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Home / China / Hong Kong's 20th return anniversary to China

Modern center to boast age-old charm

By Yang Wanli | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-28 07:34

Situated on the front in Kowloon and enjoying the best view of Victoria Harbor, the West Kowloon Cultural District is coming together quickly.

The development - which will be world's largest cultural district - will be a new model, rooted in international experience but will position Hong Kong's performing arts on the world stage, according to William Chan, the district's chief operating officer.

"The center, designed with a modern outline covered by tens of thousands of white objects that look like propeller blades, will be a perfect example of Hong Kong's artistic spirit," he said. "We are a modern city that always welcomes new things and creations while treasuring tradition as the core of our culture."

The Xiqu Center, for the promotion and development of Cantonese and other types of traditional opera will be the first major venue in the district when it opens next year.

China has about 360 sub-genres of xiqu (traditional opera), with the best-known being the Cantonese and Peking varieties; they were included in UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity, according to the Chinese Art Association of Hong Kong.

"The center will support the creation of new productions to nurture new talents and improve awareness of xiqu internationally," said Duncan Pescod, CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Covering 13,800 square meters, the six-story complex has a distinctive feature - a space open to the public, which will allow people to rest or drink a coffee even when no performances are scheduled.

The center will have a unique performance space called The Tea House Theater; a typical Chinese-style building that's popular among residents who enjoy watching traditional opera while drinking tea.

The elegant space, which will have just 200 seats, has been designed for small-scale performances where the audience is seated around tables and served tea and dim sum.

"As a bridge between East and West, Hong Kong is rooted in Chinese civilization, but it is also closely connected with global culture and arts," said Ji Guoping, standing vice-chairman of the China Theater Association.

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