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International Arts Festival charms Shanghai

(en.study-shanghai.org) | Oct 23, 2014

The 16th China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF) opened on Oct 17, with 45 programs (25 from abroad, 20 local), 13 exhibitions and 150 performances in total.

The festival kicked off with the premiere of an original opera The River of Spring at Shanghai Grand Theatre on Oct 17. A month-long program of ballet, music, acrobatics and children’s theater will run until Nov 16.

This year continued the tradition of bringing several top artists to Shanghai stages with their classical works, including South Korea’s top violinist Kyung Wha Chung, Russia’s prominent cellist Mischa Maisky, Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu, and the American conductor and opera administrator Kent George Nagano.

Chinese original programs will also highlight the festival, including the dance drama Red-Crowned Crane, the ballet The Little Mermaid, the drama Fusheng, the Yue opera Zhen Huan (adapted from a household TV series in China), and the opera The Beauty Diao Chan (one of China’s ancient Four Beauties that lived in the Three Kingdoms Period from 220-280).

In addition, 13 exhibitions will be on show, including the Shanghai Art Fair 2014, Freehand Brushwork 2014, Masters & Masters - Masterpieces by Xu Beihong and French Artists, and Noble Life of the Western Zhou Dynasty (BC 1046-771).

The festival also plans to stage more than 3,000 public performances in the city’s 17 districts, counties, universities, plazas and communities. Well-known Chinese artists like the classical dancer Huang Doudou, Peking opera singer Tang Yuancai, Huju opera actress Ma Lili and local veteran comedian Tong Shuangchun will bring their works to the temporary stages.

The China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF) is the only State-level international arts festival hosted by the Ministry of Culture and organized by the Shanghai Municipal People's Government. Since 1999, the CSIAF, observing the commitment to both innovation and the classics, has successfully been held for 13 years in a row. It offers a platform of all forms of domestic and foreign arts and stages excellent programs of both spectacular artists and ordinary people.

Arts in Motion

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The Little Mermaid tells a poignant love story adapted from the fairy tale Daughter of the Sea by Hans Christian Andersen. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Ballet: The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is adapted by John Neumeier from the fairy tale Daughter of the Sea by Hans Christian Andersen. He has weakened the tragic elements, creating a new version especially for The National Ballet of China. The adaptation suits the characteristics of Chinese dancers.

“The children may find the beautiful underwater world attractive, while the adults may find their own reflection in the innocent Little Mermaid struggling in the human world of vanity,” said Feng Ying, president of the ballet theater.
Date: October 22-23, 2014
Venue: Culture Square

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The Romantic pantomime work Giselle features a dramatic and timeless tale of love, deception, revenge and forgiveness. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Ballet: Giselle
Giselle has always been a renowned piece of Romantic pantomime, with the clashing of idyllic love in act one and the fantastic unchained melody of the ghost in act two. It is a dramatic and timeless tale of love, deception, revenge and forgiveness. It is an enchanting classical ballet from the Romantic era.

This version performed by the Dutch National Ballet, the largest dance company in the Netherlands and one of the most influential ballet companies in the world, is set to wow the audience with its combination of dramatic acting, virtuoso technique and ethereal beauty.
Date: October 25-26, 2014
Venue: Shanghai Grand Theatre

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The folk dance opera Red-Crowned Crane, adapted from a real story of a crane keeper and red-crowned cranes, depicts the heroine’s sacrifice to protect the rare animals and calls for a harmonious co-existence between humans and nature. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Dance drama: Red-Crowned Crane
The grand folk dance opera Red-Crowned Crane, created by Wuxi Opera & Dance Drama Company, is adapted from a real story of a crane keeper and red-crowned cranes, which are rare animals in China. The story, depicting the heroine’s sacrifice to protect red-crowned cranes, embodies the harmonious spirit of co-existence between humans and nature.
Date: October 19, 2014
Venue: Culture Square

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The Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu is set to bring a repertoire of classic tracks of Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Vocal recital by Soprano Angela Gheorghiu
Angela Gheorghiu has won the attention of the world with her wonderful talent in singing. Maestro Georg Solti shed tears of excitement after hearing her sing as Mimi, a role in the opera La Bohème. Although billed as an illustrious dramatic soprano, Gheorghiu is both an excellent lyric soprano and a skillful coloratura. Her phonation is relaxed, soft and smooth, while her voice quality is mellow and clean. The repertoire for the concert includes classic tracks of Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff.
Date: October 30, 2014
Venue: OAC Concert Hall

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108 Heroes III, a commissioned work series, is set to perform its last chapter with their unique blend of rock attitude and Beijing opera bravura. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Rockin' Chinese opera: 108 Heroes III
108 Heroes, commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Shanghai International Arts Festival and performed by Taiwan Contemporary Legend Theatre, stormed the 2011 Hong Kong Arts Festival with their riotous, sold-out adventure. They have now returned to fight their final battles, cooking up a new dimension in Chinese music theatre with their unique blend of rock attitude and Beijing opera bravura.
Date: October 29-30, 2014
Venue: Culture Square
 

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