Zou Xiaoli, Chinese ambassador to Greece delivers a speech before the show of Meet the Grand Canal at the Greek Global Cultural Center on Jan 23, 2018. (Photo/Chinaculture.org)
On Jan 23, a troupe from Hangzhou Opera and Dance Theater put on an elaborately designed dance drama Meet the Grand Canal at the Greek Global Cultural Center, kicking off the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in the country.
Zou Xiaoli, Chinese ambassador to Greece, and Stergios Pitsiorlas, deputy minister of Greek Economy and Development, watched the show along with over 1,000 locals.
Zou said the performance of Meet the Grand Canal would further advance the 2017 Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges. Recent years have witnessed increasingly close Sino-Greek ties and many great achievements thanks to cooperation between the two countries.
Tracing the long history of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the longest canal in the world constructed in the Sui Dynasty (581-618), the dance drama unveils the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The intriguing story told in the drama shows the interdependent relationship between man and nature, as well as the significance of cultural heritage protection in modern society.
After the performance, Zou expressed heartfelt thanks to the whole cast. He said the drama is a Chinese story vividly told through dancing, a global language which reflects the concerns of all humanity. Also, the drama can "dig" a canal in the hearts of people of the two countries, joining them together and making their friendship thrive.
As an important project in the 2017 Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges and Culture Industry Cooperation and the prologue show to the 2018 Happy Chinese New Year celebrations in Greece, Meet the Grand Canal has acquired full backing from the Ministry of Culture of China and other central and local government departments. Prior to this show, the troupe organized a canal-themed cultural exchange activity in Greece, featuring a dialogue between the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Greek Corinth Canal.
The troupe's Greek visit has attracted wide coverage from mainstream local media, including The Dawn, China Minutes and China Greece Times.