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Cooperation under the banner of Olympics- Overview on London “Beijing Cultural Week”

Four years ago, London brought the colorful England style to Beijing on the closing ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games and the two famous cultural cities joined hands under the Olympics banner.

And four years later, Beijing brought substantial cultural gift to London Olympic on the opening ceremony of the 30th Olympic Games and the two cities jointed hands for the second time.

Yesterday the one-week Beijing cultural week activity, with the theme of “Beijing bless you” ended successfully in London. During the cultural week, a serious of activities were brought to London people, such as the art exhibition full of Beijing characteristics, beautiful intangible cultural heritages Beijing opera, Kunqu opera and acrobatics and the music concert of the three famous tenors of China, which brought Beijing’s best wishes to London Olympic Games and provided London people with a chance to enjoy gorgeous cultural trip to Beijing.

Yanjing Beer

Attend the exhibition as a significant component

“If you want to enjoy the Olympic city Beijing at home, this is a good choice.” Attorney Kerry shared his happiness and impression with his friends after visiting the “Colorful Beijing” cultural and art exhibition.

In the west exhibition of Olympia, traditional elements such as quadrangle courtyard, hutong (alley), time-honored brand and giant-sized dragon kite indicated strong Beijing style. The “Colorful Beijing” cultural and art exhibition which integrated performing arts, oil painting arts and folk art show was presented vigorously.
When hearing that the exhibition started, Ema was so eager to see that he went the exhibition and gave the first look before working. “Only two-minute visit made me fond of Beijing.” Dene even rode the tricycle excitedly to experience the traditional Beijing style.

Mike Mulcahy was crazy about the quadrangle courtyard. He went into the deep side of the “hutong” of this ancient capital excitedly and rode the bicycle and experienced the old Beijing lifestyle. He said it was amazing, and “this kind of exhibition is rare to see in London, it’s of great importance to London people who hasn’t been to Beijing like me. Fantastic!”

Unlike other exhibitions, as a industrial enterprise, Yanjing Beer Group also became an important part of the exhibition and showed up brightly. Placing a colorful five-ring pattern with its products, Yanjing Beer Group sent its best wishes for London Olympics. The exhibition booth full of artistic creativity attracted the attention of audiences, who stopped to learn and feel this well-know Chinese enterprise.

As the sponsor of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Yanjing Beer has been devoted into the marketing of Olympic theme and the promotion of Chinese culture. This year, Yanjing Beer signed strategic cooperation agreement with Beijing Performance and Art Group to create “Beijing Cultural Week” series activities during London Olympic Games.

Chairman of the Group, Li Fucheng, said, supporting Beijing Cultural Week was both the natural extension of Olympic complex of Beijing people and the obligation to promote Beijing to go to the world. More important, by means of high-end cultural brand such as “three famous Chinese tenors” under the cooperative partner Beijing Performance and Art Group, the enterprise can not only promote its brand image in international market in an effective way, but also participate in the cultural development of Beijing in a deeper way and make new contribution to the development of world city with Chinese characteristics. Particularly considering that the enterprise just entered into UK market, supporting the Beijing Cultural Week was beneficial for taking London Olympics Games opportunity and making joint efforts with local distributors to expand overseas market and promote Chinese products to go abroad.

Both traditional culture with ancient charming and artistic integration between the East and the West were included in the exhibition. Over 60 domestic oil painters in three generations with great artistic influence took more than 100 elaborately selected excellent works to London for the first time. These paintings, which were elegant, simple and honest, implicit and restraining, perfectly integrated European classicism style with inner cultural spirit of China and indicated the oil painters’ thinking on contemporary Chinese lifestyle and emotional experience for artistic exploration. “These paintings have indigenous feeling and artistic characteristics.” Kerry exclaimed, “I can’t imagine that Chinese painters can create such wonderful oil paintings! This visit brings me unique artistic enjoyment and let me see Beijing combining ancient and modern characteristics. “

The exhibition attracted so much attention of well-known media worldwide. On the first day of exhibition, the Daily Telegraph used two editions to make special report about it and published several excellent paintings of Chinese oil painters.

“Ancestor of the hundred plays”

Went abroad on a large scale for the first time

The Bernard Shaw theatre under the curtain of night blazed with lights.

On this famous stage which usually displayed western art, audiences delightedly appreciated two Kunqu opera classics from the East, namely A Dream in Red Mansions and Xu Pipa, and wandered around the literature beauty of oriental classical Chinese poetry and elegant music beauty.

