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Macao City Fringe Festival is a fantastic tour de force03 Jan 2020

The 19th Macao City Fringe Festival aims to take audiences on a fantastical journey through the streets and alleys of Macao, guiding them with the rallying cry, “Boundless creation will show you around!”

This year’s Macao City Fringe Festival begins on 10 January and ends on 19 January. The city will be transformed into a living performance space, with the artists, their patrons and stages all around the city. The goal is to encourage everybody in Macao to join in.

The Fringe Festival journey has 17 programmes and 13 outreach activities.

A special feature this year is the “Crème de la Fringe” series. Part of it – under the sub-theme “On Site” – will see three dance performances progressing from the streets to the theatre: ImprovFlashMob, Body Traveller and A Step to Theatre: Put out the Flame. The works show audiences the power of physical movement in close proximity as the performers use their bodies to present a range of possibilities.

Elsewhere in “Crème de la Fringe” are a trio of modern puppet theatre productions, Fragile, Story Market and Nightwalk: Pourquoi? presented on Coloane by Macao, Taiwanese and Canadian artists. The shows – under the sub-theme “Puppet and Object Theatre Festival in Coloane” – harness the power of Eastern and Western theatre, featuring multimedia puppets, light and sound.

Performances from near and far

ZU-UK of Britain will put on their new production, Binaural Dinner Date, which combines an interactive performance with a speed dating service. Taiwanese artist Chou Shu-Yi will show video clips and respond to urban and spatial transformations with live dance performances in his show called the “Break & Break!” Chou Shu-Yi Live Exhibition. The Compass Association of Creative Theatre will take its audience on the Macao Murder Tourto acquaint them with some of the city’s darker mysteries.

Macao artist Kawo’s Doppelgänger of Pluto art installation takes the viewer into a magical parallel world. Another Macao artist, Jay Lei, will conduct tours of the mansion of a once-powerful merchant family, looking at the venue from a novel perspective in his contribution Property Guide at Lou Kau Mansion.

Macao group Stella & Artists are staging Kaleidoscope in Motion, a combination of dance routines and startling fantasies conjured up electronically. Yet another Macao artist, Chan Si Kei, will get together with Co-coism from the Taiwan region to invite their audience to The Cinematic Duo, which sets up a romantic tryst in the course of a movie showing. The Soda-City Experimental Workshop Arts Association and the Artistry of Wind Box Community Development Association will jointly put on Wearing My Untold Stories, which will convey their feelings through the clothes they sport.

Through a child’s eyes

Among the performances suitable for children is Once Upon a Time in Macao, in which Casa de Portugal em Macau looks at the city through the lenses of music and communion between the past and present. Another family-friendly performance is Look@You by the Macau Talent Academy Association, which lets its audience see, hear and feel through the media of creative body movement, music and moveable art installation. Melodic Fantasy is a theatre performance for children, with puppets, actors, a dancer and magical sounds produced by the Black Sand Theatre and the Clube dos Amigos do Riquexó.

The programme for the 19th Macao City Fringe Festival includes a series of outreach activities such as workshops, talks, exhibitions and sharing sessions.

On the “Crème de la Fringe” programme are three workshops given by dancers including Xiao Zhiren from Guangzhou, Diego Sinniger of Spain, and Lee Hong Kiu and Li Tuokun of Hong Kong, along with a sharing session; and three workshops to do with puppet theatre, one given by Canadian artist Robert Leveroos.

Talented Korean dancer and dance instructor Seo Yun Shin will give a workshop on modern dance. Elsewhere, the Artistry of Wind Box Community Development Association will put on an exhibition called “Unforgettable Memory of Macao Garment Industry”.

The festival also includes opportunities for audiences to get closer to the art and the artists.

A talk and seminar given by Taiwanese art critic Hung Mu-Cheng will discuss the importance of art to local communities. During the event, art critics from Hong Kong, Macao and the Taiwan region will also review this year’s Fringe Festival.

The coordinators of artistic events from Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai will discuss their work in a sharing session. And the “Slashie” backstage volunteer campaign will show the lucky volunteers what art looks like on the other side of the stage curtain.

The Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau stages the annual Fringe Festival. Tickets for the festival are available at the Macau Ticketing Network. Reservations can be made by phone at (+853) 2855 5555, or online at www.macauticket.com.

Registration for any of the workshops can be arranged by calling (+853) 8399 6872 during office hours, or online at www.icm.gov.mo/eform/event.

Macao City Fringe Festival website is at www.macaucityfringe.gov.mo and the festival also has a Facebook page, Macao City Fringe Festival.