Shanghai actors applauded in Milan, promote cultural exchange

14:35, October 10, 2010      

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A Sino-Italian coproduction of Luigi Pirandello's drama "Six Characters in Search of an Author" was performed here from Thursday to Sunday, paving the way for a reinforced partnership with a view to the Milan Expo 2015.

The cooperation between the Piccolo Theater and Shanghai Theater Academy dates back to 2006 and has made a lot of headway. First performed in Shanghai last April, the coproduced drama was an immediate success.

On Thursday night, the Piccolo Theater resounded with applause. "I came here because I think it is a kind of duty of all citizens to open wide their minds to such an immense culture as the Chinese one," Lucia, a woman from Milan, said.

"This is the first drama performed by Chinese actors I have ever seen. The ongoing Chinese Cultural Year in Italy is the best moment to acquaint oneself with the Chinese culture," a medical student called Laura said while enjoying the performance with her friend Marta, a sinologist.

"I was surprised to find out that Pirandello is well-known in China, and even more surprised to personally experience in his drama a common language that steps over cultural differences between the two countries," the director of the coproduction, Emiliano Bronzino, told Xinhua.

An acclaimed Italian dramatist and short story writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934, Pirandello is not an easy author. Seen as a forerunner of the Theater of the Absurd, his dramas show the unreliability of words and how art and illusion intermingle with reality.

"The most touching moment came after weeks of intense training with the young students of Shanghai Theater Academy, when I saw them performing on stage," Bronzino recalled, adding that the rehearsals had gone very smoothly.

"It was my first time in China, but as I entered the Academy's campus I felt very close to Chinese culture, because theater is a universal language," he said, adding that he greatly appreciates China's consistent efforts to promote its culture.

The success of the joint performance is a strong symbol of the friendship between Italy and China, Milan's mayor Letizia Moratti said at a presentation Friday in the presence of other authorities.

Culture will be at the heart of the Milan Expo 2015. The Expo's main theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" refers not only to physical nourishment, but especially to spiritual and cultural nourishment, she stressed.

During the presentation, the deputy president of the Shanghai Theater Academy, Liu Zhigang, announced an upcoming agreement between the two renowned theatrical institutions.

The new agreement, he said, will focus on training, research and artistic coproduction, and will aim at organizing a performance of contemporary dramaturgy during the Milan Expo.

"I am glad that the partnership between two of the most prestigious international theatrical institutions is being successfully enhanced through a kind of cultural relay between the Shanghai and the Milan Expo," Liu said.

Source: Xinhua


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