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Chinese epic adds new razzle-dazzle to Times Square
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08:18, March 18, 2009

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Eight screens in New York's Times Square on Monday evening broadcast the 45-minute-long program Red Cliff, an epic Peking Opera show produced by China's National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA).

The resplendent show is known for its razzle-dazzle and was created to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the NCPA, which formally opened in December 2007. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies' co-director Zhang Jigang directed the show, which stars leading Peking Opera artists, such as Yu Kuizhi, Li Shengsu and Meng Guanglu.

Red Cliff is known in China as a romantic classic presented on a grand scale that displays Chinese production mastery. It showcases the talents of 130 actors and actresses from six major Chinese Peking Opera troupes in a colorful program, featuring silk-embroidered costumes and cutting-edge stage technology.

"Peking Opera is China's most representative traditional art form," NCPA's artistic director Chen Zuohuang said.

"The story, based on a famous battle during the Three Kingdoms (AD220-280) period, is among the most popular Peking Operas.

"Our revival showcases the best actors and the leading artists from other genres director Zhang brings many new ideas to the old art form."

The program also features a special introduction to the new performing arts venue. Designed by French architect Paul Andreu, the complex features an impressive interior, sophisticated acoustics and mechanical wizardry.

The NCPA has hosted nearly 30,000 world-class artists from around the globe, including Valery Gergiev, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Gustavo Dudamel, Renee Fleming and Anna Sophie Mutter. It also hosted more than 200 performing entities, such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, The Kirov Ballet, The Royal Ballet from London and Ballet de l'Opra National de Paris.

It is the third time for Chinese artists and musicians to be broadcast on Times Square's massive screens.

In October 2007, Beijing Music Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary, broadcasting a concert by pianist Lang Lang and China Philharmonic Orchestra. Last October, Beijing Music Festival broadcast a concert to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birth.

Source: China Daily

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