The revolutionary themes of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s musical "Flower Girl" opened the prelude to the Fifth Asia Arts Festival on Monday in this capital city of East China's Zhejiang Province.
The one-month festival, which will offer audiences many performances from various peoples around Asia, is expected to show the world the beauty and cultural diversity of the continent.
The festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture, was previously held, on four occasions, in Beijing. This is the first time the festival has moved outside the capital of Beijing, and it is expected to be the biggest one of its kind thus far, said organizers.
About 16 countries in Asia have sent performance groups to the festival this year.
The staging of "Flower Girl" evoked strong reactions in Hangzhou on Monday. The 185 actors and actresses transported the audience into the miserable life of the poor heroine with their exquisite performances and taught the audience something about the society of Korea in times past.
Apart from "Flower Girl," organizers said audiences will also be able to enjoy dance troupes from Sri Lanka, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Nepal.
Iranian piano concerts and plays from Singapore and the Philippines are also on the festival's schedule.
The festival will end in early November with a grand dance drama called "Jade Bird" performed by the Hangzhou Song and Dance Troupe.
(China Daily October 16, 2002)