Kunqu is honored as the “ancestor of hundred plays”. As world intangible cultural heritage, it went abroad for the first time.

Kunqu opera A Dream in Red Mansions was a original created play which perfectly combined classical literary work A Dream in Red Mansions and world intangible cultural heritage that has walked through 6 hundred years history and gave a full view of the work for the first time.

Xu Pipa was created by Cao Yan, grandfather of Cao Xueqin and was a uncommon masterpiece. Beijing Cao Xueqin Society, Academy of Traditional Chinese Opera and Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre jointly research and tidy Xu Pipa and presented this three-hundred year famous drama on the stage in October 2010 for the first time on the basis of loyalty to the original. Kunqu opera always gives people a fine and smooth, mild, elegant and exquisite impression, while Xu Pipa centered on the northern opera and combined the characteristics of northern and southern China and displayed a vigorous, desolate and magnificent beauty to the audiences.

The exquisite costume and makeup and gorgeous and vivid performance of actors brought London audience new artistic experiences. An audience have read the English version of A Dream in Red Mansions and even had a Chinese name, Wei Aili. “I have never seen Kunqu opera before, and I just want to feel the unique charming of this artistic form.” Wei Aili said in fluent Chinese, “ When I read the novel, I liked Wang Xifeng most and this time I gave special notice to the presentation of the personality of Wang Xifeng in this play.

We have Chinese “Pavarotti” here

London Barbican Art Center, the largest performance art center in Europe, had no empty seat.

A piece of Fantasia on Greensleeves with England style starts “The night of Beijing-Beijing bless you” London music concert of three Chinese Tenors. A wonderful song, Spring breeze, why you awake me, from Dai Yuqiang move the audiences with graceful and lyrical style and melancholic and sentimental voice. Warren Mok offered a classical love song The Song of Flowers, vividly expressed the inner feeling and abundant emotion of the protagonist with broad range. Wei Song performed that dramatic aria, Put on the Theatrical Costume, which won universal praise. Three famous tenors offered performance on the same stage and passionately sang western classical operas and traditional Chinese folk songs such as In the Distant Place and Kang Ding Love Song and provided the audiences with audio visual feast and art enjoyment which combines Chinese and Western elements, gaining showers of applauses.

This was the first time that the three Chinese tenors joined hands with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and performed in London. During the half-time interval, Patrick exchanged ideas with his girlfriend warmly. “It’s so amazing, so professional, so enjoyable, and so recreational.” Patrick used “four-so” to express his emotion. He said excitedly that this was the first time he listened to Chinese to sing western operas and it was a perfect integration of eastern and western arts.

“I knew how wonderful it was, while this show is even better.” said the producer Marx Kevin, who had provided service for the Beatles, Britney Spears and other European stars and was responsible for the promotion of these three Chinese tenors.

“Before the performance, they have sung on the UK TV station and received good reaction. They may be arranged to perform in the Royal Albert Hall this year.” Marx Kevin said, “I have confidence to build them to be Chinese Domingo, Pavarotti and Carreras and promote them to the whole world.

Beijing Symphony Orchestra gave public-benefit show in London community

Beijing Symphony Orchestra chief performers arrived at the rehearsal room of London Stockwell High school and a fascinating public-benefit concert showed up.

This was the first show of Beijing Symphony Orchestra in a foreign community. 66 kids from poor families of local community joined the performance. These kids, ranged from 5 to 13 years old, all looked forward to the art palace and have just started playing music instrument.

Famous conductor Tan Lihua, who was rehearsing anxiously, said that he squeezed time and went into the community to perform with the kids so as to let them know how the professional symphony orchestra was working and performing and make them enjoy life, enjoy music and learn something to some extent.

Saren ran to hold his daughter Alix excitedly and congratulate her on the successful performance. 8-year old Alix has played violin for over one year. She was so excited to perform with the professional orchestra from Beijing. After the performance, she was still unwilling to leave the hall and ran here and there in the musical instrument room and “played as” drummer and beat the drum excitedly. She said “I am so fond of music and learning violin is a cheerful thing.” Seeing the progress of Alix, Saren was very happy, “Performing with professional players from Beijing provided a good chance for my daughter to learn more things and I am so excited and even have no idea how to explain.”

Beijing Cultural Week has input bright oriental elements to London. A series of brilliant activities, such as “Charming Beijing” picture exhibition, “Holy flame song of joy” symphony concert and Olympic city development forum, were held in London and let London people saw a vigorous and beaming Beijing which combined ancient and modern elements.                 

Reporter of Beijing Daily  Xu Feipeng


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