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Nation urged to learn from Netherlands in promoting arts

2014-03-24 09:39 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

Achieving a breakthrough in the export of Chinese culture has been a hot discussion among experts and performing arts companies. For Wu Jiatong, following the Netherlands' lead might be a way out.  [Special coverage]

That success is thanks to local firms that invest big money to help artists get more opportunities to be seen worldwide, he said.

"To get worldwide attention, it is important to have not only the famous, established artists and troupes, but also the young talents, who are pioneering and avant-garde," Wu said.

"With the help of firms, artists could tour more often, leaving a long-lasting influence."

Creativity and high artistic quality are also ways to bridge Chinese culture with an international audience, he said.

Wu's company, Wu Promotion, started collaborating with Dutch art troupes in the mid-1990s.

In early 2014, the company brought the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, which is known for its performance of traditional Chinese folk music, to Europe, including a stop in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

According to Wu, cultural exchange events bridge the communication between China and the rest of the world. So while helping Chinese artists to get opportunities to be seen and heard out of the country, Wu Promotions also imports some of the best troupes to China.

Two troupes from the Netherlands, percussion group Percossa and the Amsterdam Wind Quintet, are scheduled to visit China this summer.

Starting as a street performance in the south of France at the end of the 1980s, Percossa adds elements such as dance, acrobatics, shadow plays and magic to its percussion music.

Though its art has been referred to as "wordless theater", a production can contain circus elements and is occasionally compared to a rock concert.

The Amsterdam Wind Quintet, which is going to perform in China this August, has been performing chamber music concerts throughout the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany since they formed in 2006.

The quintet performs in theaters and concert halls as well as international festivals, such as the Gelderse Music Summer.

One of the most recommended performances in 2014, according to Wu, is the Dutch National Ballet, which is scheduled to come to China from Oct 20 to Nov 3.

The dance company, the largest in the Netherlands, made a successful China debut in 2010, Wu said.

Formed in 1961 when the Amsterdam Ballet and the Netherlands Ballet merged, the company gives around 70 performances in Amsterdam and at least 25 performances abroad each year.

This year, it will bring Giselle, a 19th-century romantic ballet, to Chinese audiences. "The new Giselle will last the Dutch National Ballet for many years to come," wrote Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

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