- CNTV English - CCTV News

Chinese artists seek global influence in producing dramas, musicals

05-17-2010 08:58 BJT

by Xinhua writers Li Huizi, Wang Pan

GUANGZHOU, May 16 (Xinhua) - Deng Jun's dream is to make the well-known Chinese scroll painting "Along the River during Qingming Festival" alive on the international stage of performing arts.

The scroll painting, which had been done by the Northern Song (960-1127) painter Zhang Zeduan, offers glimpses of the institutions, economy, culture and customs in the Song capital, Bianjing, the most prosperous metropolis in the world then.

Deng, general manager of Guangdong Southern Cultural Development Co. Ltd, is planning to bring his company's dance performance based on the painting to Canada.

The dance troupe is currently touring China, and will give performances on the Canadian stage in July next year.

"The dance has been targeting international audience from the very beginning," Deng told Xinhua.

Analysts say the global performing arts market has great potentials.

Toby Simkin, vice president and executive producer of the U.S. Broadway-based Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, told a forum in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, that the profitable market is worthy of big investment.

A veteran Broadway producer, Simkin has produced, managed or marketed over 150 productions over the past two decades, including various Tony Award winning shows.

With the expansion of the cultural industry reform, China' s state-run art troupes and performing companies, including that of Deng's, have gradually abandoned the "iron rice bowl" concept and become participants of market competitions.

They set eyes on the international arena and choreographed an increasing number of Chinese dramas, acrobatics, ballet and musicals to target international audience and earn more profits through overseas box office.

Domestic performing companies struck 25 deals with overseas stage performance agents at a week-long trade fair of performing arts in Guangzhou that ended Sunday, with contracts involving more than 100 million yuan (14.7 million U.S. dollars), organizers say.

The deals include introducing the Chinese original musical "Butterfly Lovers" to Europe and U.S., a traditional opera costume show to Australia, the Cantonese opera "Red Boat," or "Hua Yue Ying," to Qatar, a puppet show to Germany, Kungfu drama "The Soul of Shaolin" and acrobatic show "Journey to the West" to Europe.

Zhang Ning, art director of a cultural and media company in east China's Shandong Province, will lead a troupe to give the traditional Chinese opera costume show in Australia.

"We've considered overseas tours when we were choreographing the show, so we have chosen costumes as the theme because there will be no language barrier," said Zhang.

He said they had conducted thorough investigations on overseas viewers and their viewing habits for seven years before the show was introduced overseas. "This process was very tough," he said.

"China will not export low-quality cultural products. The export channel for Chinese arts must be improved so that they could compete in the global market," he said.

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