Christine LIAO (Mao Mei)
2009 Honorary Fellow
An outstanding performing artist, an inspiring teacher, a producer of large-scale dance shows, an original choreographer, an enthusiastic advocate of arts, Christine Liao - Mao Mei has made a major contribution to dance in Hong Kong for over the past 50 years. Under her stage name of Mao Mei, Christine Liao - Mao Mei was a leading dancer actress in many Mandarin movies between 1956 - 1963, of which Gone with the Tide was selected by the Edinburgh Film Festival. She performed for many years as Hong Kong’s best known ballerina in films, TV and on stage.
After graduating from The University of Hong Kong where she majored in English and French Language and Literature, Christine Liao - Mao Mei left her fi lm career to further her ballet studies in the United Kingdom. Upon her return to Hong Kong in 1964, she founded the Christine Liao School of Ballet and embarked on an educational career. Now in its 45th year, the school has developed into one of the largest in the world, and has produced world-class ballerinas who include principals of the Royal Ballet and other international companies, as well as winners of the Adeline Genée Gold Medal, and the National China Ballet Competition.
A founder of the Hong Kong Ballet Company, Christine Liao – Mao Mei was Vice-Chairman and Chairman of its Executive Committee for many years. She has also been a Council Member of the Council for the Performing Arts, Chairman of its Dance Committee, and Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Fund. She has also been a committee member and advisor of City Contemporary Dance Company.
In 1987, Christine Liao - Mao Mei was appointed a Justice of Peace by the Hong Kong Government in recognition for her valuable contributions to the world of dance and arts education in Hong Kong. In 2007 she was voted one of Hong Kong’s Ten most successful women. In 2008 she was a recipient of a Hong Kong Dance Alliance Distinguished Achievement Award, and the Neway Achievement Award.
Christine Liao - Mao Mei continues to nurture world-class ballerinas, and produce grand-scale classical ballets for young audiences such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella. In 1999, Christine Liao – Mao Mei set up the Hong Kong Dance Foundation which offers Dance Scholarships to Hong Kong students.