Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017
The 3rd Chinese Arts and Culture Festival
12th-13th August, 2017
The 3rd Chinese Arts and Culture Festival was successfully held on 12th and 13th of August, during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This two-day event has attracted more than 2200 natives and tourists who are interested in Chinese arts and culture, both Chinese and Scottish Medias and high statues people from local government and businesses.
Leaded by Ms Jie SONG, chairwoman of Scotland-China Chamber of Commerce, 10 staffs and more than 60 volunteers were involved in the planning and preparation works. With the marvelous performances from all the performers, the 3rd Chinese Arts and Culture Festival achieved great success, making Chinese arts and culture shining on the international stage of arts.
2047 Apologue, our featured stage performance directed by Zhang Yimou. Widely regarded as one of the world¡¯s most talented directors, Zhang is well-known for directing the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Tea Spell and Beyond Calligraphy feature on unique Chinese elements produced by China Dancers Association. Chinese Cultural Quintessence is a Peking Opera presented by Wuhan Peking Opera Troupe. Chinese calligraphy, tea, handicraft exhibitions were held throughout the whole event. Traditional folk dance, music performance and a rich collection of Chinese artworks were also be included.
VIP Opening Ceremony and Media Interview
This year, we are delighted and honoured to invite Lord Provost of City of Edinburgh Mr. Frank Ross, Chinese Consul General Mr. PAN Xinchun, Deputy Consul General Mr. SUN Xudong, Chairman of Scotland-China Chamber of Commerce Ms. SONG, Provost of South Ayrshire, Helen Moonie and many other VIPs in business and government.
Welcome speech speakers
¡¤ Lord Provost Frank Ross - Lord Provost of City of Edinburgh
¡¤ Jie Song - Chairperson of Scotland China Chamber of Commerce
¡¤ Deputy Consul General Xudong Sun - Consulate General of the People¡¯s Republic of China in Edinburgh
¡¤ Councillor Helen Moonie - Provost of South Ayrshire Council
Councillor Ian Campbell - Deputy Convener of the City of Edinburgh Council
Culture and Communities Committee
¡¤ Carolyn Jameson - Board Member of VisitScotland, Chief Legal Officer of Skyscanner
¡¤ Councillor Dr. Amy McNeese-Mechan - City of Edinburgh Council Culture & Communities Committee
¡¤ Janet Archer, Chief Executive Officer of Creative Scotland
Liz McAreavey, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Professor Natascha Gentz, Director of the Confucius Institute for China, Councillor Gavin Barrie, Convener of the City of Edinburgh Council Housing and Economy Committee, Councillor Jason Rust, Member of the City of Edinburgh Council Education, Children and Families Committee also attended our VIP ceremony.
Journalists from Xinhua News Agency interviewed Provost Frank Ross
Chinese Arts and Culture Seminar
As an essential part launched on this year¡¯s Chinese Arts and Culture Festival, the Chinese Arts and Culture Seminar intended to promote Chinese traditional arts and culture, letting people experience the essence. The seminar has attracted more than 100 people who work for arts institutions or from art businesses, as well as staffs from the Confucious Institutions all over Scotland.
Yimou Zhang, Director of Apologue 2047 (video mark)
Yi Bao, Producer of Apologue 2047
Bin Luo, Executive Vice President of China Dancers Assocation
Qi Liu, Director of Guangdong Modern Dance Company
Liang Zhao, Modern Chinese Dancer, Founder and Art Director of Zhaoliang ART
We are living in the era of technology.
People want to improve the live they have, preserve the things they have, see what else can be done with existing materials, or try to solve the problems, so people create technology. Every part of our life is related to technology in one or other way, technology serve people and at the same time change people.
Being human, in olden days we sat down and talk face to face, our face turns red with embarrassment, but we can feel each other¡¯s emotions close up ¨C fears, angers, sadness and happiness. Will we still have these feelings in the future?
In this dialogue between ancient culture and modern technology, we experience puzzles that comes with the rapid progression of technology, and reflect on it ¨C what will be the future relation between human and technology?
The most difficult task for this show is getting the audience to accept and acknowledge that their lifestyle, the way they communicate and the way they work might not be the best.
¡°One of the big success stories of international dance¡a pacesetter with a difference.¡±-- The New York Times
¡°Full of meditative grace, sharp, cut-crystal physicality and languid dignity.¡± --The Washington Post
¡°Powered by a beautiful mix of grace and testosterone.¡± -- Houston Chronicle
Beyond Calligraphy is one of the most popular repertoire of Guangdong Modern Dance Company. It¡¯s developed into a 2-episodes full evening program in 2011.
