Love Streams is one of the highlights of this year’s Hong Kong Arts Festival, featuring a stellar ensemble made up of dancers from the Hong Kong Dance Company in addition to 12 renowned opera singers, choral performers and musicians. It is possibly the first original production of its kind in Hong Kong.
Leading this ambitious venture is Hong Kong’s very own talented and acclaimed choreographer and director Yang Yuntao, who is joined by an outstanding creative team including composers Chan Hing-yan and Daniel Lo, and librettists Yi Heng and Wong Yi. A challenging production to mount, the two-act dance-opera interweaves the chamber operas Heart of Coral and Women Like Us, commissioned by the HKAF in 2013 and 2021 respectively. The music featured in Love Streams will be newly arranged, extended and re-interpreted for the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble conducted by Vicky Shin.
Heart of Coral celebrates the tumultuous life of Xiao Hong (1911-1942), perhaps the most renowned woman writer of the 1930s alongside Eileen Chang. She lived her short life with love and a free spirit, and with the land and its people in her heart. Women Like Us is a tribute to Hong Kong’s literary grande dame Xi Xi (1937-2022) and a tale of two women struggling to face the shadows of loneliness and find hope in solitude, inspired by the protagonists of Xi Xi’s beloved short stories “A Girl Like Me” and “The Cold”.
Whether in the frosty winter of the Chinese hinterland in the 1930s, or in urban Hong Kong in the 1980s, the yearning for love seems inseparable from historical, political and social forces, but audience members are sure to find inspiration in the underlying feminist perspectives of these two important modern writers.
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