Spotlight on Guizhou's cultural heritage

During the Shanghai International Arts Festival, the southwestern province will show off some of its best intangible cultural heritage.

Ti Gong

Traditional Huadeng Opera “Maple Forest Wharf in the Moonlight”

Guizhou artists will interact with audiences in Shanghai as part of the Guizhou Culture Week which begins today to highlight the province’s rich intangible cultural heritage.

The event, on the sidelines of the Shanghai International Arts Festival, will present two stage performances until October 30 and an art exhibition until November 13.

“Guizhou, as a province with 49 ethnic minority groups, enjoys a great number of intangible cultural heritage that we would like to share with Shanghai people,” said Xu Jing, head of the Guizhou Provincial Department of Culture.

More than 20 national-level intangible cultural heritage items of the Miao, Buyi, Shui, Dong and Yi ethnic groups in Guizhou Province will be exhibited in “The Splendor of Concerto with National Song and Dance.” That includes the Torch Festival, Buyi ethnic costumes, Shui minority’s unique characters and the Grand Song of the Dong group.

The show will be presented by the Guizhou Song and Dance Ensemble at Zhongshan Park on October 28, Jing’an Park on October 29 and the City Lawn on October 30.

Making intangible cultural heritage presentable on stage while keeping their essence is the biggest task for the organizers, said director Tan Pei.

To make the Shui character, an ancient hieroglyph used to record information about astronomy, geography, religion, customs, ethics and philosophy, accessible to audiences, a pas dedeux (dance duet) in white and black will interpret the core philosophy recorded in the Shui character which is similar to yin-yang, while the characters are projected on a dark background.

Lacking young artists to carry on the heritage items is the biggest problem today. Many young people now migrate to the cities in search of better opportunities.

The Guizhou Song and Dance Ensemble is trying to change that by guiding young professional dancers and musicians to study with the current inheritors.

The show’s creative team averages about 30 years old, while the performers are averagely younger than 25.

Other highlights of the Guizhou Culture Week will include a traditional Huadeng Opera “Maple Forest Wharf in the Moonlight” at Yifu Theater on October 28 and the “Festival of the Mountain” art exhibition at China Art Museum.

Ti Gong

Performance schedule

“The Splendor of Concerto with National Song and Dance”

Date: October 26, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater

Address: 300 People’s Ave

Tickets: 80-580 yuan

Tel: 6386-8686

Traditional Huadeng Opera “Maple Forest Wharf in the Moonlight”

Date: October 28, 7:15pm

Venue: Yifu Theater

Address: 701 Fuzhou Rd

Tickets: 80-320 yuan

Tel: 6487-0278

Exhibition “Festival of the Mountain”

Date: Through November 13, 9am-5pm

Venue: China Art Museum

Address: Shangnan Rd, Pudong New Area

Visit for more information.

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