2018 Shanghai Jingan Modern Drama Valley International Forum is successfully held at Shanghai Theatre Academy

28 May 2018

On 22 May, the 2018 Shanghai Jingan Modern Drama Valley International Forum under the title of "Drama and City: The Future Road of Asia’s Performing Arts Capital" was held in the New Space Experimental Theatre of the Shanghai Theatre Academy. The forum was co-sponsored by the Jingan District People's Government of Shanghai, the Shanghai Radio and TV Station and the Shanghai Theater Academy, and was co-organized by the Shanghai Theater Academy and the Jingan District Cultural Bureau. This forum revolved around the relationship between drama and city, and discussed the multiple connections between drama and urban and the vision to integrate dramatic arts into urban development in the context of the requirements to build Shanghai into Asia’s performing arts capital as set forth in Shanghai’s 50-article policies for the development of cultural and creative industries.

(Forum in progress)

At this forum, Mr Hu Jinjun, Deputy Director-General of the Publicity Department of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, raised that Shanghai’s endeavors to become Asia’s performing arts capital should focus on five aspects, namely, (1) focusing on the construction of theatres, (2) focusing on the creation of theatrical productions, (3) focusing on the performance brokerage, (4) focusing on the talents in performing arts, and (5) focusing on the new audience groups. At the same time, it is necessary to continue to improve public welfare performances, commercial performance at low ticket price, student discount tickets and other measures.

(Mr Hu Jinjun giving a speech)

Besides the Jingan District, the sponsors of the Jingan Modern Drama Valley also include the Shanghai Theater Academy. Mr Lou Wei, Chairman of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, revealed at the forum that the Shanghai Theatre Academy is providing advice and suggestions to the “World Performing Arts Capital” project of UNESCO. Two years ago, the Shanghai Theatre Academy took the lead in inviting the International Theatre Institute (ITI) under UNESCO to move its head office to Shanghai and settle in the Jingan District. The presence of ITI has provided Shanghai with additional international resources in theatre and dance. Not long ago, UNESCO gave a task to ITI, which is that UNESCO plans to name two cities as the "World Performing Arts Capital" in 2020. The Shanghai Theatre Academy is also involved in this program with participation in the work of planning, research and promotion.

(Mr Lou Wei giving a speech)

At this forum, the Jingan District People's Government of Shanghai signed a memorandum of understanding on mutual cooperation with the Edinburgh Council Cultural Committee. In order to effectively promote the in-depth cultural exchange between the two regions, the two sides will take the “2018 Jingan Modern Drama Valley International Forum" as the starting point, take the Shanghai Jingan Modern Drama Valley and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as the platforms and give full play to their respective advantages to jointly promote the cultural exchange between the Jingan District and the City of Edinburgh in the areas of culture, innovation and organization of festival activities and take the festivals as the medium to jointly promote the prosperity and development of culture and art. In the future, the two sides will carry out in-depth cooperation and take cultural festivals as a link to open up a new chapter in theatre and cultural undertakings and urban cultural development for both sides.

(Signing ceremony)

According to Ms Chen Hong, Director of the Jingan District Culture Bureau, the Shanghai Data Trading Center recently opened in the Jingan District has also set the direction for the future development goals of the Jingan Modern Drama Valley. The West End of London and the Broadway of New York are two performing arts clusters of global benchmarking significance. From the data comparison, the Jingan District still has much room for improvement. Mr Donald Wilson, Chairman of the Edinburgh Council Culture Committee, expressed the willingness to work together with the Jingan District to promote the construction of art streets of both sides.

(Ms Chen Hong giving a speech)

At the parallel sessions of the forum in the afternoon, scholars from Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang and other areas of China had good talks with the representatives of Edinburgh on the two topics of "Drama Creation and City Culture" and "Art Festivals and Creation of Performing Arts Capital", putting forward insightful opinions and providing advice and suggestions with regard to building Asia’s performing arts capital.