13th China Art Festival opens in Beijing

2022-09-02 China Daily Editor:Li Yan

Actors and actresses of the Hebei Bangzi Opera, Peking Opera and Yuju Opera perform a classic opera piece during the opening of the 13th China Art Festival at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Thursday. (JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY)

A gala of music and dance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Thursday marked the opening of the 13th China Art Festival.

Unlike previous editions of the festival that opened with just one stage production, this year's opening ceremony presented diverse styles of performances, including traditional Chinese operas, folk instrument ensembles and dance excerpts.

It was the first time in 33 years that the national celebration of art and culture returned to Beijing. The first festival, in 1987, and the second one, in 1989, were held in the capital.

Co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Beijing municipal government, the Tianjin municipal government and the Hebei provincial government, this year's festival will run from Thursday to Sept 15, with theater productions, exhibitions and award ceremonies in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.

According to Zhou Hanping, an official of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, this year's festival has the theme of celebrating the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and the new collaborative approach is in line with the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, particularly in the fields of culture and tourism.

"Hosting high-quality online and offline events, including performances and exhibitions, aims to meet people's growing needs for a better life. We will continue to set low ticket prices in order to attract more people to theaters, galleries and other venues of the arts festival," Zhou said.

The festival's three recurring exhibitions-fine arts, calligraphy and photography-will run from Friday to Oct 14. The fine arts exhibition, with around 420 paintings, will be displayed at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The calligraphy exhibition's 330 works can be viewed at the Tianjin Art Museum, while the photography exhibition will display 270 photos at the Shijiazhuang Museum in Hebei province.

This year's event also includes a special exhibition, which opened on Thursday, commemorating the 80th anniversary of Chairman Mao Zedong's talk at the Yan'an Forum on Literature and Art in May 1942.

"Guided tours, lectures and forums will be hosted alongside the exhibitions to popularize art and cultural knowledge, so that people will better understand art, calligraphy and photography, and so that these excellent works can exert their positive influences on nurturing people," said He Yawen, deputy director of the ministry's art department.

"The combination of online and offline approaches is one of the highlights of these exhibitions. Online viewings are available for all four exhibitions, so as to maximize the social values of these exhibitions and make this festival truly a celebration for the people."

China's national awards for the performing arts-the Wenhua Award for professional stage productions and the Qunxing Award for amateur artistic works-will be presented toward the end of the festival. This year's Qunxing Award for the first time includes entries in choir singing and public-square dancing.

Fifty-eight stage works are candidates for the Wenhua Award and 100 works for the Qunxing Award. In addition, 26 specially invited productions will be staged during the festival.

The festival's closing ceremony will be held on Sept 15 in the Xiong'an New Area in Hebei province.

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