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Chinese culture makes contribution to Edinburgh int'l festival

2015-03-19 14:01 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

The Chinese culture makes strong contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival as a major international festival forces, said Festival new director Fergus Linehan on Wednesday.

Linehan made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua after the press conference for the unveiling of his first festival program full of big international stars across the performing arts, and new areas of programming for the International Festival including more diverse genres of music and family focused shows.

"In this year, in particular, it's very important that we are reflecting the cultural links between China and the U.K. (United Kingdom), and also the strong connections with the Festival," said Linehan, who is from Ireland and heads up the Sydney Festival and Dublin Theatre Festival among others.

With Beijing People's Art Theatre's production of Britain's greatest writer William Shakespeare's play "Coriolanus" in 2013 and China's National Ballet's Peony Pavilion in 2011, the festival new director said, "we are really continuing a tradition of a strong Chinese contribution as a major international festival forces".

"It's very prosperous that the Chinese culture plays a role in that," Linehan noted, adding that the Festival this year is focusing on the work of Tao Dance Theater from Beijing, and Dragon created by Scottish touring theatre company Vox Motus, the National Theater of Scotland and China's Tianjin People's Arts Theater.

"So, the main focus of the China-U.K. Year of Culture will be around Tao Dance, but of course there are other elements of cooperation and collaboration," he said, pointing out that the dance is supported by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Chinese Embassy in London.

Linehan also highlighted the expected performance of Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang and oversea Chinese female pianist Wang Yuja during the festival.

Meanwhile, Linehan stressed that the Festival is a multi-genre art festival with different types of arts and elements, including fully-staged opera, jazz artists and the Garden fireworks concert, as well as the opening free public outdoor event which sees a spectacular digitally animated artwork projected onto the front of the Usher Hall to celebrate Edinburgh's relationship with architecture, learning, music and its role in developing technology.

"We are doing everything we can to ensure the ticket prices are as reasonable as possible for younger people," he noted, listing the youth of 18 years old or under, or 26 or under and in full time education enjoying a discount of 50 percent available on all tickets from the opening of ticket sales.

Moreover, Linehan stressed that there are some good works as Dragon that was awarded Best Show for Children and Yong People at the British Theater Awards 2014, and a family concert by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on Aug. 30, to attract families with young children and appeal to audience as widely as possible while at the same time maintaining the standard of the Festival.

Over 2,300 artists from 39 nations are expected to perform at Edinburgh International Festival 2015 running from Aug. 7 to Aug 31.

Founded in 1947 and remaining one of the world's largest and most diversely curated festivals, the Edinburgh International Festival expects its audiences to travel from around 70 nations this year to be part of the global cultural celebration in Edinburgh.

In 2014, the Festival presented over 2,400 artists from 43 nations and achieved an estimated attendance of over 415,000 from 76 nations, according to the Festival press office.

The ticket sales income recorded at more than 3.15 million pounds (about 5.23 million U.S. dollars), passing the 3 million-pound mark for the first time.

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