Sino-Hellenic theater festival debuts in Greece, fostering cultural connections
Published: Dec 05, 2023 01:20 AM
Photo: Xinhua News Agency

Photo: Xinhua News Agency

The inaugural Sino-Hellenic International Theater Festival delighted audiences in Greece over the weekend, featuring captivating performances of Chinese dramas, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency on Sunday.

The two-day event showcased two Chinese dramas - The Prince of Lanling from the National Theater of China, and The New Legend of the White Snake produced by the Sino-Hellenic Performing Arts Alliance. Both productions included bilingual subtitles in Greek and English, ensuring a diverse audience could fully enjoy the performances.

The Prince of Lanling is about a famous general of the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557) who conceals his identity to protect himself. Empowered by a divine mask, he becomes a formidable force on the battlefield but descends into brutality. Maternal sacrifice guides him to rediscover his true self, prompting reflections on human nature.

The New Legend of the White Snake is adapted from renowned Chinese drama The Legend of the White Snake, blending elements from both Chinese and Greek cultures. According to Luo Tong, a scholar of Greek literature who has participated in the event, this drama was performed by ethnic Chinese in Greece and includes some elements from Greek mythology.

"The establishment of this festival marks a new chapter for Greek culture enthusiasts among ethnic Chinese in Greece," Luo told the Global Times.

"Unlike past collaborations between professional groups and governmental entities, this event is organized by and for the local Chinese community, resembling a grassroots celebration that fosters cultural camaraderie among ordinary people and between China and Greece," Luo explained.

During the event, forums were held in which participants shared their experiences in the creative process. They also expressed their aspirations for future collaboration with Greece.

Luo told the Global Times she also expressed her desire at the forum to explore further cultural exchange activities with Greece next year. While this event is organized by grassroots organizations and amateur groups, she envisions potential future collaborations at the governmental level between the two countries.

"The festival is an amazing initiative. It is something that of course we fully support from the side of the Greek government," said Christos Dimas, Greek deputy minister of culture, expressing full support for the initiative at the opening ceremony.

"We are very hopeful that within the next year we will have a lot of cultural exchanges between the two countries," Dimas added.

Xiao Junzheng, Chinese Ambassador to Greece, affirmed China's commitment to cooperation at the ceremony, especially with the Greek Ministry of Culture, to implement more cultural exchange programs.

Various activities were held at the event to allow audiences to experience Chinese culture, including calligraphy, kung fu performances, dragon and lion dances, and cuisine, according to the report.