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Spring Festival gala holds 3rd rehearsal
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The third rehearsal of the Spring Festival gala was held on Saturday night.

The late Chinese cross talker Ma Ji left a lasting impression especially for his memorable performance with four apprentices during the 1986 Spring Festival Gala. "Five Senses Vying for Credit" lampoons people with a big ego, but little commitment to others. The five senses or five facial features refers to different sorts of people in society.

A mastery of humor seems to run in the family. The late master's son, Ma Dong will now take his father's place in a new rendition of "Five Senses Vying for Credit" this spring. Ma Dong will partner with Liu Wei who was part of the act with Ma Ji in 1986 as well as Mark Roswell from Canada. Roswell got a Chinese name Da Shan who is well-known in China for his performance in cross-talk and as a TV host.

Actor Ma Dong said, "I have never performed a cross talk. All the other performers are my tutors."

Actor Da Shan said, "We feel honored to perform a cross-talk on the gala stage. I hope what we are doing will promote the arts of cross talk. "

Also taking part in the Cross Talking skits are Jiang Kun and Feng Gong who will perform with less-experienced newcomers on the stage.

Meanwhile, martial arts program routinely hold a treasured place in the gala. But this year... the "Kung Fu Family" will see students from the Shaolin Tagou School cast as members of a big family. A spat during their daily coach leads to a fight between the boys and girls. Hilarious sequences give the show a breezy look. The show climax features the star of the "Legend of Bruce Lee" -- Chan Kwok Kwan -- appearing on stage.

Chan Kwok Kwan, the actor of Legend of Bruce Lee said, "These actors took me by surprise with their fluid moves. They are so young, yet they perform even better than me. The humorous sequences make the show stand out."

The idea's certainly intriguing. But will these students -- more accustomed to serious acting --be able to show their talent for comedy?

The martial arts supervisor from Kungfu family Xie Fuyin said, "The biggest challenge lies in overcoming the age gap in performance. We have an eighteen-year-old acting as a eighty-year old, and a boy cross-acting as a woman. We've been concentrating on these aspects. I am sure we will do well."

The third rehearsal included gala hostess Dong Qing and cross talkers from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in a joint performance of "Tuantuan Yuanyuan". And Jackie Chan will team up with Eason Chan and Tan Jing to belt out the song "Stand Up".

And on a more serious note CCTV correspondents in earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province will file back reports on the survivors during the Gala.

(CCTV January 20, 2009)

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