News: China Now
China Now – the UK’s largest ever festival of Chinese culture – takes place in 2008 to coincide with the Chinese New Year and continues through to the Beijing Olympics.
With over 800 events across the UK, China Now will showcase the very best of modern Chinese society and culture, and offer an insight into history.
The festival will encompass art, design, cuisine and culture, science, business and technology, education and sport as well as forge international connections and greater understanding between the two nations.
As part of the UK wide festival celebrating modern China there’s a chance to see Chinese dance companies in London and several cross cultural collaborations with Western based artists.
Last week the Beijing Contemporary Dance Company came to the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House (read reviews) – later in the year the National Ballet of China will be performing on the main stage at the venue.
Akram Khan was been working with his own company and members of the National Ballet of China on bahok ( – meaning carrier in Bengali). It had its premiere in Beijing in January and will be seen in the UK for the first time in Liverpool on 7 March, followed by an extensive UK tour – and dates at Sadler’s Wells, London, in June.
Two of Khan’s regular collaborators are also involved in a China Now project. Artist Antony Gormley and choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui have been working with the monks of the Shaolin temple on Sutra – which can be seen at Sadler’s Wells in May.
“I was surprised to see them walking around with mobile phones and listening to pop music. They have movement patterns that are 750 years old but they are clearly living in China today. And they are very open-minded. They want to communicate and share their knowledge with the world; otherwise they wouldn’t have let me in.”Cherkaoui tells Debra Craine in the Times, 11 Feb 08
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