On September 4th, 2020, the China International Fair for Trade in Services 2020 (referred to as “CIFTIS”) officially opened in Beijing. As one of the online forums of CIFTIS 2020, “Beijing Forum for Performing Arts 2020” will be hosted by the NCPA in the form of a video conference during September 9th-10th. Under the theme, “Challenges and Opportunities During the Pandemic”, guests of nearly 100 international and domestic institutions from 26 countries and regions on six continents will gather on the cloud to discuss opportunities and challenges for the development of performing arts institutions.
In June 2019, the “Beijing Forum for Performing Arts 2019”, sponsored by the NCPA, was a complete success. The forum called for the global art institutions to deepen exchanges and mutual learning and explore the establishment of a regular cooperation mechanism, and proposed to build a community with a shared future for the sustainable development of international theatres.
In early 2020, a sudden COVID-19 epidemic swept across the globe. The worldwide performing arts institutions were confronted with unprecedented challenges because offline performances had to be suspended. During such a special time-period, the NCPA rolled out artistic works alongside fighting against the epidemic, and presented more than 20 online performances with various themes and formats, such as “Spring Online Concerts”, “Sound of Summer Blooms” and “Bright Autumn Cadenza”. On May 9th, the first concert of “Sound of Summer Blooms” series was jointly broadcast by 22 art institutions from 16 countries on five continents. Netizens from 76 countries and regions watched this concert, for which had a total of 35.6 million views.
To establish an important platform for exchanges and dialogues among global performing arts institutions, the “Beijing Forum for Performing Arts 2020” will be held in the form of a video conference for the first time. The upcoming forum has received positive responses and extensive participation from world-renowned performing arts institutions. In keynote speeches, WANG Ning (President of NCPA), Alex Beard (CEO of British Royal Opera House), Pete Gelb (General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera House), Waldemar Dąbrowski (Director of the Polish National Opera), Maria Victoria Alcaraz
(President of Teatro Colon in Argentina) will introduce new ideas and measures for theatre operations and development, with reference to anti-epidemic practices on their own.
The topics of the professional forum will focus on the pain points and difficulties in the development of the performing arts industry in the context of the pandemic. Douglas Gautier (CEO and Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival Centre in Australia), Marcelo Lopes (Executive Director of Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil), Yoo In-taek (President of Seoul Arts Centre in South Korea), Majidi Sabir (President of Cairo Opera House in Egypt), Michael Haefliger (Executive and Artistic Director of Lucerne Festival in Switzerland), Matías Tarnopolsk (President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra), GUO Wenpeng (Chairman of Beijing Poly Theatre), ZHANG Li (Executive Director and General Manager of CPAA Theatres) and other guest speakers will share their insights into four topics as follows: "Emergence and Application of New Modes of Artistic Production", "Opportunities and Challenges of Online Streaming", "New Modes of Theatre Operation During the Pandemic", "New Prospect of Building a Community with a Shared Future for Theatres Around the Globe".
In addition, representatives from the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theatre, China National Symphony Orchestra, China Association of Performing Arts, Beijing People's Art Theatre, Jiangsu Centre of the Performance Arts, China Theatre Development Research Centre, Central Conservatory of Music, China Record Group Co., Ltd. and other domestic art institutions, art troupes, art schools, and academic institutions will also attend the forum.
According to ZHU Jing, Vice President of NCPA, “Although the COVID-19 epidemic has deterred people in terms of spatial distance, the atmosphere of communications will never change. The original intention of jointly addressing challenges and seeking development remains the same. In the face of a crisis, the soothing power of art for the people is ever-increasingly demonstrated, and theatres play an irreplaceable role in the process. The forum is expected to serve as a platform for global performing arts institutions to showcase top-notch innovative works and learn from each other. By combining with their own practices, colleagues will discuss innovation highlights, set forth penetrating judgments and incisive opinions, look for opportunities for a turnaround, and work together to build the global theatre community with a shared future”.
James Williams, General Manager of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, points out: “Challenge is usually a fountain of opportunity. The NCPA invites the global performing arts institutions to discuss and share viewpoints on the approaches to successfully tide over this critical moment. I look forward to know how international colleagues creatively adapted to such a new challenge and hope to draw inspiration from the valuable opinions shared by them”.
To share the results with more performing arts practitioners and enthusiasts, the opening ceremony and keynote speeches of the “Beijing Forum for Performing Arts 2020” will be live streamed on many online platforms, such as the NCPA Classical Music Channel, CCTV.com and bjd.com.cn, which can be viewed online for free by netizens both at home and abroad.