Cultural partnership signed to stage top quality performances
The newly-established partnership between the All-China Federation of Trade Unions Art Troupe and Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone allows artists to explore new ways of bringing better cultural products to people.
The art troupe and the zone signed a long-term partnership agreement on Feb 6 to work together to create a larger array of better quality performances.
Artists from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions Art Troupe staged five performances in the zone on Feb 5 and 6, including dancing, poetry recitals, crosstalk, a standing comedian show, comedy sketches and magic.
The feedback from the audience was positive, with many citing local characteristics as well as significant matters experienced in the zone over the past year as being particularly entertaining.
"The national art troupe represents a high level of performance," said one audience member. "A short show named The Seventh Movement was about life in the zone and the performers even spoke our Weifang dialect."
On Feb 6, the artists visited Weichai Group's workshops, Weifang College and residential communities to perform for local people.
Staff at Weichai's No 2 factory in Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone were entertained by famous comedian Bolin and his partner Ji Xiang who performed a crosstalk show.
"The days before Spring Festival vacation are the busiest time for us each a year," said Liu Jianzhu, an employee at Weichai.
"We never expected those artists to perform in our workshop. We are happy and moved."
Zhang Congxiao, director of the performances, spent more than one month planning and directing the two-day extravaganza.
Zhang said he only planned to give one performance when the troupe first received its invitation from the zone. However, he changed his idea after having in-depth discussions with local cultural workers.
The idea to create a long-term partnership with the zone and provide tailor-made performances for local residents came as a result of Zhang's plan. The number of performances then increased from one to five.
Zhang revealed that creating performances that are honed by the details and specifics found in a local community is no easy task.
"It took us more than one month to create the short comedy and crosstalk. We made a lot of changes to the content to make it fit local people's appetite," Zhang said.
"Each performance has a theme and mission that needs to be passed on to the audience. However, we have to perform it in a way that also makes the audience happy," said Li Qingzhong, Party chief of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions Art Troupe.
The art troupe, established in 1956, has long been committed to bringing cultural performances to ordinary people. In 2017, the art troupe staged 156 performances in China.
The development of media has changed people's cultural tastes. It has also pushed art troupes in China to change the way they perform.
"Cultural resources were scarce in previous years, so we did not consider how to attract audiences," Li said. "Nowadays, people can watch all types of performances at home so we have to think carefully how to attract audiences. Artists have to enter the world of local audiences and create works especially for them."
Li and Zhang will work together to develop programs to better entertain the zone's residents in the Year of the Dog.