Chinese Culture to be explored in new Southbank Centre festival – China Changing

Southbank Centre’s China Changing is a new international festival with a programme inspired by the creativity and innovation of contemporary China. The festival launches with a day of music, dance, theatre, film, comedy, and talks, on 16 December 2016, before expanding to long weekends in June in 2017 and 2018.

China Changing showcases the most interesting artistic work and contemporary thought from across China. In addition to welcoming international artists, the festival takes the lead in raising the profile of British-based Chinese and British-Southeast Asian artists.

 Highlights of China Changing 2016 include:

  • China’s renowned opera star Zhang Jun retelling Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the UK premiere of  I, Hamlet, a virtuosic and contemporary one-man opera performance that draws on Chinese themes and classical technique of Kunqu Chinese Opera
  • Composer Zhu Ma presents, Sever, an original film with live score performed by a dynamic ensemble of 15 musicians in a contemporary take on an ancient Chinese tale
  • Project New Earth, four new commissions by UK based Chinese Art Space from some of the UK’s most exciting British-Chinese artists comprising film, music and dance to remember the Chinese Labour Corps who supported the Allies during World War I
  • The Hong Kong Dance Company performing excerpts from The Legend of Mulan and L’Amour Immortel  in their first UK appearance in over 15 years
  • London-based songwriter, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Andy Leung and his New Cola Project performing electronic beats, bass riffs and erhu solos
  • The oldest and largest Chinese youth orchestra in Europe, the Liverpool-based Pagoda Youth Orchestra, performing their innovative fusions of folk, reggae and hip-hop
  • UK-based creative hub Moongate Productions reimagining the traditional Chinese story of Lady Precious Stream using a mixture of live performance, film screenings and discussions
  • Award-winning comedian Louise Reay performing Que Sera (些拉), a comedy routine in Chinese for non-Chinese speakers

Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said:

In some ways China is changing at a breakneck pace, and in others it feels timeless. A fierce debate is raging about how to hold onto the past whilst advancing into the future, as inspiring contemporary projects nestle beside long held traditional forms. China Changing explores this creative tension and gives audiences a chance to see wonderful works and artists, some in the UK for the very first time, that give us deeper understanding of this vast and diverse country.”

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