography and exploring the possibilities of artistic creation.
When: April 30–May 29, 2021
Where: Macao Cultural Centre, Avenida Xian Xing Hai s/n, NAPE, Macau, Old Court Building, 459 Av. da Praia Grande, Macau, Macau Contemporary Art Center, Rua de S. Tiago da Barra, Macau, Cinema Alegria, 85D-85E Estrada do Repouso, Macau, Broadway Theatre, Broadway Macau, Avenida Marginal Flor de Lótus, Cotai, Tap Seac Gallery, Praça do Tap Seac, Macau, MGM Theater Cotai, Avenida da Nave Desportiva, Cotai, and Tai Fung Supermarket, Taipa,
How much: MOP $120–300 per person