Guests from the Theatre Association of China visited the National Kaunas Drama Theatre
On 12–13 April, the delegation of China Theatre Association visited National Kaunas Drama Theatre. The guests have chosen the oldest Lithuanian theatre as the destination of their journey as they were interested in creative work and possible partnership. They watched “Ghetto” – the play directed by G. Varnas.
Leaders of China Theatre Association who arrived in Kaunas were Gu Liqun, general secretary, Luo Huaizhen, vice-president, director and dramatist of Shanghai scenario creation centre, Chen Dalian, vice-president and director of Fujian Human Art Theatre, and Wang Ling, international projects manager and representative of Theatre Association. The creative relationshipo with the Theatre Association of China began last year (10–14 June) when general director Egidijus Stancikas was visiting the 2nd China – CEEC 16+1 Arts Cooperation Forum, which was held in Chengdu city in China.
Even though about 80 percent of theatres in China are of traditional genre, and the theatres which receive government’s funding must create desirable plays, the influence of the Western theatre culture over the last decades has been particularly strong. The theatres present the works of Anton Chekhov and William Shakespeare; and there are more and more festivals that introduce the panorama of Europe. Lithuanian theatre representatives are common guests of such festivals.
According to the guests, China is a country that strongly associates itself with the theatre. There are thousands of traditional genre theatres. A particularly popular genre is Xiqu. Dramatist Lou Huaizhen writes scenarios for plays of this exact genre. “Xiqu is similar to a musical theatre. The plays are very poetic; they include a lot of dancing and singing, as well as acrobatics. The plays usually end with a thought-provoking moral”, said the guest, admitting that some dramatists are starting to write about what the life of China is like today.
In Shanghai alone, there are about 18 theatres, which are each equal to the size of the National Kaunas Drama Theatre. During the months of October and November, the Shanghai International Art Festival brings together performers from all over the globe. During the festival, visitors can watch various musical, dance and drama performances, take part in culture and art exhibitions, as well as art fairs. In addition, there are exclusive culture presentations held for the local town, province, district, or foreign country or region. The members of the delegation officially invited the NKDT (National Kaunas Drama Theatre) for further dialog regarding its participation in this festival.
Chen Dalian, one of the most recognized directors of China, emphasized the creative interchange between the home theatre and Kaunas. He has been mostly creating visual symbols, metaphorical dramas and scenography. The artist has also collaborated with theatres from Taiwan, Cuba and Egypt. He brought a significant number of recordings of his plays to the National Kaunas Drama Theatre.
The guest were interested in the NKDT activity model, financial opportunities, repertoire and the troupe. The guests were greatly impressed by “Ghetto”, a performance inspired by J. Sobol’s play. The plot was thrilling and the guests showered the actors with compliments for their acting.
During this short visit in Lithuania, the delegation managed to explore the cultural treasures of the country; they were told about M. K. Čiurlionis and his creative works and they visited the ensemble of Hill of Crosses.
National Kaunas Drama Theatre information and pictures