Grand gala opens Olympic culture festival in capital

Updated: Dec 29, 2021 By Chen Nan China Daily Print
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Kunqu Opera artists Yu Jiulin and Shen Fengying. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A grand gala, titled See You in Beijing, will be held at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in the capital on Jan 6, opening the 22nd Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival.

With veteran director Tian Qinxin as artistic director and pipa player Zhao Cong as music director, the gala will feature Chinese actors, actresses, singers and instrumentalists.

Over 100 musicians from China National Traditional Orchestra and Suzhou Symphony Orchestra will perform during the gala under the baton of conductor Chen Xieyang, featuring Western classical music and traditional Chinese pieces.

The gala marks the beginning of the Meet in Beijing Olympic Culture Festival, celebrating the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics.

Chinese athletes, such as short-track speed skater and China's first-ever Winter Olympics gold medalist Yang Yang, freestyle skiing world champion Li Nina, and world champion figure skaters Pang Qing and Tong Jian, will be invited to join the gala.

Zhao, president and principal pipa performer of the China National Traditional Orchestra, said that the creative team spent three months preparing for the gala. Chinese composer Tang Jianping has been commissioned to write a new piece of music, which will premiere during the gala.

Xie Jinying, director of the bureau for international exchange and cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, noted that the annual event will bring 62 shows from 22 countries both live and online till Feb 18, covering classical music, dance drama, Kunqu Opera and Peking Opera.

Kunqu Opera artists Yu Jiulin and Shen Fengying. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival has become a platform for artists from around the world to communicate since it was launched in 2000. It has gained a large fan base with a diversity of performances," said Xie. "This year, the annual event will be held during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which will display Chinese arts and culture to a wider audience."

Highlights will see Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting, an original Chinese drama by the China Oriental Performing Arts Group, choreographed by Zhou Liya and Han Zhen and inspired by A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains, a famous Chinese painting by artist Wang Ximeng of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), as well as a new Chinese musical, titled Ice Breakers, which combines ice and snow sports with music.

Chen Ning, director-general of the culture and ceremonies department of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, said that a variety of cultural activities have been held in the capital since 2020 to warm up for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

"Performing arts, exhibitions, movies, TV shows and public events will be held to celebrate the Olympic spirit," she said.

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