Upon Calligraphy, Episode 1, has been one of Guangdong Modern Dance Company¡¯s most successful productions. Since the debut performance in 2005, the work has had more than 100 performances all around the world. The work has also won awards for Liu Qi and the Guangdong Modern Dance Company on outstanding choreography, lighting design, performance as well as production.
Upon Calligraphy is a poem of movements, which are developed from the stylistic essence of different Chinese scripts. It comprises five dances named after the five different script styles in the Chinese calligraphy. The Washington Post describes it as ¡°full of meditative grace, sharp, cut-crystal physicality and languid dignity.¡±
The Tea Spell
Plot of The Tea Spell originates from a group of antiques unearthed at Famen Temple:exquisite tea sets used by Emperor Xizong of Tang Dynasty.The show uses tea as a vehicle and illustrates the encounters of a stunningly beautiful woman(played by male dancer) with a farmer, an officer and a monk respectively.
¡°All compounded things are like dreams and bubbles, like dews and lightening
-- that¡¯s how they shall be viewed.¡±
The three male characters imply people with three different kinds of psychological orientations.After meeting with the stunning beauty, they are either being allured, or pretending nothing has happened, or struggling, or getting carried away.The story line is vivid and manifests profound human nature.Throug multi- sensory experience, the audiences glimpse into the subtle wisdom of the universe in a detached way.In terms of visual effect, the performance present sits cutting-edge aesthetics in terms of costumes, props, choreography and artistic makeup.
All these are full of cultural characteristics and artistic creativity.In this performance,all three antiques are presented from Famen Temple on the stage for the first time.Funded by the National Art Funds 2015, the dance group toured in Germany and other countries on behalf of the Chinese cultural and artistic community and was very well received in these countries.
Due to his natural yet touching works, Director Zhao Liang is called the ¡°Shepard¡± from the East by the Germans.During its national tour in China, A Tea Spell repeatedly sets the record for the box office in the modern dance history and is met with great enthusiasm by the fans in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing. The Tea Spell has become one of a kind masterpiece for the Chinese audiences, attracting attention and warm support from those who care for their inner growth.
Chinese Cultural Quintessence
A Brief Introduction to the Plays Presented at the ¡°Chinese Cultural Quintessence¡± Concert of Famous Peking Operas.
Synopsis of Mount Hongtao
Female general Zhang Yue¡¯e launched an uprising at Mount Hongtao to revenge his father. Since a general from Mount Liang Huyan Shuo didn¡¯t pay homage to her when passing by Mount Hongtao during his mission to escort army provisions. In a fury, Zhang Yue¡¯e captured the grain carriages after defeating Huyan Shuo, who had to return. On his way back, he met Guan Sheng and Lin Chong and told them what had happened to him. Thus, the three men went to Mount Hongtao and besieged Zhang Yue¡¯e on the mountain, forcing her to surrender to Mount Liang. In the play Three Fights against Zhang Yue¡¯e, the heroine is played by an acrobatic-fighting actress. In the first half of the play, she wears heavy helmet and armour and performs fighting; and in the second half, she, dressed in clothes suitable for fighting, does a few stunts, including ¡°plunging off a high platform¡±. Among the generals from Mount Liang, Guan Sheng wears light leotard, Lin Chong the clothes with tight sleeves fit to shoot arrows, and Hua Rong tight clothes. The three men engage Zhang Yue¡¯e respectively with different weapons and tricks. The performance is really splendid.
Fairy Gives Flowers to the Earth
This costume play was often performed by Mr. Mei Lanfang in his early period. In the two acts of ¡°Cloud Path¡± and ¡°Scattering Flowers¡±, he sings and dances elegantly, greatly improving the dancing art of Peking opera.
The story originates from Buddhist sutras. One day, Tathagata gives lectures on his lotus pedestal in the Western Paradise. Suddenly, auspicious clouds appear in the eastern sky, from which, he knows his favorite disciple Vimalak¨©rti gets ill. Thus, he sends a number of disciples to see him. Knowing Vimalak¨©rti would take the chance to explain sutras, he asks a fairy to check their study. Carrying a basket of flowers, the fairy flies to the earth and sees Vimalak¨©rti is actually lecturing to others. Then, she scatters the flowers. Sariputra, one of the disciples, is covered by flowers. Others are very surprised to see this. The fairy says, ¡°Those who haven¡¯t completed their study will be covered by flowers; and those who have completed the study will be kept away from flowers naturally.¡± From then on, Sariputra begins to study harder.
