As part of the 50th anniversary of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations, Cannes launched the first Chinese Arts Festival in tribute to China’s cultural treasures.
From July 15 to 20, 2014, Cannes celebrated the Franco-Chinese dialogue by hosting the first Chinese Arts Festival at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. The program presented the large richness of Chinese culture through its traditional dances, its outstanding performers and crafts of China’s vast territory. All events were on free access.
50 years ago, General de Gaulle made of France the first Western nation to resume dialogue with China, with President Mao Zedong, drawing on the tradition and history of our two countries. The mutual state visits of President Xi Jinping and President François Hollande last spring generated a new momentum in relations between the two countries. The Franco-Chinese friendship, a future-oriented relationship, knows how to renew, allowing to enhance mutual understanding and appreciation.
Opening of the Festival
The Festival, organized by the China Arts Festival Foundation and the Centre for Franco-Chinese Cultural Exchanges, in partnership with the Palais des Festivals, was inaugurated by Mr Franck Chikli, Deputy to the Culture of Cannes, Mr Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General for External Relations at Unesco and Mr Chaoui, Vice-Consul of the People’s Republic of China.
The speeches of personalities reaffirmed the leading role of culture in the development of civilizations and the fruitful exchanges between France and China, Mr Chaoui emphasizing the role of the City of Cannes, a “famous picturesque city” but also “pivotal in the development of cultural exchanges with China”.
Chinese Traditional Dances
As opening of the Chinese Art Festival, the School of Dance and Art of Shanxi Province (Province of North-West) has performed traditional dances Rankou, Shui Xiu Wu, Avalokitesvara. The dances were interspersed with solo musicians and singers. Soloist Ma Yun has performed a flute bamboo solo, Liu Xiang, a solo of Banhu (traditional Chinese violin). The singer Naibijiang Adili and female singer Wei Jiani interpreted famous Chinese tunes.
The dance evening began with the Yango Dance. It was followed by the Fan Dance and Melody of Love Dance. The dance “Rankou”: Rankou is the name of the artificial beard, made of horsehair, of multiple shapes or colors; Rankou expresses the emotions of the characters on stage.
Dance “Wu Xiu Shui” (famous traditional costume with long sleeves): the long silk sleeves, typical of Chinese dance costumes, depict distinctly the palpable splendor of the “circle” in perpetual movement of life. With two arms flying, dancers draw countless twists and circles of breath, as clouds and smoke.
The dance “Avalokitesvara” combines traditional Buddhist culture and typical dance of western China. The choreography reproduce protean figures of Guanyin Buddha with thounsand eyes and hands.
Then, the dances from different ethnic groups: Daizu, Qin Dian Wang Bing, Mongolian and Tibetan ethnicity continued to delight the audience, captivated by the poetry, the diversity and beauty of the costumes and the dancers virtuosity.
A large Festival agenda
The Chinese Arts Festival hosted a Concert of classical music(violon) with Huang Bin, international soloist. She won the 1st Prize at Wieniawski Junior International in Lublin in Pologne (1986) and was 1st International Paganini Prize in 1994.
The Théâtre Debussy hall welcomed a dance performance: in the first part, the traditional dances of ethnic minorities of Tibet, Mongolia, Han, Dai and in part 2, the Traditional Ballet “Spring” (excerpt) performed by the Shanxi Province School of Dance and Art.
From July 15 to 20, the Rotonde Riviera at Palais des Festivals hosted a large exhibition of typical Chinese handicrafts: Hunan embroidery, kites, paintings… as well as photographs on the theme of the 50th anniversary of Franco-Chinese relations.
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