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Interview: Lebanese musical producer urges deeper art cooperation with China

(Xinhuanet.com)    08:40, April 28, 2017

BEIRUT, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Ivan Caracalla, the producer and director of "Sailing the Silk Road," a Lebanese musical which ended its 3-month tour in the capital Beirut, praised his teamwork with Chinese performing arts companies and called for wider cooperation between the two countries.

"China is such a big country, a great country with so many artists from very different fields. We have great admiration for this country, for the history of this country, and for the traditions, the art and the culture," said Caracalla in an interview with Xinhua.

"Lebanon is a bridge between the East and the West. So I think when you mix east and west, you will always get a better result," he added.

According to him, Sailing the Silk Road is such an example, which tells a story of ancient Lebanese merchants travelling from Lebanon all the way into China via the ancient Silk Road, with leading actors and singers from Lebanon and one of China's premier dance companies.

Caracalla pointed out that it took him about 4 years to bring the play on stage.

"We chose this theme because it is a very great theme for us. It is a great theme of civilization, culture and understanding," he said, adding that the silk road "gives us the idea of showing how it impacted the people in the history of humanity."

"I am not talking about the commercial value of the Silk Road. I am talking about the human values and how the Silk Road made it possible for people to know each other, to understand each other. So if there were obstacles between people, the Silk Road brought down these obstacles. It opened the door for inter-cultural relations and inter-social relations," Caracalla said.

"Many parts of the world today are very troubled and one of them is the Middle East. I hope that we realize that we are one world, one human and should co-exist. This is why we chose the Silk Road," he explained.

"When we say the Silk Road, it is China, it is the greatness of China and the great history of China. So we worked together with the Chinese arts companies in the play," he said.

"The Chinese artists' participation brings authenticity and sincerity to the show," he added.

Caracalla is also eager to present his show around China.

"It is very important because the show is about the Silk Road. It is our sincere wish to go to China and have a tour to present this work," he said.

He believes that "the cultural influence of China in Lebanon is very positive in the way that we see China government is helping our government. But what I wish to see artistic shows from China every year here in Lebanon, and this is what we don't have. I know that China has many wonderful artists, from Opera to dance to circus to performing to music."

It is not Caracalla's first attempt to work with Chinese companies, as he once cooperated with Hangzhou Dance and Song Theater from 2008 to 2012.

"We travelled around the world with this Chinese company from Hangzhou and did beautiful shows," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Wu Chengliang)

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