Colorful shiny costumes, melodic dreamlike music and popular songs, acrobatic dances and incredible Peking Opera actors: Italians had a taste of the Chinese culture this week in cities of Rome, Milan and Brecia thanks to the unforgettable performance of students from the Beijing Foreign Studies University and some well-known Chinese artists.
Part of the events celebrating the Chinese Culture Year in Italy, the shows, titled "Return visit to the home town of Marco Polo", were presented by the Chinese art group at one of the most prestigious theaters in each city.
The goal of the spectacle was also to open the upcoming Chinese New Year festivity and give everyone best wishes. The theaters were literally packed with people of all ages, especially high school and university students who are eager to learn or study Chinese language and culture.
The Italian audience seemed to be left totally in awe admiring for the first time in their life the mimics and professionality of the Peking Opera warriors, fairy and concubine actors, the symphony of the traditional Chinese instruments like the erhu.
They were also attracted by the dances, the popular nature- linked and pastoral songs of several Chinese ethnic minorities including the Uygur, Mongols and Dai and the show of the Kungfu and Tai-Chi students who blended lethal body movements with modern Chinese music.
At the end of the performance, many Italians queued up in front of the stage to congratulate themselves with the Chinese artists and shoot a souvenir picture with them, especially with popular Peking Opera actress Sun Ping, who was indeed the queen on the stage.
Barbara Stellari, a Roman student of 24 learning Chinese, was fascinated and said she felt like visiting China at once.
"I really enjoyed this performance," she told Xinhua . "I have always loved Chinese culture in general but this was a great chance to deepen my knowledge on different aspects of it, especially the beautiful Peking Opera actors who were fantastic, their facial expressions and physical agility were incredible."
But Simona Tonini, 50 years old from Naples, admitted she had some troubles following the show. "I must say that I liked it all but in some parts it was a bit hard for me to understand, because when you lack knowledge of the Chinese culture you can't fully appreciate for example the opera and what the characters are saying or trying to convey."
For Piero Servillo, 23, it was an exciting experience: "The best part was the Kungfu and Tai-Chi performance: those kids were awesome. But I also enjoyed the traditional dances with those weird musical instruments that I have never seen before in my life and the beautiful girls moving in a very sensual way. The show really gave me a chance to better discover the Chinese culture. It was great fun."
It was a touching moment also for the visiting Chinese students who study Italian in the Beijing Foreign Studies University and for whom it was the first time in Italy.
Several of them personally greeted the public in Italian wishing everyone a happy new year.
"I wanted to see if Italy was really a beautiful country with beautiful girls and boys, and it is indeed,"said a Chinese young actor, apparently very moved.
Isabelle, a Chinese singer, said she finally had the chance to ascertain the many beauties of Italy and wishes everyone a happy new year.
(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2011)
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