A magical performance

By LI YINGXUE | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-08 09:52
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Various performances featuring Chinese culture have been staged around a musical fountain in the village. CHINA DAILY

Within the Hangzhou Asian Games Village, a musical fountain graces the riverside, attracting numerous athletes who enjoy sitting around and simply relaxing.

On several evenings during the Games, this location has turned into a stage where a succession of captivating performances have unfolded, showcasing acts like acrobatics, magic, and, of course, music, as well as other, more interactive activities.

The special acrobatic and magic show was held on Sept 25 and the show started with a choreographed dance performed by robot dogs. Then a clown made an appearance, crafting various shapes with balloons and engaging with the athletes.

Soon after, acrobats took center stage, showcasing the traditional act of balancing jars on their feet. Amid the enthusiastic cheers of the audience, the performers went even further, skillfully balancing square tables in the air, executing nimble flips and seamlessly swapping positions with each other.

"The opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games has already presented a magnificent spectacle to athletes from across the globe. On the stage of the Asian Games Village, our goal is to deliver an exquisite and minimalist performance, emphasizing the beauty in simplicity," explained Zhang Yunzhi, the coordinator of cultural and artistic activities in the Asian Games Village.

"We also aspire to integrate elements of Chinese culture and the unique essence of Hangzhou into the entire show."

Pakistan squash player Farhan Zaman really enjoyed the performance. He visited Dalian in Liaoning province last month and had a good time there, but he was more excited about coming to Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, with his wife, who is a team official.

"The Asian Games Village is like a big family, it's our family," he said.

Md Mazharul Islam, a team official from Bangladesh liked the dance shows. After the performance concluded, he couldn't contain his enthusiasm and eagerly joined the performers on stage to get photographs with them.

A splendid showcase of traditional folk music was also held on the river bank in the village. Instruments like the guzheng (a Chinese plucked zither), pipa (a Chinese lute), and erhu (a two-stringed bowed instrument) took center stage one by one, their melodious and evocative tunes eliciting a chorus of applause from the athletes.

Li Chengle, a member of the Asian Games Village cultural and artistic activities team, revealed that the performance saw the participation of many young, talented instrumentalists hailing from different parts of the country.

"We've carefully chosen experienced performers to take part in this show, aiming to offer the attending athletes a rich and diverse experience of Chinese traditional culture," Li said. "We're blending modern performances with classical ones to give the athletes a unique experience."

It was Saudi Arabian archer Saud Nasser Alarifi's first time listening to traditional Chinese folk music, and he thought the show was excellent.

"This is my first time in China. Everything here is very good, the people are very friendly, and I am very happy to be here," he said.

As the pipa resonated with a clear and vibrant sound, and the qin (a plucked, seven-stringed instrument) produced a continuous, enchanting melody, the performance continued, prompting athletes to eagerly capture the moment with their smartphones. Some even chose to share the scene with their family and friends through video calls.

Among them was Iranian kabaddi player Milad Jabbari, who recorded the whole performance on his phone. "This music is exceptionally beautiful, and the Asian Games Village is truly remarkable. I have a deep affection for this place," he said.

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