Culture\Music and Theater

Reviving treasured memories

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-21 07:11

Reviving treasured memories

Performers, including young and the established artists who performed in the 1964 show, will stage the historic song and dance gala The East Is Red at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Dec 24. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A song and dance gala, which made its debut in 1964, will be staged at the Great Hall of the People to mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the Long March. Chen Nan reports.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the Long March, the historic song and dance gala, The East Is Red will be staged at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Dec 24.

The song and dance extravaganza made its debut at the same venue in 1964, to mark the 15th anniversary of the founding of New China. It had more than 3,000 performers and was watched by a full house led by late premier Zhou Enlai. Zhou was also the director of the gala.

The gala, which comprised 35 songs and 12 dance pieces, retraced modern China's revolutionary path, including the Long March, a two-year tactical retreat by the Red Army to evade Kuomintang forces starting in 1934, and China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).

Through the decades, the show has been staged many times featuring classic and new items, inspiring generations of Chinese with its revolutionary fervour and patriotic lyrics and dances.

The songs performed in the 1964 gala, such as East Is Red, Flying Over Daduhe River, Long March, Song of the Guerrilla, and Protecting Yellow River, have inspired legions over the years.

This time, more than 300 artists, including musicians from the Beijing Dance Drama & Opera, chorus of the China Musicians Association will perform in the gala.

Established artists, who performed in the 1964 gala, will join in the performance. They include tenors Li Guangxi, Liu Bingyi and soprano Deng Yuhua.

Lin Zhonghua, 85, who was the host of the 1964 gala, will also join in the new production. Besides playing host at the show, he will recite poems written by late Chairman Mao Zedong.

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