Chinese Acrobatic Troupe a Hit in Kenya

Wave after wave of applause echoed in the Nairobi-based National Theater of Kenya on Saturday night, with words like "terrific" and "wonderful" from the audience accompanying the entire performance by a Chinese acrobatic troupe.

The exquisite and superb performance by acrobats from China's Yunnan Province made the troupe's debut in Kenya a great stir among audience that include Kenyan government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

"It's simply wonderful and entertaining," claimed a local journalist, who said that he wished he could learn some skills from the acrobats.

"The performance by this troupe rekindles the good relationship that Kenya and China have enjoyed over the years," said Joshua Ojode, Kenyan assistant minister of Education, Science and Technology.

Ojode recalled that in 1983, Kenya sent a group of 24 youths to Guangdong Province in southern China, where for two years they learned the rare skills in acrobatics. These artists introduced a new form of excitement in the country's entertainment industry with the resultant effects that even more and more acrobatic troupes have been formed in Kenya, he said. Since Kenya and China signed a cultural agreement, various programs geared towards implementation of the agreement have been undertaken, and the performance by Yunnan Acrobatic Troupe is one such program, the Kenyan official noted.

"The government of Kenya attaches a lot of importance to the cultural promotion and the development of performing arts such as acrobatics, which is a vital entertainment and communication tool," he said.

Ojode expressed confidence that through increasing cultural exchanges between Kenya and China, the relationship between the two countries will be further enhanced.

"China-Kenya friendly relations have witnessed gratifying development in recent years," said Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Du Qiwen.

Cooperation in various fields, including cultural exchanges between the two countries, has been continuously expanded, which is best manifested by the performing tour in Kenya of Yunnan Acrobatic Troupe.

The performing tour has taken on special significance by the fact that it coincides with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji's visit to Kenya scheduled to start on Tuesday, Du said.

Art is the universal language of mankind and the pursuit of beauty transcends national boundaries, he said, adding cultural exchanges are increasingly acting as a bridge to enhance understanding and cooperation among various countries and peoples.

The Chinese acrobatic troupe arrived here on Friday to start a week-long performing tour in the east African country. The troupe have visited many countries and won many international awards.

During their visit, the troupe will also have discussions and exchanges with their Kenyan counterparts.

(People's Daily April 22, 2002)

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