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Dance spectacular to showcase tradition and history

By CHENG YUEZHU | China Daily | Updated:2021-10-20

The 13th National Dance Exhibition will open in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Thursday. It will showcase 88 programs, which are to be performed in five theater venues in the cities of Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Jiangmen.

According to Huang Xiaoju, deputy director of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism's art department, this year's dance showcase received a total of 860 entries from around the country. Experts selected 69 dance performances and 11 dance dramas.

Another three dance dramas and five dance performances, supported by the stage art creation project that celebrates the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, are also included in the event.

The opening show will be Awakening Lion, a dance drama by Guangzhou Song and Dance Theater. The show tells the story of two boys who are rivals in a lion dance competition, but when war strikes, they work hand in hand to protect their homeland.

Huang says that compared with the previous editions, this year's showcase features works on revolutionary and realistic themes, and works that integrate elements of traditional Chinese culture.

"Eight works from Guangdong province are featured in this year's showcase, three dance dramas and five dance performances," Zhang Yimin, deputy director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province, said at a news conference in Beijing on Friday.

"These works are produced by professional theater companies and art colleges. The most distinctive feature of these works is that they have drawn inspiration from the local traditional culture, and fully demonstrate the folk customs and practices from Guangdong province."

Apart from performances, seminars will be hosted, with experts joining in discussions alongside the production crews.

"It is a priority of our current work to put an emphasis on literary and artistic criticism. In this dance showcase, we will not only evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the programs, but also carry out seminars that review and analyze the concepts and methods in dance creations of recent years, and make plans for our future projects," Huang says.

Guangzhou municipal government strives to enhance accessibility of the performances for the audience. Discount tickets under 280 yuan ($44) account for more than half of the total tickets, so that more people can afford to attend live performances.

An online theater will also be established for this year's showcase, with dance performances to be livestreamed or screened via social media platforms, such as Kuaishou and WeChat.

The posters and trailers of the programs will appear on public screens in Guangzhou, such as those at metro and bus stations, and program information will be updated by the social media accounts of the theater venues.

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