We have lift-off!

03_readyhoverSo, the thirtieth anniversary has officially been launched together with our funky new website.  Many of Hong Kong’s most dedicated patrons of the arts were present at yesterday’s ceremony, together with former Directors and Council Chairs, the Chairman of the Alumni Association, current and former students, faculty members past and present and the Secretary for Home Affairs, The Honorable Tsang Tak-sing.

The ceremony opened with a wonderful fanfare, specially composed for the occasion by Master’s student Slash Leung and played by students of both Chinese and Western music.  It was a rare treat to see, among others, Kevin playing the sheng alongside Jimmy playing the trumpet, while drummers Hong and Kay were clearly having a fabulous (and well-deserved) time in the spotlight.

We watched the new corporate video, with its combination of current and archive footage.  That will no doubt be on YouTube soon and I’ll post a link once it’s up. I was glad to find out we’re giving work to our graduates, with composer Andy Cheung responsible for the music.

Then came the speeches.  Our Council Chairman, Mr. Leung, said some very nice things about how proud he is to be involved in the ongoing development of the Academy and its students.  Mr. Tsang was reassuring about the Home Affairs Bureau’s ongoing involvement with the Academy and how strongly the Government believes that the arts are important to the citizens of Hong Kong.

Our Director, Professor Walter, had some exciting new initiatives to announce, which we’ll cover in more detail in another post.  He encouraged those attendees who had the special “purple folder” in their show bags to help fund these initiatives, so hopefully we’ll have an influx of donations soon!

He also showed us the new website with an interactive link that triggered a welcoming voiceover that would be familiar to anyone who has ever been in my class…

Then came the performances. They are must-sees and I’ll post the footage once we’ve edited it.  A mesmerising, contemporary two-hander with Kenneth Hui and Mao Wei, in a piece choreographed by the dancers themselves that showed both their stunning technique AND stunning physiques to best advantage. This led seamlessly into a truly collaborative dance piece, featuring students from EXCEL and the Gifted Young Dancer Programme, as well as the schools of Dance and Drama.  The joy on their faces as they performed was mirrored on those of the audience.  I know it took many hours of hard work and some very, very late nights to put this together so congratulations to everyone involved, especially choreographer Mandy Petty, who was also the Artistic Director of the entire event.

No sooner had the dozens of dancers left the stage, than a gang of drummers, playing irresistible samba rhythms, exhorted us all out of our seats and led us out to the roof garden, where a whole new range of entertainment awaited us… To be continued.

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