Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
China Daily / 2023-01 / 18 / Page012

Art extravaganza to thrill audiences across Beijing

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-18 00:00

Performances including plays, operas, magic shows and puppetry to number over 1,600

To provide residents with quality cultural experiences during the Lunar New Year holiday, running from Jan 21 to 27, Beijing will be staging more than 1,660 performances. They cover a spectrum of genres including plays, puppet shows and traditional Chinese opera.

A core part of the holiday season performances, Grand Performances in Beijing — which is a performing arts program running from November to January — will continue its journey around the city.

Hosted by the Publicity Department of the Beijing Committee of the Communist Party of China, Grand Performances in Beijing features performers from organizations across the country.

They include art troupes and performing arts organizations from Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin municipalities, and Hebei, Henan and Zhejiang provinces.

Five shows of the program are scheduled for live performance in January. They include a play titled A Lifelong Journey and a puppet show named Here Come the Elephants.

A total of 27 shows in the program will be broadcast online by the end of January. They include magic shows, traditional Chinese opera and plays based on revolutionaries and present-day life, among other subjects.

One is a play called Beneath the Red Banner. It is adapted from a novel of the same name by Lao She and a namesake play by Li Long yun.

The show depicts the lives of members of the Eight Banners living in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).The Eight Banners refer to military-administrative organizations of the Manchu ethnic group in the Qing Dynasty.

Feng Yuanzheng, president of Beijing People's Art Theatre and one of the directors of Beneath the Red Banner, told Beijing Radio and Television Station: "(Actors) Pu Cunxin, Liang Danni and Yang Li xin have all retired, but they still come to the theater to participate (in the rehearsals).

"The younger actors work three shifts a day — they begin to do group performances at 10 am, watch rehearsals by the senior actors in the afternoon and rehearse themselves in the evening," Feng said.

The cast of the show was set up in September. Since then, they have visited places such as Baoguo Temple and attended lectures on folk customs in order to better play their roles.

The puppet show Here Come the Elephants showcases how a group of 15 Asian elephants march and play happily in the beautiful rainforest in Xishuangbanna, a destination famous for its tropical landscape in Southwest China's Yunnan province, Beijing Daily reported.

Happy to Meet presents the contemporary life in Beijing's Tiantongyuan and Huilongguan communities, which are reputed to be the largest communities in Asia. The play focuses on the story of young photographer Zhao Dahe, who has come to Beijing from his hometown in Northeast China. He gets to know his neighbors who are kind, warmhearted and hardworking, according to Beijing Daily.

Li Qingzhao, a Kunqu Opera play, tells of Li Qingzhao's divorce from her husband. It showcases the candor and decisiveness of Li, a Song Dynasty (960-1279) poet who stood out in a literary world dominated by men, Beijing Daily reported.

The play Tide of Era tells the stories of Rou Shi, Hu Yepin, Yin Fu, Li Qiushi and Feng Keng — five left-wing revolutionary writers who were killed by Kuomintang reactionaries in Shanghai.

In addition, new year concerts by institutions including the National Centre for the Performing Arts and traditional Chinese opera shows by the National Peking Opera Company are held to enrich residents' cultural lives.

For live audiences, the Beijing Bureau of Culture and Tourism reminds them that face masks are to be worn throughout the entirety of each show to ensure a "healthy and happy" experience.

Beijing has traditionally been a thriving arts hub in the country and is home to a group of well-established arts organizations and large numbers of outstanding artists.

In July 2021, Beijing put forward the idea of creating the city culture brand of Grand Performances in Beijing to boost its cultural industry and bolster its position as a national center for cultural creation and activities.

From July 2021 to the end of June 2022, 216 performance venues in Beijing had staged a total of 22,059 performances to 4.57 million people. They generated a box office revenue of 667 million yuan ($99.5 million).


A scene from Beneath the Red Banner, a classic play of Beijing Quju Opera, the only indigenous traditional opera genre in Beijing. CHINA DAILY



The drama Happy to Meet presents contemporary life in Beijing's Tiantongyuan and Huilongguan communities. CHINA DAILY

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349