Beauty and the Beast-Hong Kong Ballet

“Forget Disney's Beauty and the Beast with it's saccharine over stated rump and go and see the latest production of the Hong Kong Ballet choreographed by the internationally renown choreographer-Director Domy Reiter Soffer. The Ballet has all the Visual and the Dramatic elements of a fairy tale story yet it is pungent with humanity and philosophy of life. It is the most satisfying production I have seen in the recent years full of surprises and theatricality. There was a truly magnificent dancing by the Hong Kong Ballet, Mr. Nobou Fujino as the Beast and Terasa Webster as belle, capture the roles brilliantly. As Belle's two sisters Ayako Fujioka and Fei Leung and their fiancés dance with Gusto and panache and were the perfect foil for Belle. Mr. Wang danced the role of Hercules convincingly and Amuer Calderon as the Father gives a touching performance especially in the bankruptcy scene in the beginning of the ballet. The whole production stimulates and impresses the audience with expertise and professionalism. It seems that Hong Kong Ballet have backed a winner”.
(Wen Wei Po- Beijing Daily News)


“Beauty and the Beast” choreographed by Domy Reiter-Soffer at the Cultural centre is a moving portrayal of tormented angry Beast eager to become the prince that he was with the help of a real love. The production is full of surprises that conjures one's imagination and senses, a Coup d'teatre and a must see, if you cannot get a ticket, steal one”.
(Lee yun wah- Shanghai Daily)


“This is the third season that “Beauty and the Beast” has returned to the Cultural Centre and no wonder that all the performances are sold out. The Hong Kong Ballet Have a winner in this production. The choreography and sets are exciting which serves the subject admirably. The entire cast danced the ballet with verve and energy that made an impact on the audience, especially the corps scenes. Belle's compassion and eventual love for the Beast makes a deep and moving impression. The eventual Metamorphosis of the Beast into a Prince was soul stirring and poignant. The production is a feast to the eye and senses”.
(Hong Kong Culture Magazine)


“Beauty and the Beast” is a great achievement and success for the Hong Kong Ballet. The production exudes with interesting and striking choreography that permeates all the different senses love, anger, and greed etc…in exciting movements that is unique to the choreographer Domy Reiter Soffer. There are numerous encounters between Belle and the Beast, first fear, elusiveness, resistance, confrontational and eventually love. The physical Strength needed for the two protagonists, Dai-wei and Erico Ochiai, is exceptionally demanding, and both gave excellent and moving performances, as did the rest of the cast, Belle's two sisters and their fiancés as well as the father Amuer Calderon. The Character of Hercules Belle's admirer danced by Michael Wang was impressive and technically effective.
The process of the Beast turning into a prince was most touching and sheer theatre at its best, which is Mr. Domy Reiter Soffer's strength we have come to admire. The entire evening was an unforgettable experience that moved the audience to the core”.
( Beh Ching Lau- Hong Kong Journal)


“Last weekend, Hong Kong Ballet premiered its first new show this season, Beauty and The Beast, Choreographed by Domy Reiter-Soffer, whose two previous works for the company had been a great success and both were reviewed by me last year.
Stephen Jeffries should take pride in the result; His Hong Kong Ballet has managed to make a great success out of the fairy tale than the Royal Ballet's version by Wayne Eagling. Perrault's Tale about Belle the youngest daughter of a rich merchant, Mr. Granite, setting out to rescue her father who has been imprisoned by the Beast in his Castle. Granite's Bankruptcy in the beginning to the eventual transformation of the Beast into a Prince the three-act ballet's momentum never sagged the action throughout was most interesting and coherent to the audience. There was delightful and effective dancing by the corps who were the creditors, villagers and the Beast's attendants as well as the warriors.
The three-act ballet contains the best choreography I have seen that elevates the audience to other worldly dreamland and intrigue the on looker. The ballet exudes a romantic fervor, and the pas de deux for Belle and the Beast are ecstatic, with soaring lifts. The third act contains a virile sword dance between Hercules, fiancés and the male villagers that was most exciting.
As Belle Erico Ochiai was technically proficient and managed to bring out all the emotional nuances of the role. Terasa Webster's dancing in the second cast had more variety and texture. Webster's long limbs had a freshness that captured belle's youthful innocence and conveyed clearly from aversion to a deepening love for the Beast.
Both Beasts danced the technically demanding choreography wholeheartedly. He- Dei had more dignity, but the technical bravura of the young Japanese dancer Nobuo Fujino was more exciting. The music by the composer Man-yee Lam served the ballet well and Henry Shek conducted the Hong Kong Orchestra with Panache and expertise. No doubt Beauty and The Beast will mature even more and will go Places, as it deserves”.
(Kevin Ng- Dance Magazine).


“Rehearsing a huge new story ballet in six weeks would be enough to bring out the beast in anyone. Yet that was the task set Domy Reiter-Soffer, and he has pulled off the impossible. His Last offering for the Hong Kong Ballet Lady Of The Camellias was a triumph, which is likely to enliven the company for many years to come.
With Beauty and the Beast Reiter-Soffer has gone to the source of the 17 th century fairytale story by Charles Perrault. Which tells of a bankrupt merchant who gets lost in a forest of horrors and encounters a hideous beast. Both man and beast are redeemed by the same woman- Belle, daughter of the merchant; object of desire to the prince-turned beast. You could fill several reviews with the allusions at work here, but first and foremost it is about the redemptive, transfiguring power of love- an apt theme if ever there was. He Da Wei dances with elegant line and restrained nobility to unleash the animal within. He is the beastly beast indeed from the moment he bursts from his lair, his sinewy grace and tortured longings make the show his. Erich Ochiai as Belle dances a lyrical but solid performance with moving solos and duets with the beast, that makes the audience sit at the edge of their seat. Michael Wang as Hercules stands out as her spurned suitor while the corps move from scene to scene with powerful choreography that moves the story along with excitement and expertise. It looks that choreographer Reiter-Soffer has created a masterpiece and Mr. Jeffries has backed a winner.
(Jason Gagliardi- Sunday Morning Post)


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