The Fourth Asian Arts Festival raised its curtain early this week with the launch of the "Cultural Month of South Korea" in Chongqing, Chengdu and Beijing.
Fifteen performing troupes from Asian countries including South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Thailand, Mongolia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines have been invited to perform.
During the festival, which ends on November 7, the art troupes will tour a couple of major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Qingdao, Harbin and Shijiazhuang.
Among the participating countries, South Korea has sent perhaps the largest roster of art troupes and music bands, under the category of "Cultural Month of South Korea".
Those arts and cultural events include:
Performances by the South Korea Chamber Music Orchestra, State Dance Ensemble, pop music bands such as Babyvox, Chakra, PLT and Yoom Do-hyum & Band, State Ballet Troupe,
The retrospective screenings of seven South Korean films at the China Film Archive in downtown Beijing;
The staging of rock musical "Subway No 1," and the South Korean folk art exhibition in Beijing and Shanghai.
The India Art Troupe will bring to Beijing and Shenzhen stages genuine Indian folk dances featuring mysterious music and various drums.
The Mongolian art troupes "The Red Roses State Dance Ensemble" and "The Ayazi Art Troupe" will display Mongolian-style dances, acrobatics, vocal and instrumental music, reflecting Mongolian people's life on the vast steppe.
The Pakistan Art troupe will offer Chinese audiences a wealth of high-quality performances, including mask dance, Likeli stick dance, Raban drum dance, Ves Netuma Costume dance, Vannam dance, as well as some Chinese folk music, organizers said.
The Brunei and Malaysia art troupes will each give Chinese theater-goers exciting tropical dances with an exotic local flavor.
Also participating in the fourth Asian Arts Festival is the Inner Mongolia Youth Chorus Troupe with a concert in Beijing centered on ecological safety and environmental protection.
Begun in 1998, the annual arts festival "is aimed at offering Chinese audience a good chance to appreciate art performances from other Asian countries and achieve better understanding among Asian peoples," said Song Lihong, vice-manager-general of the China Performing Arts Agency, the event organizer.
Asia abounds in artistic resources. For centuries, Asian countries and nations have made remarkable progress taking nourishment from their cultural legacy.
Today, facing the trend of globalization, how to retain and develop the unique and precious cultural heritage while maintaining rigorous cultural exchanges with other nations is a common topic for each Asian country, Song said.
"The Asian Arts Festival is just an ideal occasion to arouse people's awareness of such issues," she said.
(China Daily 10/12/2001)