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Sharing dream of art and promoting "Belt and Road" cultural exchange – "Wandering in the Peony Pavilion", a students' work of Shanghai Theatre Academy's College of Continuing Education participates in 7th Turkey Bilkent International Dramatic Art

12 July 2018

The 7th International Dramatic Arts Festival was held at the Bilkent University in Ankara, the capital of Turkey from 16 to 24 June 2018. “Wandering in the Peony Pavilion”, the original drama created by the students of the BA Directing Program for Students with Junior College Qualification 2016 of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA)’s College of Continuing Education, was invited to participate in the festival and was selected to be the closing performance of the festival. Led by Mr Ma Linhong, Executive Deputy Dean of the STA Continuing Education, the 17-member-crew of “Wandering in the Peony Pavilion” successfully completed the performance and exchange tasks to share the dram of art with the Turkish audience and promote the “Belt and Road” cultural exchange.

Founded in 1984 as the first private university in Turkey, the Bilkent University of Turkey is famous for its scientific research and ranks the first in the comprehensive ranking of universities in Turkey. Its Music Performance Department, which was established in 1995, signed the teacher and student exchange agreement with the STA College of Continuing Education in 2014 under which each year both sides invite teachers and students of the other side to come for exchange in teaching and performance. This year was the 2nd time that the students’ work of the STA College of Continuing Education has been invited to participate in the Bilkent International Dramatic Arts Festival.

"Wandering in the Peony Pavilion" as the closing performance of the festival is an original drama with elements of Chinese traditional opera, which has been adapted from the novel of the same name authored by Mr Bai Xianyong. This play features a form of expression that adheres to the stream-of-consciousness style of the original novel and uses rich and diverse stage expression language which combines Chinese traditional opera, physical theatre, multimedia, background music and other techniques of expression to create a stage effect with oriental aesthetic conception.

The crew of “Wandering in the Peony Pavilion” from the STA College of Continuing Education was warmly received by the Music Performance Department of the Bilkent University. On 20 June, Teacher Meng Zhenyu conducted a workshop named "The Use of Body Language in Chinese Traditional Opera". Students from various arts schools in Turkey enthusiastically signed up for the workshop. Under the guidance of Teacher Meng, the Turkish students all did well in the final presentation. They could not help admiring the broadness and profoundness of Chinese traditional opera.

After a few consecutive days of intensive rehearsal, the entire crew of “Wandering in the Peony Pavilion” presented an aesthetical visual feast to the audience at the closing ceremony on 22 June. After the performance, all the audience stood up and applauded for a long time. Mr Jason Hale, Dean of the Music Performance Department, presented a memorial cup to the crew, and commended that this work which combines the elements of Chinese traditional opera and the contemporary directing concept pushed the whole festival to a climax. He very much expected that the Shanghai Theater Academy will be able to send more excellent works to Turkey for exchange in the future.