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Chinese acrobatics industry urged to expand market and innovate performances

(Xinhua)

11:20, October 28, 2011

SHIJIAZHUANG, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese acrobatic troupes need to enlarge their domestic market and innovate their performances amid expectations that the art will help China extend its cultural influence, industry insiders said at an ongoing acrobatics carnival.

After a long depression, the domestic acrobatic industry is starting to expand, according to Bian Faji, president of the China Acrobats Association. The domestic market has fared better than overseas markets, which shrunk following the global economic downturn, Bian said Thursday at the 13th China Wuqiao International Acrobatics Carnival currently being held in the northern province of Hebei.

Domestic revenues are nearly equal to overseas revenues for most acrobatic troupes, Bian said, adding that many of the larger groups prefer to perform in China rather than in foreign countries.

But Chen Shuzhen, chief of the Hebei Acrobatics Troupe, said his group made less than 100,000 yuan (15,753 U.S. dollars) in its home province during the first half of 2011, but earned more than 8 million yuan (1.26 million U.S. dollars) in overseas markets during the same period.

Industry insiders agreed that inadequate acrobatic venues have curbed the market's expansion.

"There are 20 acrobatic venues in Moscow, but in Beijing there are none," Bian said, suggesting that China needs to build more venues to accommodate larger audiences.

While some Chinese acrobats have earned fame by performing in global competitions, Bian contended that they should continue innovating their performances to better cater to rapidly changing tastes.

"Chinese acrobatic troupes must speed up their innovations and mix traditional art with other elements. We need performances that can represent China and gain wide recognition from foreign audiences," Bian said.

Bian cited an acrobatics troupe from Shandong Province that fused acrobatics, dance and music into a single performance, which attracted 9 million viewers during a decade-long tour.

Chinese acrobatics has won global acclaim and accounts for a large proportion of China's cultural exports, according to the Ministry of Culture.

China's central authorities on Tuesday released the full text of a guideline adopted by a plenary session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, urging authorities to attach more importance to cultural development and boost the cultural industry.

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