On the evening of June 2nd, the closing ceremony of the 12th China Art Festival was held at the Shanghai Grand Theatre, where a list of the 16th Grand Wenhua Award winners was published and awards were presented. The dance drama commission The Railway to Tibet, a co-production of the NCPA and Beijing Dance Drama & Opera, carried off the Grand Wenhua Award on behalf of Beijing City. It was the third time that a work from Beijing had won this honour, the first two being the Kunqu Opera The Dream of Red Mansions, which won the 14th Grand Wenhua Award in 2013, and the Ping Opera Mother, which won the 15th Grand Wenhua Award in 2015. This means that Beijing has won the Grand Wenhua Award for three times in a row.
The NCPA spent three years producing the reality-based dance drama commission The Railway to Tibet
in order to mark the 40th
anniversary of the beginning of the Reform and Opening-up and 12th
anniversary of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway’s openness to traffic. Since its premiere, the dance drama has been performed for 47 times in 11 rounds, winning high acclaim from audience and insiders. It represents a major breakthrough in the creation of Chinese dance dramas on the realistic theme.
At the closing ceremony of the 12th
China Art Festival, the performers of The Railway to Tibet
preformed an electrifying group dance, “Building the Home Together”. In the rhythmic singing of the work song, more than 30 dancers came on stage with a wooden rammer higher than a man’s height in their hands, and turned the traditional Tibetan technique into powerful dance movements, revealing the profound friendship between the civilians and locals. When talking about the award, ZHAO Tiechun, Vice President of the NCPA, said, “It was the acceptance from experts and audience that enabled the dance drama The Railway to Tibet
to win the Grand Wenhua Award. I’d like to extend my thanks to them for their support and attention; award winning represents an honour, but the honour belongs to the past. We will remain modest and prudent while pressing ahead, and carry forward the “spirit of the Railway to Tibet” to produce more works in line with the highest national artistic standards to reward audience with the best masterpieces. That’s our responsibility as art workers and what every member of NCPA ought to do.”
The Grand Wenhua Award, a triennial prize, is the highest award established for national professional stage art creation by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Railway to Tibet won this great honour suggests that the NCPA has succeeded in exploring and practicing the exquisite productions with insightful thoughts and high artistic values. On June 5th, The Railway to Tibet will be staged at the NCPA Opera House to cast light on railway building in memory of the 70th anniversary of the founding of PRC.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism declared at the closing ceremony that the next China Art Festival would be co-organized by Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei in 2022. This will be the first time for the China Art Festival to be jointly organized by several regions since its establishment in 1987. This significantly reflects how aggressive the Party committees of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are in implementing the national development strategy, and will be of great significance to promote coordinated development of the three regions.