Organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from its Portuguese acronym) and themed “Restart”, the 31st Macao Arts Festival (MAF) sets off in May, featuring a range of programmes and outreach activities to invite the public to participate with a heart full of dreams.
Last year’s entire programming of the MAF was suspended due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. This year, the MAF will once again be ready to hit the road together with artistic and cultural practitioners. Ren Dongsheng, a National First Class Stage Designer, known for his distinctive style which conveys grandeur with creative and insightful details, creates an exchange and dialogue between unpretentious traditions and state-of-the-art technology through his implicit and poetic visual interpretations of the themes of the works. In this year’s MAF, he will lead the audience to transcend spatial dimensions and experience the glamour of scenography through the “Imagery and Space: Ren Dongsheng Scenography Exhibition”. Ren Dongsheng has served as general lighting designer and artistic director in nearly 100 Chinese and overseas productions. His representative works include the dance theatre productions Ballad of Landscape, Nanjing 1937 and Huang Daopo, among others. His works have been widely praised for their distinctive artistic style, which is exquisite and elegant with profound connotations.
Among the 31st MAF highlights is Taking Leave, a production adapted from American contemporary playwright Nagle Jackson’s namesake play by the National Theatre of China. National First Class Director Wang Xiaoying, who was also the most avant-garde experimental drama director and an iconic figure in mainstream theatre in the 1990s in China, will lead a team of veteran actors to present a story about the eternity of vulnerable life and ubiquitous love.
Huangmei opera is a national intangible cultural heritage. The Anhai Huangmei Opera Theatre’s 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 artist 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 31st MAF also features an array of local productions, and the full line-up of programmes will be announced later. Tickets for the programmes will be on sale from 28 March (Sunday) onwards. For the purpose of epidemic prevention and safeguarding the audience’s health and safety, ticketing arrangements on the first day of ticket sales will be adjusted. Outlet ticketing, telephone and online booking will be available simultaneously from 10 a.m. on 28 March. Members of the public who wish to buy tickets at the outlets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on that day are required to reserve their ticketing slot through the Macau Ticketing Network from 25 March (Thursday) at 10 a.m. onwards, and those who have successfully registered can buy tickets at their selected outlet accordingly. Those in need of assistance to reserve a ticketing slot can visit any of the Macau Ticketing Network outlets during business hours and the online platform’s opening period. Furthermore, booking time slots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each mobile phone number can only be registered once. By improving ticketing arrangements and introducing diverse ticketing channels, the organiser hopes to further encourage purchasers to experience the convenience of e-government services and avoid the gathering of crowds. On the first day of ticket sales, each person can purchase a maximum of 6 tickets per performance per transaction.
More information about the 31st MAF will be announced on the Festival’s webpage at www.icm.gov.mo/fam, Facebook page (search ‘Macao Arts Festival’), and through IC’s official WeChat account (IC_Art_Macao).