A concert featuring Latin American instruments, songs and dancing recently lit up the night at the Poly Theater of Beijing. It opened a month-long "Latin America Arts Season," a special section of the 13th "Meet in Beijing Arts Festival." Shen Ting has more.
Artists from Latin American countries and the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra jointly served up the musical feast that opens the "Latin America Arts Season".
Running for an hour and a half, the concert selected well-known music pieces from 17 countries to treat Latin American expatriates and Latin America culture lovers in Beijing.
Zhang Guoyong, conductor of the concert, said they considered it important to present both folk and classical music of Latin America.
"First we wanted to include their folk music, like children's rhymes. Some pieces, I never even heard of. But when Latin American artists listened to it, they could instantly tell that it was a popular children's song in their country. And we also included traditional folk songs in the category, like 'Jasmine Flower' from China. For the second category, we chose symphonies that represent Latin American culture such as 'Fantasia' from Brazil."
Nicolas Enrich from Argentina performed "Libre Tango" on his bandonion, which is a type of concertina at the concert, accompanied by a tango dancing couple.
"Libre Tango" is by composer Astor Piazzolla renowned for its liberation from classical tango. Enrich said he hoped to bring the life of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, to Chinese audiences.
"Just with one song, it's difficult to show everything because we have so much music, this tango and so on. But this tango for me represents the night of Buenos Aires, the tango, the dancing. Because tango is night music."
The concert attracted many Latin American expatriates and waves of applause followed performances. Gonzalo Gutierrez Reinel, ambassador of Peru to China, said he turned a little homesick at the concert.
"I was very much impressed. It was a lovely concert. It was like a traveling through all Latin Americas and the Caribbean. I think the pieces were very well selected and the orchestra is magnificent and wonderful. They have played in a superb way. I am very happy especially about the song of my country. I think this is a way to show the friendship between countries, especially because music is a language that is common to everybody."
Following the opening concert, a series of events will be held to celebrate the colorful and outgoing cultures of the continent. Bands like Equilivre from Ecuador and several others, all of them a recent hit in their respective countries, will stage live shows in Chaoyang Sports Center. Plus, the Capital Library of China will see exhibitions on sculpture, photography and installation art of Latin America.