Hong Kong Art Festival Welcomes More Mainland Visitors

More and more mainland visitors will travel to Hong Kong for the 29th Art Festival this Spring.

"Every year, the organizing committee of the festival invites famous local, Asian and international artists. This year's performances, scheduled between February 7 to March 11, will have more stars than ever," Andrew Kam, the chief representative of the Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA) said at a press conference in Beijing Friday.

More than 1,000 top artists will participate in operas, symphonies, jazz and folk music concerts, ballet, and dramas. A total of more than 100 events in 33 categories are on the performance schedule, Kam said.

Many popular classics with innovative twists will be performed on stage. For example, the latest version of "Wu Kong" (the Monkey King) is a blend of Chinese, Japanese and Korean traditional cultures. The modern version of "Hamlet" will highlight the corruption and claustrophobic atmosphere of Shakespeare's play. The dance of "The Brave New World of Suzie Wong" reappears on stage, portraying the famous icon of the Orient in the 1950s.

The Hong Kong Art Festival is one of the most important activities sponsored by the HKTA. In recent years, Hong Kong has been regarded not only as a well-known free port and international financial center, but also as Asia's most popular city for tourism.

With the influx and influence of Oriental and Occidental cultures, Hong Kong has developed into a diverse and dynamic world-class city.

According to the latest statistics, Hong Kong had 13.06 million visitors last year including 3,785,845 mainland Chinese. The two numbers rose 15.3 percent and 18.1 percent respectively over the previous year.

(People's Daily 02/17/2001)

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