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Arts awards join forces
By Shao Xiaoyi (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-11 01:20

The Chinese top awards for professional performing arts and amateurs will be announced at the Seventh China Arts Festival, which kicked off Friday in Hangzhou, capital city of East China's Zhejiang Province.

This year's show marks the first ever combination of the two events.

According to organizers, 243 performances in different styles and 24 art exhibitions will be held from September 10 to 26 in Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Shaoxing and Jiaxing.

A total of 51 performances displaying strong national and folk flavours will contend for the top 10 Wenhua Awards, the highest awards for professional performing arts granted by the Ministry of Culture.

And 105 Qunxing Awards for amateurs in the fields of music, dance, drama, painting, calligraphy, photography and folk art will be awarded at the end the event.

Besides mainland performance, artists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and other foreign countries will present 24 shows during the festival.

Differing from the former Art Festivals, this mass cultural event focuses on providing a feast of art for common people, said Chen Miner, vice-director of the Organizing Committee of the Seventh China Art Festival.

Special tickets at low cost of 20 yuan (US$2.4) are being sold to low-income audiences such as senior citizens, the disabled, migrant workers and children.

"We want more people to enjoy the plays and gain a better understanding of our country's culture," Chen says.

Another feature of the festival is that State-own enterprises and individually-run enterprises have played active roles in fund collections, Chen added.

Official statistics show that 140 provincial companies and institutions have invested 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million) in the event up to now.

"This has greatly reduced the cost of holding the event, which is in the masses favour to buy cheaper tickets," Chen says.

Initiated in 1987, the China Arts Festival, which is held once every three years, has been successfully held six times in the country.

It is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and features Chinese traditional opera, musicals, dances, orchestral music and song and dance shows.

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