Performers wanted for Shanghai Disney park

Updated: 2016-06-02 08:18


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Performers wanted for Shanghai Disney park

Performers throw a prop bucket and prop sword in the air during a rehearsal for a show at The Walt Disney Co's theme park in Shanghai. [Photo/Agencies]

Performance arts training on the mainland tends toward classical Chinese forms in major urban areas, and is pretty much non-existent everywhere else.

In the United States, there's a surplus of people who can act, sing, dance, or do all three. In China, the relatively small number of performers who have studied Western musical forms are more likely to have studied operatic bel canto pieces than belt-it-out Broadway tunes.

That's forced Disney to improvise. Years ago, when the Shanghai Disney was in the concept phase, the company started building its own talent development network from scratch by partnering with 30 arts institutes around the country.

"Disney is doing something in China that has never been done before," said University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor Elliott Weiss, who has written a case study on the Shanghai Disney. "The question is when the park can be profitable, given the additional investment they have had to make finding and training talent."