A grand show of Peking Opera, dance, symphonic music and acrobatics by some 300 Chinese artists from eight performance troupes raised the curtain of the Chinese Cultural Festival at the Kremlin last night.
Residents in other parts of Russia will also have the chance to attend many of the cultural activities, as a troupe of folk musicians, martial artists, acrobats, tea ceremony artists and dancers will tour cities along the Volga River, performing and holding exhibitions in central plazas and theaters.
"We are going to present an ancient, modern and splendid China," Meng Xiaosi, vice-minister of culture, told reporters.
A group of Chinese painters will join the year-long festival, depicting the scenery along the Volga River; and their works will be gifted to Russian art galleries.
Other exhibitions of traditional and modern Chinese art will also tour 30 cities including St Petersburg in the west and Yekaterinburg in the east.
Besides a porcelain exhibition at Tretiakov Gallery, other shows include statues of Buddha, Chinese paintings after the 1970s and modern decoration art.
China's Silk over 5,000 Years, an exhibition of the country's silk culture at the Russian Historical Museum, will mark the closing of the festival.
Moviegoers will have a visual feast around September, when four theme festivals will be staged: A retrospective of classic Chinese films, a Shanghai film week during the Moscow International Film Festival, an exhibition of the works of young Chinese directors and a series of contemporary Chinese films.
Various cultural exchanges among the two nations' ordinary people will also be held.
Three concerts by young art college teachers from both countries will be held in the latter half of the year, while China's art talents will exchange their ideas on art education with their counterparts in Russian art institutes.
A Chinese language contest among Russian college students will start in October, with the 40 finalists getting a chance to study in China.
"Russians' impression of China, which they used to consider exotic and mysterious, is now changing to a land of dynamism."
"That's what I felt during my one-year stay in Russia," said Lu Yali, a teacher at the Beijing Dance Academy, who studied at the National Moscow Dance Academy from 2003 to 2004.
(China Daily March 27, 2007)