Chinese variety show commemorates 100th anniversary of CPC’s founding
Published: Jan 06, 2021 06:23 PM

Promotional material for Chinese variety show Everlasting Classics Photo: Courtesy of Everlasting Classics

Promotional material for Chinese variety show Everlasting Classics Photo: Courtesy of Everlasting Classics

The latest episode of Chinese variety show Everlasting Classics, produced by China Central Television (CCTV), marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and invited several famous Chinese singers including Tan Weiwei to salute the Party's heroes and heroines with music.

On Saturday, the episode kicked off the fourth season of the show on CCTV by continuing its tradition of matching Chinese classic and traditional poetry with pop melodies and inviting celebrities or ordinary people to perform these songs.

Five Chinese musicians took part in the first episode, including Tan Weiwei, Yu Haoming and Alan Tam from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Tan, a pop singer who released in early December 2020 the song "Xiaojun," which shines a spotlight on domestic violence against women, sang a song adapted from a poem written by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

Written in 1957, the poem mourns the dead. Standing on the peaceful land of new China, Mao commemorated his first wife Yang Kaihui and Liu Zhixun, his best friend when he was young. The poem shows the tender feelings of the great leader buried in the bottom of his heart.

The show opened a dialogue across time and space, trying to help audiences understand the choices and feelings of heroes back when the CPC was first founded.

Tan said that when she was singing, she was shaking and her palms were sweating the whole time.

Tam's song was adapted from a poem by Su Shi, one of the most famous poets of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), to encourage young people who grow up in a comfortable condition to better cope with challenges bravely. 

"A man's worst enemy is himself. We must treat every day of our life positively and optimistically," go the lyrics. 

Yu, a young actor, performed the poem "Wei zuguo er ge" (Sing for the Motherland), about a 24-year-old Chinese soldier who sacrificed his life for the liberty of Chinese people in 1945. Although many viewers probably had never heard of the name of the soldier, they were touched by his spirit through the song.  

Music is not the show's only draw. To help audiences understand what songs want to express, the production team of the show found a series of valuable videos, old photos and objects such as a 52-year-old letter that Mao's wife Yang Kaihui hid in a wall and a magazine edited by young people 105 years ago.

The production team also went to the hometown of Yang in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province, to remember how the revolutionary couple used to talk about their ideals and fight side by side.

The variety show debuted in 2018 on CCTV.

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