Shanghai Cultural Week kicks off in San Francisco, entertains audience with 3D Peking Opera movie
CGTN

The 2019 "Happy Chinese New Year" Shanghai Cultural Week kicked off on Thursday, celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations between China and the United States a few days ahead of China's Lunar New Year.

This is the first time that Shanghai has presented to people of the U.S. western coastal city a host of cultural events in the form of radio and TV productions, movies and sports activities since it established the sister city relationship with San Francisco 39 years ago.

The cultural week, which lasts from Thursday through February 6, will give overseas Chinese and the U.S. audience in San Francisco an opportunity to feel the charm of Shanghai-style culture.

The opening ceremony of Shanghai Cultural Week in San Francisco, U.S./Photo via People's Daily

The opening ceremony of Shanghai Cultural Week in San Francisco, U.S./Photo via People's Daily

They will be exposed to a variety of cultural masterpieces including movies, musical pieces, TV shows, documentaries, Peking Opera, Shanghai Opera, burlesque and other classical local operas, as well as sports activities.

As a key part of the week-long cultural event, the Chinese delegation entertained the audience with a Dolby Atmos technology-powered 3D movie based on the classical Chinese Peking Opera of Cao Cao and Yang Xiu. 

This soul-stirring tragic story expounds the love-hate relationship between ruling warlord Cao Cao and his brilliant Imperial Chancellor Yang Xiu during the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history about 1,800 years ago.

Peking Opera maestro Shang Changrong, who stars as Cao Cao in the movie, told Xinhua that the 3D Peking Opera movie will create for the audience a brand-new form of the artistic charm of Peking Opera as traditional Chinese theater.

Peking Opera artist Shang Changrong talks about how he builds and performs the historical character Cao Cao in an event. /VCG Photo

Peking Opera artist Shang Changrong talks about how he builds and performs the historical character Cao Cao in an event. /VCG Photo

"The movie-version Peking Opera is different from the traditional form of stage theater in that the character of Cao Cao was portrayed in an entirely new form of modern filming technology, which produced a more vivid, true-life image of him as a great man of letters, an outstanding strategist and a political leader," he said.

Ren Faqiang, China's deputy consul general in San Francisco, said Shanghai has made great contributions to China's construction, reform and opening-up, and together with San Francisco, the two places became the first pair of sister cities in the history of China-U.S. relations.

"I hope the sister city relationship, in the coming 40 years, will be better and benefit people of the two countries, and contribute to their bilateral relations," he said.

Shi Zhihao, vice president of International Table Tennis Federation, mentors a team before a competition, December 30, 2010. /VCG Photo

Shi Zhihao, vice president of International Table Tennis Federation, mentors a team before a competition, December 30, 2010. /VCG Photo

Teng Junjie, director of the 3D movie and also director of the board of supervisors of Shanghai Media Group, one of the event's organizers, said the cultural week that started shortly before the Chinese Spring Festival is full of festive atmosphere featuring joy and harmony.

"Over the past 39 years of the sister city relationship between Shanghai and San Francisco, both sides have learned a lot from each other," he said.

Mark Chandler, director of San Francisco Mayor's Office of International Trade and Commerce, said it is a great honor for San Francisco to welcome the Shanghai Cultural Week and celebrate the opening of the Chinese Lunar New Year -- the Year of the Pig -- that is coming in just a few days.

Chinese Ping Pong player Zhuang Zedong gives American athlete Glenn Cowan a piece of brocade as a gift, which accelerated the building of China-U.S. diplomatic relations, April 4, 1971. /VCG Photo

Chinese Ping Pong player Zhuang Zedong gives American athlete Glenn Cowan a piece of brocade as a gift, which accelerated the building of China-U.S. diplomatic relations, April 4, 1971. /VCG Photo

Apart from a series of cultural activities, the cultural week also features sports. Former Chinese world table tennis champion Shi Zhihao and a former player of the Chinese national women's table tennis team will give training to overseas Chinese and U.S. youth to improve their skills.

The participation of the famous Chinese sports stars echoes a special moment in the China-U.S. diplomatic relations, which were established after the well-known "Ping Pong Diplomacy" between the two countries more than 40 years ago.

(Top Photo: A Peking Opera performer in a costume. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency