LIFE / CULTURE
International arts festival welcomes guests to 2022 Olympic Winter Games
See you in Beijing
Published: Dec 28, 2021 06:32 PM
Promotional material for the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival Photo: Courtesy of China Arts and Entertainment Group  A cultural inheritor demonstrates traditional Chinese embroidery at the press conference in Beijing on December 27, 2021. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Promotional material for the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival Photo: Courtesy of China Arts and Entertainment Group

Promotional material for the Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival Photo: Courtesy of China Arts and Entertainment Group  A cultural inheritor demonstrates traditional Chinese embroidery at the press conference in Beijing on December 27, 2021. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A cultural inheritor demonstrates traditional Chinese embroidery at the press conference in Beijing on December 27, 2021. Photo: Li Hao/GT

As the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games grow closer, the world's attention is again focusing on the city, soon to be the first to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. 

The 22nd Meet in Beijing International Arts Festival, also known as the Meet in Beijing Olympic Culture Festival as it will coincide with the great sports event, will greet guests from around the world as they arrive in the city.

Held from January 6 to February 18, 2022, the festival will present hundreds of performances, both in real locations and online, from 22 different countries and regions such as South Korea and Italy to create a strong cultural atmosphere for the Games.

At a press conference in Beijing's Shijingshan district on Monday, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the festival organizers, noted that a gala will be held at the Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on January 6, 2022, as part of the opening ceremony for the festival, which is comprised of five sections that will include performances, film screenings and ceremonial events.

Making use of new stage technology, the gala will involve singing and dancing performances from Chinese stars such as Tan Weiwei, Zhang Bichen and Miriam Yeung from China's Hong Kong. 

Zhao Cong, head of the China National Traditional Orchestra, will act as the music director of the event. At the press conference, she said she will play pipa, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument, in a performance that will combine virtual reality effects to create a fresh experience for audiences. 

The gala will star top artists and young performers from various art fields, echoing the vitality and youth of the Winter Games. Adopting cross-boundary integration of Chinese national music and Western symphony, the China National Traditional Orchestra will join hands with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra and an electronic music band to present a "grand show" with both national characteristics and international elements. 

At the end of the gala, Chinese Olympic champions and other performers will sing the Olympic theme song "See you in Beijing" to bring the opening ceremony to its climax.

After the opening gala, many international elements will be presented during the festival, including live performances, film screenings and cultural events. Overseas artists, including Italian street dancers, South Korean musicians and Russian ballet dancers, who were unable to make it to the capital due to pandemic will still be able to dazzle audiences through online performances. 

Youth is a major focus of the arts festival, so a special section will be established to better help them enjoy the Games. 

At the press conference, a children's opera troupe from Beijing presented a sneak peek at a drama that was adapted from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)  novel The Marriage of Flowers in the Mirror, stunning people at the scene. The full stage performance will be held during the festival.

"As a major cultural activity during the Winter Games, the festival provides us with a platform to fully combine the culture of the Winter Games with culture and tourism," Xie Jinying, director of the Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation of China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, noted at the press conference.