China / Society

Symphonic spectacular to highlight gala on West Lake

By Du Juan in Hangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-04 08:49

What promises to be a spectacular show titled Symphony on West Lake is planned for Sunday night to entertain global leaders and guests at the G20 Summit.

The show, which will function as the evening gala, is based on Impressions of West Lake, a show that has long been a major evening attraction in the host city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province.

The special one-off performance will take place at the summit venue.

Zhang Yimou, the well-known Chinese director, is in charge of the show, in cooperation with his partner Sha Xiaolan, the gala's producer.

"Light is the most important tool for us to create an elegant and majestic background at the West Lake for the performances," Zhang said during an inter-view with China Central Television on the sidelines of the final rehearsal on Friday.

It is not the first time the Chinese director has led such a show during international events. He was involved in the production of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the evening gala for the APEC leaders' meeting in Beijing in 2014.

But he said Sunday night's show is even more challenging than the one for the Games as it will combine a symphony into the performance in a natural environment.

He said that symphonic music is a classic world language, and it echoes the G20 Summit which is another form of language-a forum for global leaders to communicate about common development.

"The digital laser holography will be used for the first time not only outdoors but also on the water's surface," he said.

The platform is engineered to lie 3 centimeters below the surface so it will seem that the actors are dancing on water. The ballet Swan Lake, along with traditional Chinese music, folk songs, Yueju Opera and traditional dance, will be performed during the show to highlight the combination of Western and Chinese arts. The show will last for about 45 minutes and end with a fireworks display. It will be broadcast live on CCTV on Sunday starting at 8:45 pm.

Zhang said he accepted the task a year ago, feeling a responsibility to tell Chinese stories to the world.

Gao Jifan, chairman of Trina Solar Ltd, who is attending the Hangzhou summit, said the West Lake production is a perfect integration of Western and Chinese culture and epitomizes the summit's theme of inclusiveness.

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