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China Daily Global / 2021-01 / 04 / Page014

Sounds of celebration

By Chen Nan | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-01-04 00:00

The 21st Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival will feature performances of various music genres from groups from around the world, Chen Nan reports.

China National Symphony Orchestra will give a concert under the baton of conductor Chen Xieyang at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Jan 7 to open the 21st Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival.

The concert will feature the classic Chinese piece, Ode to the Red Flag, composed by noted musician Lyu Qiming in 1965, and Olympic Fanfare and Theme, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Olympic Committee. The Olympic song was composed by John Williams in 1994. It won him a Grammy and became one of the best-known theme songs in the Games' history.

Pipa (four-stringed lute) player Zhao Cong will perform the Chinese work Blooming, composed by Ma Jiuyue, with the China National Symphony Orchestra.

Feng Mantian will play the ruan (a traditional plucked Chinese instrument) for Xintianyou Capriccio, composed by Jiang Ying, along with suona (double-reed horn) player Niu Jiandang.

Singers from the iSING! International Young Artists Festival will also perform Chinese songs.

The decade-old project launched by bass opera singer Tian Haojiang promotes an understanding of China's contemporary opera scene by presenting Chinese-language music sung by foreigners.

The China National Symphony Orchestra will also perform The Skaters created by French composer Emil Waldteufel in 1882 and the Chinese song, My Motherland, which will be staged by CNSO's chorus.

The Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival will bring 42 performances from 24 countries from Jan 7 to Feb 4. Thirty-one performances will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online performances will include the Amalia Hernandez Song and Dance Troupe of Mexico, the Argentine Tango Company from Buenos Aires and the Ensemble Rustavi of Georgian Folk Song and Dance.

The Kiev Grand Theater Ballet will perform its contemporary piece, Children of the Night, which premiered in 2018. The Gyeonggido Dance Company will showcase South Korean folk dances with its dance production, Lotus Rebirth. And the Kibbutz Modern Dance Group from Israel will perform the contemporary-dance work, If At All.

The international troupes will present their music on such Chinese streaming platforms as iQiyi, Youku and Bilibili.

This year's festival theme will celebrate the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

"Audiences anticipate and celebrate the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival every year," says Li Jinsheng, president of the China Arts and Entertainment Group, the event's organizer.

"It brings together artists from all around the world in (China's) capital. Though this year's event has to be rearranged because of the outbreak, we still want to provide audiences with a diverse selection of events through online programs."

He adds that the festival has attracted over 30,000 artists from 120 countries and regions and more than 4.3 million audience members since 2000.

Public art-education activities about the Winter Olympics will offer diverse choices of events related to winter sports and the Games' culture, especially for younger people.

Dancer-choreographer Shen Wei, who's known for his work on the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will speak at a forum at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on Jan 14 and 15.

The New York-based artist choreographed the breathtakingly beautiful dance piece, Scroll Painting, in which dancers performed on a constantly changing LED scroll of Chinese ink-and-wash paintings, depicting the evolution of China since ancient times.

"Many of my works have been staged at art festivals around the globe. I believe art festivals help create conversations across cultures," says Shen, who will share his views about the relationships among art festivals, cities and the public.

In 1979, a group of student performers from Brigham Young University in the US state of Utah made history when they became one of the first Western groups to perform in China. The group has since returned to the country about 30 times. A documentary about BYU's and China's four-decade-long friendship will be screened at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center.

Beijing Philharmonic Choir, China National Traditional Orchestra and the Philharmonic Male Chorus will stage concerts celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the Beijing Concert Hall.

The opera section will feature such productions as Guangzhou Opera House's commissioned work, Marco Polo, and Mozart's The Magic Flute and Puccini's Turandot, both produced by Bregenzer Festspiele (Bregenz Festival).

The Latin American Arts Session is a part of Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival launched in 2013 to showcase the region's cultural diversity.

Over 300 artists from 24 Latin American countries have since performed during the festival. This year's session will present eight programs, covering classical music, dance, choir and documentaries. Highlights include a Cuban cappella group Vocal Sampling, salsa troupe Ensalsate Dance Columbia, the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic and Peru's National Folk Dance Company.

The festival will also feature exhibitions, including paintings by Huang Zhou (1925-97), He Xiangning (1878-1972) and Li Keran (1907-89).

This year's Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival will close with a gala for the launch ceremony of the one-year countdown to the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.


China National Symphony Orchestra will perform at the 21st Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival's opening concert on Jan 7 at the National Center for the Performing Arts. CHINA DAILY



Deep in Memory, a Chinese dance drama featuring leading dancer Tang Shiyi, will be staged during the festival. CHINA DAILY



Chen Xieyang will take the baton of the opening concert. CHINA DAILY



Dancers from a French dance troupe will perform Elektrokif online. CHINA DAILY



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