As we commence 2015 I now have the pleasure of reflecting on wonderful 30th Anniversary Year in 2014. The achievements of our Schools of Music, Dance, Chinese Opera, Film and Television, Drama, and Theatre and Entertainment Arts and EXCEL were all showcased during the celebrations.
We finished the year just before Christmas with a series of Alumni concerts – I can’t imagine a better way to close the year than by celebrating the success of our alumni. The concerts showcased three decades of outstanding Western classical music and Chinese music performers – some 140 Alumni travelling from far and wide to be with us.
These concerts were preceded by what for me was a major highlight of the year, our Symposium Asian Transformation: New Perspectives on Creativity and Performing Arts Education. This Symposium brilliantly showcased the unique attributes of the Academy and performing arts practice in Hong Kong. It also gave us the opportunity to engage with leading practitioners from the Mainland, the region and around the globe. It was very rewarding and uplifting to see the Academy so effectively engaging in a global community of practice.
Other key Anniversary year events affirmed the Academy’s commitment to cross disciplinary collaboration and capitalising on Hong Kong as a unique point of intersection between Eastern and Western cultural practice.
The cross Academy production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, with the play within the play set as a Cantonese opera, drew significant attention and generated some important discussion and debate as to the future development of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong. It was rewarding to see the Academy facilitating such a discussion and positioning itself at the centre of innovative new developments in the performing arts.
The title of the School of Dance’s major Anniversary year production said a lot about the Academy’s ethos and vision for the future – Crossing Borders … blurring boundaries.
Robyn Archer’s wonderful comment at the Symposium ‘the performing arts are a safe place to have a dangerous conversation’ resonated with many of the participants and audience members and highlighted the seminal role that the performing arts play in our lives and our communities.
The Academy is central to this role in Hong Kong and the 30th Anniversary gave us all a special opportunity to reflect on our three decade journey and where we have arrived today, and where our new Strategic Plan will take us in the next ten years It also gave us an opportunity to celebrate the illustrious staff, students and alumni who have contributed so much to the Academy over the last three decades, helping to make it the significant institution it is today as it continues to transform and enrich the cultural life of Hong Kong.
Thank you to all donors, corporate sponsors and the general public who supported us with such passion during this special 30th Anniversary Year and helped us celebrate this memorable event.
Professor Adrian Walter AM
Director of Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts