Shanghai Will Play on the World's Stage
    2009-06-29 10:58:59     Shanghai Daily      Web Editor: Yang Yang

One ticket will let 2010 Shanghai World Expo visitors sample some of the world's greatest performers and live artists. For entertainment and culture enthusiasts it will be a dream come true.

There will be more than 100 performances in the Expo site every day and visitors will just need a 160-yuan (US$23.35) ticket. From 9am to midnight - the opening hours - performances ranging from the latest pop music to some of the world's rarest ethnic music and dance acts will be staged continuously.

The performances will be staged on the 32 indoor and outdoor stages dotted throughout the Expo site.

Performance is a major attraction of World Expos. At the 2005 Aichi Expo in Japan, 109 million people saw 11,000 sessions, accounting for 50 percent of all the visitors to the Expo. More than 84 percent of the visitors at the 2008 Expo Zaragoza watched 5,000 performances.

In 2010, the Shanghai Expo will have more performances than any previous Expo with about 20,000 sessions planned for the 184-day event.

Operas, dance, martial arts, acrobatics, ceremonies and parades will offer their own delights to the onlookers.

About 680 acts from around the world have been selected for the event, and some world famous performers have already confirmed their participation, said Hu Jinjun, deputy director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

The Spanish tenor Placido Domingo is expected to sing in the Spain Pavilion on August 30, 2010, the country's National Day. He may also sing in the Performance Center as well.

Canada's Cirque du Soleil will be the highlight of the Canada Pavilion. The Canadian Expo organizer invited the world renowned circus to design the pavilion to make it a perfect stage.

China's Shaolin kung fu and Wudang kung fu will fight for mastery, showing visitors how to "conquer the unyielding with the yielding."

Apart from these big names, some little known but traditional folk artists will also become stars.

It will be a rare opportunity to see African acrobats, for example, said Hu.

A drum show from Burundi will make its world debut at Expo. The African country has launched a nationwide competition to select a team of elite drum players for the event.

And when visiting the New Zealand pavilion visitors will be confronted with a special Maori welcoming ceremony.

Apart from the stage shows, there will be regular parades through the Pudong and Puxi sections of the Expo site. On festival days and special occasions there will be fireworks along the Huangpu River.

There will be no extra charge for the performances unless crowd numbers have to be restricted because of demand, Hu said.

Global hunting

The Expo organizers launched their hunt for performers across the world in 2006. Teams are still searching the continents for talent.

The organizer has made a list of 7,000 possible performances for the Expo. The list includes most of the major acts from around the globe, an official of the Events Department of the Expo bureau told Shanghai Daily.

The talent scouts have been to America, Oceania, the South Pacific and Arab countries and the next target is Africa.

The organizer is also encouraging participant countries to recommend performers.

One of the guiding principles in organizing performances is to keep a balance among the countries from different continents, Hu said.

From late last month, the organizer asked Chinese people to nominate themselves as peformers.

The organizer will select the best to offer Expo visitors a feast of culture, Hu added.

Host city's showcase

In many of the old Chinese movies, the tune of the song "Wandering Songstress" represents the city of Shanghai. At the 2010 Expo, the host city will create a dance drama about Zhou Xuan, the singer of the song as its Expo showcase.

Zhou was known as the Chinese "Golden Voice." She was a popular Chinese singer and film actress in Shanghai in the 1940s.


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