Zhaojun Departing for the Frontier
During the reign of Emperor Yuan of Han, the frontier was repeatedly harassed by the Xiongnu, a confederation of nomadic peoples. The Han court, without enough forces to fend them off, resorted to a peace offering: marrying Wang Zhaojun, a lady-in-waiting to the Xiongnu Chanyu Huhanye. Previously, as Zhaojun refused to bribe the court painter Mao Yanshou, the latter presented to the emperor an unflattering portrait of Zhaojun that belied her stunning beauty and deprived her chance of being visited by the emperor. It was only when Zhaojun formally bid farewell to the emperor when he discovered, much to his surprise and regret, how beautiful she was. But it was already too late to retract his promise. The opera focuses on the poignant and affecting scene of Wang Zhaojun departing for the frontier and fully recreates the well-rounded, intensive, dashing and heroic style established by the Peking opera master Shang Xiaoyun, featuring changing acting techniques and sequences of stylized movements that created a series of dynamic images. The including striding, lunge, brandishing the horsewhip, fast-forward steps, as well as mounting the horse with one feet quivering, ¡°duoni¡± and horse-ride around the stage were designed to delicately portray the lady¡¯s reluctance and melancholy when leaving her home country and the desolation of the frontier. He sculpted an artistic image of Wang Zhaojun who sings with a horsewhip in hand and wearing a peacock feather coronet and a mantle, rendering the horse energetic and the lady attractive. The singing and dancing ¡°Zhaojun on the horse¡± evokes the finest paintings depicting beautiful women and mettled horses.
Dui Hua Qiang
Created in 1979, this play was derived from a Henan opera with the same name. Its synopsis goes like this: In late Sui Dyansty (581-618), Luo Yi comes down with illness on his way to attend the imperial examination. Fortunately, he is rescued by a man surnamed Jiang. After Luo recovers, Jiang takes him as his disciple. Jiang¡¯s daughter Guizhi has learned the ancestral short spear skills from him. Thus, she imparts the skills to Luo, and the two get married. After that, Luo goes to attend the imperial examination again but disappears due to chaos caused by war. Forty years later, after hearing Luo Yi gathers heroes in Wagang Village, Guizhi leads her offspring there. Since he has had a wife and a son called Luo Cheng, Luo Yi dares not meet her. In a rage, Guizhi beats Luo with the short spear. Then, they have a family reunion.
This is a well-known play with singing, acting and acrobatic elements. In particular, the performance of old female character is enriched. There are very few traditional military plays with the old female characters performing acrobatics, and almost all of them have been lost. The role of Jiang Guizhi requires the player to sing 100 sentences of Fan'erhuang tune and perform acrobatics, really a big challenge.
Synopsis of Mount Dingjun
During the period (220-280) of the three kingdoms ¨C Wei, Shu and Wu, Wei and Shu were at war. General Zhang He was dispatched by Cao Cao to attack Jiameng Pass but defeated by the old generals of Shu ¨C Huang Zhong and Yan Yan. Zhang He fled to Mount Dingjun where he sought refuge with Xiahou Yuan and planned to fight the Shu army in collaboration with him. To enhance Huang Zhong¡¯s confidence to win, Zhuge Liang pretended to say Huang Zhong was too old to beat Xiahou Yuan, and another general should be appointed to replace him. In a rage, Huang Zhong argued that he was still strong despite the old age, and promised to occupy Mount Dingjun in ten days. Seeing his provocative approach succeeded, Zhuge Liang readily agreed Huang Zhong to fight the enemy. In a battle, Xiahou Yuan captured Huang¡¯s general Chen Shi, while Huang captured Xiahou Yuan¡¯s nephew Xiahou Shang alive. Thus, the two sides agreed to swap the hostages between the battle arrays. However, after Xiahou Yuan returned Chen Shi, Huang Zhong fired an arrow at Xiahou Shang and killed him, provocating Xiahou Yuan to go out. Then, Huang Zhong decapitated Xiahou Yuan with his sword and captured Mount Dingjun. In this play, the personated old man sings, chants, acts and fights at the same time. It was ever the magnum opus of Yu Sansheng. Later, Tan Xinpei changed the helmets into headcloth, and modified and polished the postures and aria, imposing great influence on later generations.
The Drunken Concubine
Also known as Hundred Flowers Pavilion, this play was derived from a local Peking opera Drunken Concubine Yang in the Qianlong era (1736-1796). As one of the classical plays of the Mei school, Peking opera master Mei Lanfang exhausted his life to create it. It mainly describes Yang Yuhuan¡¯s state of becoming sexually awakened after getting drunken. In the play, Yang first drinks wine behind her sleeves but later does it at will. The changes in her actions give vivid expression to her psychological changes from depression, pretence to gaffe. The complicated dances are performed freely. Such postures as holding the cup in mouth, trunk twist at cross-sit position, staggering step of drunkard and dancing with a fan are very difficult to complete, but the player performs naturally and elegantly.