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2021 Spring Festival Gala highlights technology, unity and progress to welcome the Year of the Ox
Updated 01:09, 12-Feb-2021
By Wu Yan, She Jingwei, Cui Xingyu

The 2021 Spring Festival Gala kicked off in Beijing at 8 p.m. local time Thursday, on Chinese New Year's Eve, to bring a technology-featured and star-studded festive show.

The China Media Group production is the most-watched show in the world and for the first time, the stage choreography of this year's Spring Festival Gala is being presented in 8K Ultra HD video, while also using AI+VR naked-eye 3D technology. Through special shooting methods and production means, it brought a breakthrough-experience for those watching it on TV or on their mobile devices.

When art meets high-tech

04:03

Like many other events during a pandemic, this year's show also featured virtual performances, combining art and high tech. Chinese pop star Andy Lau performed virtually, joining Guan Xiaotong and Wang Yibo in a creative show titled "Ox Strut" to wish audiences a happy and healthy Chinese New Year.

Wushu: A revered part of China's cultural heritage

05:55

Led by renowned wushu artists Donnie Yen and Wu Jing, "Wushu Performance: Heroes of Heaven And Earth" wowed the audience by placing a natural landscape as the background of the performance through augmented reality (AR) technology.

Wushu is a revered part of Chinese culture with many styles of wushu listed as national intangible cultural heritage. Last year, Taijiquan, a form of wushu, was listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.

'A Better Tomorrow'

03:16

2020 was a tough year for everyone, especially for many frontline medical workers. To ring in the new year and embrace a better tomorrow, stars Jackie Chan, CoCo Lee, Zhou Dongyu, Li Yifeng and many others sang "A Better Tomorrow" to pay tribute to all frontline workers.

Greater Bay Area in a song

03:55

Depicting the streets, communities, villages and ports of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the song "China in the Light" was sung by veteran Zhang Ye and gala newcomer Zhou Shen.

The new song was created at the time of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in south China's Guangdong Province, which reflects the rapid growth and bright future of the Greater Bay Area.

Technology-featured fashion show

05:07

The fashion show "Splendid Costume," with a performance by singer Li Yuchun (Chris Lee), featured models He Sui, Zhang Zilin and Xi Mengyao, who used a new format that combined new technologies and lured audiences with beautiful Chinese costumes.

Chinese style is so hot!

03:06

Singer Zhang Yixing, also known as Lay Zhang, is famous for his personalized Chinese-style songs. In the gala, he brought a brand new stage "The Scroll Painting," which infuses Chinese classical music with pop culture, and creates a splendid visual feast. 

Dance drama features rare bird species 

05:32

"Crested Ibis," a dance drama led by Chinese veteran dancer Zhu Jiejing along with the Shanghai Dance Theater, reflected the beauty of nature and the Eastern culture. 

The crested ibis is a type of bird species that is on the brink of extinction, and China has been taking measures to protect the species and their habitat over the past years. The rare species was well portrayed through Zhu's elegant dance moves.

Song that unites people

04:35

Originally released in the 1979 film "Overseas Compatriots," the song "I Love You, China" is one of the most popular songs for Chinese people. This time, the song was performed by world-renowned pianist Li Yundi, along with famous dancers Yuan Yuan Tan and Zhang Aoyue, to unite the people in the special time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo perform duets

04:23

World-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and his youngest son Matteo Bocelli teamed up and gave the audience virtually the heartwarming songs "O Sole Mio" and "Fall on Me" at the gala.

"O Sole Mio," or "My Sun," is a globally-known Neapolitan song covered by many artists. "Fall on Me" is an amazing father and son duet first released on Bocelli's album in 2018.

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