Not only were the performances good, but the passion of the students was truly palpable. There was a sense that the students poured their hearts into the performances, that they were very proud of what they have done, and there was a very good rapport between the students and the staff.
There was an orchestra and a Chinese orchestra. There was a mixed choir and a girls’ choir. I was particularly captivated by a girl with a ponytail who played the African drum accompanying the girls’ choir in the final event. She was not more than 10 feet away from us sitting in the second row. I enjoyed so much the way that she leaned forward and focused so totally on the conductor throughout, like a leopard ready to pounce. She was not the only one who put so much effort into it. But, for me, she epitomised the spirit.
There were a lot of dances, Polish folk dance, Chinese Miao folk dance, clowns dancing, a pair of girls pretending to be dolls coming alive, Latin styles, … It seems to be a particular strength of the school. And they were very good.
One of the main attractions was a drama centered around a daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law, obviously an allegory for the complex relationship between Hong Kong and Mainland China. A lot of events were worked into the story: whether the Mainland or Hong Kong has the authority in Hong Kong, the impact of the financial storm including the case of the Lehman Brothers, the behaviour of the Mainlanders in Hong Kong, Hong Kong allegedly bad-mouthing the Mainland in front of foreigners, Hong Kong investing in the Mainland earlier and then later, the Mainland helping out Hong Kong, … The students have tackled complex and sensitive issues boldly as well as skillfully.
After all these, it was what happened at the end, when the performances were over, that impressed me the most. The headmaster thanked the students, the teaches and the parents. For a long time, the students refused to go. They looked for their friends, looked for their teachers, have photographs taken on the stage and all over the hall, laughed, screamed, … I enjoyed watching their faces, so expressive, and so passionate. There was just such a great atmosphere. if the headmaster wasn’t so busy, I would have congratulated him.
A surprisingly enjoyable evening. And a very educational experience.