Describe a performance you watched recently.
You should say:
what it was
when you watched it
who you were with
and explain why you watched it
I’d like to describe a performance that I was invited to in Beijing, actually. It was a type of gala show in a big theatre. I can’t remember the name of the theatre now, it was near Qian men. It was a series of performances just before the new year. All of them involved choreography – basically a lot of people dancing together – the entire show lasted about 2 hours and told the story of a monk and how he came to fall in love with a beautiful young girl. The lighting was incredible and so were the costumes and the stage sets. In fact, it was very impressive indeed, and it must have taken a very long time for them to rehearse to get to this professional standard. These kinds of large performances are very popular in China, actually, with dance and group choreography, and acrobatics and elements of martial arts all mixed together. Usually they are centred around themes of ancient China, too. I quite like these kind of historical themes. I think they can be a great source of inspiration for us.
1. Are there any traditional cultural performances that are popular in China?
There are lots, of course. The Chinese really like their cultural performances actually, both on stage and on the television. Like I was saying earlier, they like big group formation dancing, themes of ancient China and stories about love between different people of different social classes in history. Chinese are proud of their history and most cultural performances are centred around key periods in Chinese history.
2. What’s the difference between watching performances live and watching them on TV?
Well, watching performances live is always more exciting. You’re there in person, and close to the action. It’s much more exciting and you can also feel the excitement of the rest of the audience. The only disadvantage is that if you don’t like the performance you can’t turn it off – you can always turn the television off if you get bored, are not in the mood, or don’t enjoy what you’re watching.
3. How can children benefit from taking part in these performances?
Children can learn a lot from getting involved in performances. They learn a range of skills involving cooperation, teamwork, co-ordination, as well as dance, acting, and being confident on stage in front of a large audience. Show business is a wonderful field for children to get involved in.
4. Should the government provide financial support to promote traditional performances?
Yes, I think so. In fact, I think the government already does this quite a lot. The show that I went to recently was sponsored by the Haidian municipal government labour bureau, in fact. This kind of thing is quite common, as China is trying to revive its traditional culture more and more these years.