INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES

Shanghai Theatre Academy and International Theatre Institute successfully hold activities of ITI/UNESCO Network of Higher Education in the Performing Arts

22 October 2018

From 17 to 22 October 2018, the activities of the ITI/UNESCO Network of Higher Education in the Performing Arts were held successfully in Shanghai. The activities on this occasion were jointly held by the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) and the International Theatre Institute (ITI), and were supported by the China Shanghai International Arts Festival.

The thematic round tables were held at the Foxi Building of STA from 17 to 19 October 2018 and were chaired by Professor William Sun of STA and the evaluation expert from Georgia. Yang Yang, Vice President of STA, and Tobias Biancone, Director-General of ITI, gave speeches at the event on 17 October. These round tables mainly explored how to establish globally applicable teaching criteria in acting and directing modules and how to establish performing arts university evaluation systems. Participants from STA included Gong Baorong, Dean of International College, Lu Ang, Dean of Directing Department, Xiao Ying, Vice Dean of Acting Department, Shen Liang, Director of Academic Affairs Office, and Zhang Yunlei, Director of International Exchange Centre. The STA representatives shared the development, teaching criteria and issues encountered in the acting and directing modules at STA with professors of acting and directing and experts of teaching criteria from the USA, Lithuania, Georgia, Holland, Poland, Germany, South Africa and other African countries. During the three-day meetings, the participating experts provided brief introductions of the teaching and teaching criteria in the acting and directing modules in their respective countries and universities, with the view to jointly exploring and identifying a method and a set of criteria that are applicable to all higher education institutions in the performing arts worldwide.

On 20 October 2018, the 2nd General Assembly and the Open Assembly of the ITI/UNESCO Network of Higher Education in the Performing Arts were held at the Shanghai Hotel. More than 40 persons-in-charge and representatives from higher education institutions in the performing arts were invited to attend, including the current members and potential new members of the Network. STA is one of the current members. Lou Wei, Party Secretary of STA, and Tobias Biancone, Director-General of ITI, gave welcome speeches extending warm welcome to all participants and putting forward the expectations for the future development of the Network. The STA representatives attending the meetings on the day included Gong Baorong, Dean of International College, Shen Liang, Director of Academic Affairs Office, Zhang Yunlei, Director of International Exchange Centre, and Lou Yan, Executive Officer of International Exchange Centre. On the afternoon of 20 October, eight invited representatives proposed future development initiatives of the Network. These included the initiative to establish “The Belt and Road Country Traditional Performing Arts Committee” put forward by Lou Wei, Party Secretary of STA. Under that initiative, Party Secretary Lou Wei specified the work in four aspects, i.e. establishing the Performing Arts Materials Exchange Centre, establishing the long-term and stable mechanism for research and consultation, creating the communication platform for traditional performing arts of different countries, and establishing the exchange platform for artists, scholars, teachers and students of member universities of different countries. Party Secretary Lou Wei hoped that the establishment of “The Belt and Road Country Traditional Performing Arts Committee” and the national-level support for the Belt and Road cultural policies will help maintain and carry forward the cultural heritage left by our ancestors, strengthen the linkage and friendship among the member universities of the Network, and promote the cooperation in creation and research. This conforms not only to the mission of the Network, but also the mission of UNESCO and ITI respectively, and even the mission of the United Nations for peace and friendship.

On 21 October 2018, the Conference “Performing Arts Education in a Globalized Context” was held, at which eight representatives were invited to give speeches. He Yan, Dean of STA Acting Department, introduced his department’s experience of comprehensive reform in teaching to the conference participants, who showed their admiration for He Ye’s efforts for the innovation of performing arts education. The participants were engaged in warm and friendly exchange after the conference. On 22 October, the routine meetings of the ITI/UNESCO Network of Higher Education in the Performing Arts were held. The meetings approved the acceptance of new members to the Network and approved eight initiatives which included the initiative to establish “The Belt and Road Country Traditional Performing Arts Committee”.

The successful holding of the Network’s activities on this occasions not only identified the direction of efforts in establishing the teaching criteria in the acting and directing modules and establishing the performing arts university evaluation systems, but also set the action plans for the future, admitted many new members for the development of the Network, jointly discussed the experiences and activities in the field of performing arts, and substantively advanced the interaction and shared learning in the performing arts globally, thus having achieved fruitful results.