Integrating Tradition and Technology

Updated: 2011-09-12 07:57

By Qiu Bo (China Daily)

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 Integrating Tradition and Technology

Olympic boxing champion Zou Shiming ignited the flame at the National Ethnic Games in Guiyang.

Integrating Tradition and Technology

The ninth National Ethnic Games, in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, had their opening ceremony on Saturday, and unlike the previous versions, this one came with more than just "traditional culture".

The ceremony organizers explained last week that this year's combination of traditional elements and technology will be a highlight, with, for example, Tibetan dancers performing to the beat of modern instruments to strengthen the effect of sound and light.

Retaining the original cultural elements has been a challenge for the ceremony's directors.

Ding Wei, its chief director, said that the increased use of modern technology did not necessarily mean leaving out traditional culture.

Ding said that he has spent his entire life in Guiyang and is a "master" when it comes to showing Guizhou's traditional culture.

"I've picked singers and dancers from ethnic villages, where the local music and dance represent their history," Ding emphasized, adding that people from outside have hardly heard the songs before.

"For the opening ceremony, we'll present that valuable music and dance to the world."

One group of folk performers that included students and police officers put on a surprisingly good performance as part of the ceremony.

Although they may have been short of stage experience, they still managed to put on an impressive show, Ding said afterwards.

The ceremony took place in the 70,000-sq-m Guiyang Olympic Center, which has a seating capacity of at least 50,000 people.

The show involved more than 17,000 performers in front of an audience that consisted of ordinary folk, athletes, and journalists from all over.

When you throw in the other support personnel, there were more than 25,000 people contributing to the ceremony. The show was broadcast nationwide via TV and radio.

The games run through Sept 19.

 Integrating Tradition and Technology

Representatives of various ethnic groups in their traditional costumes.

 Integrating Tradition and Technology

Young performers from Shanxi province played the drums.

 Integrating Tradition and Technology

An ethnic group from Guizhou province played traditional instruments at the opening ceremony.

(China Daily 09/12/2011 page10)