6th int'l dance festival set for July 20 launch in Xinjiang

By Wang Wei
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 12, 2023
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The 6th China Xinjiang International Dance Festival will be held in Urumqi, northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, from July 20 through Aug. 5.

Set to span 17 days, the festival will feature 28 acclaimed performances from domestic and international sources. Audiences can expect 60 diverse and captivating shows, including ballet, national dance drama, musical drama, dance theater, and song and dance galas, according to a press briefing held Tuesday in Beijing.

A performance of Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam is given at the beginning of a press briefing in Beijing, July 11, 2023. The press conference was held to introduce the upcoming 6th China Xinjiang International Dance Festival. [Photo provided to China.org.cn]

The festival will commence with the grand historical dance drama "Zhang Qian," a Xinjiang original, and conclude with the ballet "The Red Detachment of Women," performed by the National Ballet of China.

In light of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Dance Festival will underscore the Silk Road and aim to strengthen exchanges and cooperation among Belt and Road countries and regions, stated Xu Ruijun, secretary of the Leading Party Members Group of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Artistic troupes from 11 countries — Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and South Africa — will present their acclaimed performances, fostering a bridge for cultural exchanges and cooperation among the Belt and Road countries, according to Xu.

He said that it would also be the first time for all five Central Asian countries to gather on the stage of the Dance Festival, and over 1,000 artists from Asia, Europe and Africa will meet in Xinjiang to make a beautiful tapestry of the Silk Road through art.  

Xu Ruijun, secretary of the Leading Party Members Group of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, introduces the upcoming 6th China Xinjiang International Dance Festival at a press briefing in Beijing, July 11, 2023. [Photo provided to China.org.cn]

In addition to international contributors, renowned domestic art troupes will showcase their signature plays, including the dance-poetry drama "Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting" — a dance representation of the famous Chinese painting "A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains" — by China Oriental Performing Arts Group, the dance drama "Picturesque Waters" by China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, and the ballets "The Red Detachment of Women" and "Swan Lake" by the National Ballet of China.

Xinjiang's original dance dramas, such as "Zhang Qian" and "Five Stars Rise in the East," as well as the grand outdoor musical "A Thousand-year Promise to Kunlun," and the dance-poetry drama "The Story of Veterans," will also be staged. These performances will offer a window into Xinjiang culture, encourage a global appreciation for Xinjiang, and further the reach of Chinese culture, added Xu.

More than an artistic extravaganza, the dance festival will be a community celebration, according to Xu. To encourage wide participation, the culture and tourism authorities have implemented preferential measures such as affordable ticket prices and complimentary shows for locals. The festival will also feature side activities such as the "Brilliant Silk Road, Harmonious Coexistence" fashion show, the "Silk Road" street dance show in Xinjiang, the Xinjiang Dance Creation Exchange, and the "Join Xinjiang Dance Together" square dancing show.

The event will provide local residents of all ethnicities with an opportunity to enjoy high-quality performances in their hometown, share Xinjiang's cultural evolution with the world, and heighten their cultural appreciation and fulfillment, Xu concluded.

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