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UPDATED: 14:40, June 25, 2004
Cultural gala starts in melody of "Cats"
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China's national cultural gala, the fourth "Meet in Beijing" Festival opened in the Great Hall of the People in the national capital Tuesday, to the accompaniment of the classical melody of the Western musical masterpiece "Cats", which has been staged over 9,000 times for an audience of 65 million worldwide.

This heavyweight performance, is just one of the 100 performances to be given during the month-long festival with an attendance of more than 30 foreign artistic troupes and 10 Chinese troupes, an official with the Chinese Ministry of Culture (MOC) told Xinhua,

Besides "Cats", the festival will bring in two large projects featuring respectively the mysterious African arts and typical Irish culture, and invite T Chaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Russia and the leading soprano Sarah Brightman to perform.

According to MOC, the African project, with 10 artistic troupes and seven governmental delegations from Africa attending, will give outdoor performances in a number of famous parks in Beijing and three arts exhibitions.

Chinese artistic troupes, nevertheless, capitalizing on the opportunity of this culture event, will also give their newly created performances, which cover singing, dancing, Beijing operas, dramas and other vivid artistic forms.

The annual culture event, initiated in the year 2000, has so far drawn more than 100 artistic troupes and exhibitions from all over the world to attend and perform.

Source: Xinhua

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