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A grand time for ballet hopefuls

Updated: 2022-03-22 08:17 ( China Daily )
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Teenage dancers perform at the Tianqiao Theater in Beijing on March 14, during a news conference to announce the launch of the First Ailian Youth Grand Prix.

New youth competition will showcase domestic as well as foreign talent as art form enjoys growing appeal, Chen Nan reports.

The 6-year-old girl danced in her white tutu, before trying the difficult en pointe. This French dance term describes ballet artists carrying their weight and dancing on their toes. Despite her grace and bravery, she failed in her attempt but she won the hearts of the watching audience who burst out in applause. Their members included Feng Ying, president of the National Ballet of China.

"I see great potential in the little girl. She will become a ballerina one day," says Feng.

She was not the only one to impress Feng. A 14-year-old dancer, wearing Chinese folk costume, combined ballet with a tea-picking routine, a folk dance portraying the workers harvesting the crop.

With the child dancers at Tianqiao Theater in Beijing on March 14, Feng announced that the First Ailian Youth Grand Prix had been launched.

"We want to recognize the talent and efforts of young dancers, who are learning ballet. It has been our longtime wish to hold such a competition," says Feng, who will serve as the director of the committee of the First Ailian Youth Grand Prix and will be the chairperson of the competition jury.

Open to young ballet dancers from around the world, the competition will be held online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with participants uploading their videos.

The preliminary contest will be held from June 10-15 and the final contest will be held from June 25 to July 10. A ceremony and gala, showcasing award-winning dancers, is scheduled to be held in Beijing from July 30-31.

According to Zou Zhirui, the secretary-general of the First Ailian Youth Grand Prix, a former ballerina and current professor of Beijing Dance Academy, the competition will be divided into categories for both professional and amateur participants, from ages 4 to 18.For the professional group, dancers can upload performances as soloists or in a pas de deux. For amateurs, they can compete as soloists, in a pas de deux or as a dance group.

Besides Feng and Zou, the jury members will also include distinguished judges, including Frank Andersen, veteran choreographer and former principal dancer at the Royal Danish Ballet, Nina Ananiashvili, who is the prima ballerina and the director of the State Ballet of Georgia, and Mikko Nissinen, the artistic director of Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School.

"Besides displaying their talent, we also hope that young people can work together and inspire one another," adds Feng. "It's a great opportunity for us to see new talent, and they will be offered the chance to work with dancers of the National Ballet of China."

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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