"Riverdance" staged at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
The global success of "Riverdance"was recently blanketed with Chinese gloss as the Irish dance enjoyed a welcome in Beijing rarely accorded a Western performance.
Almost two weeks before the show kicked off in the Great Hall of the People on Oct. 9, more than 50,000 tickets were sold out for the original six performances. An extra two performances were added due to demand and tickets were also sold within 48 hours.
Song Lihong, vice general manager of the China Performing Arts Agency (CPAA), said Riverdance has produced one of the best CPAA box office records ever.
With Irish bagpipe music and lively dance, Riverdance melded traditional Irish dancing, Spanish flamenco, ballet and modern dance into a world-class production, which started as a seven-minute interval show at the 1994 Eurovision Song Competition held in Dublin.
Ou Jianping, a dance expert with the China Arts Research Institute, said the Riverdance success may shed some light on introducing foreign arts performances to Chinese audiences and promote Chinese arts to the world.
"An ethnic flavor presented in an appropriate way always constitutes the aesthetic essence," said Ou.
Riverdance will move to Shanghai on Oct. 17 and play there for three days.
Yang Yi, technology manager with a Beijing-based computer company, said he has recommended the show to his friends in Shanghai because "the show is absolutely fabulous".
Riverdance was originally scheduled to visit Beijing in April but was postponed due to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).