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Performance "Shichahai Appeal" depicts old Beijing

01-31-2011 08:42 BJT

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Hutongs, residences of the ancient princes, and the unique life style of local residents, those symbolic elements of old Beijing are being staged in a song and dance performance called "Shichahai Appeal". The show illustrates the charms of the historical city during the changes of the seasons... a metaphor for the passing of time.

Elderly residents get up early every morning to practice Tai-Chi Quan, a kind of traditional martial arts, along the lakes. They are the most lively aspect of the Shichahai area landscape. The lotus reflect the summer moon, the wild duck isle and the bustling bar street are all transplanted onto the stage. And rickshaw boys, who deliver tourists to travel in the hutongs, are the highlights of the show.

Yang Di, Actor of "Shichahai Appeal", said, "I play a rickshaw boy, which is like an ancient taxi driver. Today's rickshaw boys are amateur guides of the hutong tour, which has been popular for years. They bring happiness to the tourists and also introduce the charms of old Beijing."

The performance originated and is choreographed by some local residents. And even the actors themselves are familiar with the lifestyle.

The Shichahai area is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in downtown
Beijing.(File photo)

Huang Qun, Director of "Shichahai Appeal", said, "The actors are telling their own stories on stage. Some of them were born and grew up along the Shichahai area. To them, it's a wonderful experience to perform their lifestyle in an artistic way."

Formerly part of the old Grand Canal of the Yuan Dynasty some 600 years ago, the Shichahai area is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in downtown Beijing. Shichahai still has the ambience of an ancient city, despite its modern setting.

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