ENTER THE DRAGON

The first Chinese immigrants to move to London pitched up in the East End, so it seems fitting that festivities to mark China's resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong should take place on the site of the original Chinatown.

Docklands' smoky old opium dens have, of course, been replaced by swathes of warehouse and wharfside redevelopment, so punters will be treated to a different kind of Oriental relaxation over Hong Kong Weekend. Based at the London Arena, this three-day festival offers visitors a glittering array of traditional and contemporary Chinese arts to choose from, with British-Chinese groups performing opera, folk, popular songs, traditional music, street theatre, acrobatics and classical dance. Performers visiting from the People's Republic include Ione Meyer of the Beijing Opera (see front cover), and eight-year-old Tim Zhou of the Great Wall Arts Troupe, taking part in a display of martial arts and drumming.

There will be lion dances and dragon races but the highlight of the celebrations promises to be a specially commissioned piece by Yan Huang Legend, who will perform a precarious pageant on stilts.

While the Arena will be decorated to resemble Hong Kong's famous shopping and eating thoroughfare, Temple Street, the dock will be modelled on Aberdeen harbour, home to Hong Kong's famous floating restaurants.

And at 5pm on Monday 30 June Londoners can gather around a giant TV screen to watch live the biggest Chinese takeaway in history.

London Arena, Isle of Dogs, London E14 (0181-694 9343) today to Mon 30 Jun, free LS

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