Chinese dance theater performs stories of Grand Canal in France

(ezhejiang.gov.cn) Updated : 2017-07-04

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Dancers perform To Meet the Grand Canal in Paris, France, the second stop of the theater's world tour, on July 2. [Photo by Chen Yichen/Xinhua]

To Meet the Grand Canal, the first dance theater in honor of Chinese Grand Canal culture, began its world tour in June. On June 28 and July 2, the show was staged in the French cities of Nice and Paris, receiving warm welcome from an international audience.

Inside the time-honored venue Opéra de Nice, the world tour of To Meet the Grand Canal began. Action, art and drama are integrated to depict the history of the Grand Canal and its cultural value as a world heritage site.

The show mixes tradition with modernity in every move. The heroine is a drop of water, representing the Canal's thousand years of history, while the hero is a modern man seeking the profound culture of the Canal. The story that plays out between the two displays the mutuality of mankind and nature.

Hangzhou Song and Dance Theater spent three years developing the performance. With financial support from the China National Arts Fund, it brought together top performers and advisors from home and abroad to delve into different performing styles.

"The show is not only a display of the Canal culture, but also an expression of our thoughts on the cultural heritages," said Cui Wei, director of the Theater and show. Cui believes cultural heritages should be used to build bridges between Chinese and Western cultures.

The performance received a warm welcome in France, with audience members in Nice showing great enthusiasm. The director of Opéra de Nice said the show made him determined to see the Chinese Grand Canal with his own eyes.

In Paris, nearly 2,000 people watched the Canal performance, which was filled with sporadic cheers and applause throughout.

Invited by the Nice government, the France-China Culture and Art Exchange Center and UNESCO, the dance theater will go on to tour several countries, including France and the UK.

Cui noted countries chosen are involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, saying, "We want to build a cultural Silk Road which is able to boost a closer relationship between China and these countries by offering a cultural feast."

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