Traditional Chinese opera big hit at L American Theater Festival

15:12, March 30, 2010      

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Traditional Chinese opera has been a big hit at the ongoing Latin American Theater Festival of Bogota here, thrilling thousands of Colombians who rarely have a touch of this Chinese art.

It is a real surprise that "Sparks of the Chinese Opera," presented in the form of Hebei Bangzi Opera of northern China, can be so well understood and accepted by Colombians, director Luo Jinlin told Xinhua in an interview.

"Hebei Bangzi Opera's origin is in northern China. I never expected that it could find a second home here in Bogota," said Luo, who has attended the festival for the third time.

The director, known for his successes in adapting Greek tragedy Medea to Chinese art forms, said this time he brought the Chinese opera to the festival, hoping to "help Colombians understand and really enjoy the Hebei Bangzi Opera, one of the oldest types in northern China, which gathers very important elements of our culture."

"Sparks of the Chinese Opera" groups three traditional Chinese stories, including the popular story about the Monkey waging a war with the Heavenly Emperor, a chapter in the Chinese classic "Pilgrimage to the West."

So far tickets for "Sparks of the Chinese Opera" sold out every night during the festival, which drew artists from 40 countries of the five continents.

Luo, winner of a prestigious Jin Shi prize for his contributions to the development of China's theater art, said he was also amazed at young Colombians' curiosity at the Chinese opera.

During a seminar on Chinese opera's origin and evolution, the young audience bombarded him with questions and the seminar had to extend time again and again.

"It was a very interesting exchange experience," he said.

Luo recalled the first time when he attended the festival in 1998, when he got the audience's standing ovation for more than 20 minutes for his play "Medea."

"What moved me most back then was a mother and her daughter, who were able to buy only one ticket so they decided to watch it by parts. The mother watched first, then the daughter."

Luo assured that he would come back to Colombia at every opportunity he gets because he has found in the country many follower of the Chinese culture who appreciate and understand the elements in such a way that makes his every visit a unique experience.

Source: Xinhua
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