BRICS evening gala opens with sea-themed performances
‍‍Dancers took to the stage, creating "billowing waves" in the performance, "Wind from the Sea", which opened the evening gala held for the leaders and representatives attending the 9th BRICS summit at the Banlam Grand Theater in the coastal city of Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian Province. 
Dubbed “Sail to the Future,” the sea has become a theme that runs through the whole gala. It is also one of the most distinctive characteristics of Xiamen, a city with three sides facing the sea.
The gala altogether has five chapters, highlighting the unique southern Fujian culture while introducing the strongest features of Xiamen.
After a concerto of a popular Chinese song “The Sea, My Sweet Home”, and a quartet of the piano and strings in a Chopin etude, the gala reached its peak with a chapter featuring the life of the people living in this area, and their proud Fujian, or Minnan culture. 
The unique dressing style and the graceful dancing of “Life of Hui’an Women” depicts a vivid picture of women celebrating a harvest in the coastal community. 
The performance “Listen to the Rain” showcases a typical local art form known as “Yajiagu”, performed by foot drums and bamboo clappers. This type of art is featured prominently in the local operas.
A program featuring Nanyin was also staged. Nanyin, which has a history of some 1,000 years, is one of the oldest forms of Chinese music preserved in its original state. It was listed in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009, bringing it international attention. 
The dance section saw a performance of a typical wedding ceremony observed by the She ethnic group. Many of the She people live in Fujian Province, and their wedding ceremony is considered to be a lively celebration marking the beginning of new chapter in life.
A ballad jointly performed by China’s well-known musician, Yuan Sha and children from the local area opened the fourth chapter of the performance. When the children lit the red lanterns, a moon appeared on the big screen with a dazzling background. 
The gala closed with Chinese singer Tan Weiwei singing “Sail to the Future”, accompanied by four young pianists from Xiamen. The song expressed the great hope of BRICS countries to embrace a bright and better future. 
A gala distinguished by Chinese culture and the local artistic features have become an indispensable part of the high-profile international conferences held in China in recent years. Last year, during the G20 Summit, a gala featuring the unique culture of the Yangtze River Delta impressed the world.
Performance of the gala for BRICS leaders in Xiamen. /CGTN Photo

Performance of the gala for BRICS leaders in Xiamen. /CGTN Photo

Cultural cooperation has been highlighted at this year’s BRICS summit. While calling on all the member countries to jointly usher a second “Golden Decade” of BRICS cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening ceremony of BRICS Business Forum that more events such as cultural festivals, movie festivals and sports games should be held. 
Under the proposal, the first BRICS Cultural Festival is also scheduled to be held later this month in Xiamen. Over 210 artists from BRICS countries will take part in over 30 events, from theater performances to master classes and movie screenings. 
The first film co-produced by all five BRICS countries "Where Has Time Gone?" will also hit the big screen. 
A scene from the gala for BRICS leaders in Xiamen. /CGTN Photo

A scene from the gala for BRICS leaders in Xiamen. /CGTN Photo

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan attended the evening gala. Earlier that day, they hosted a welcome banquet for the leaders of all the participating countries of the 9th BRICS Summit and their spouses at Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center.