The International Symposium on "CPA and Overseas Promotion of Contemporary Chinese Theatre" was held on 29 October at the Changlin Road Campus of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA).
Chinese Performing Arts (CPA) is an English-only international journal jointly sponsored by the Shanghai Theatre Academy and the International Theatre Institute (ITI), which aims to introduce Chinese performing arts to the world, focusing more on the current status and overseas promotion, while introducing the history, thus opening a window for the world to know all kinds of performing arts in China in a comprehensive way. Since its launch in 2019, seven issues have been published, covering Kunqu, Peking Opera, Yueju Opera, drama and other genres, with columns including introductions to representative artists, theatre companies and productions, as well as an annual stocktaking of the current status of theatre performances and studies in China.
The symposium was chaired by Professor Gong Baorong, Editor-in-Chief of CPA and Director of the International Theatre Studies Centre at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Tobias Biancone, Director General of the International Theatre Institute, and scholars from many domestic and overseas institutions attended the meeting.
Huang Changyong, President of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, said in his speech that the STA not only introduces and promotes Chinese performing arts to the world, but also attaches great importance to the two-way exchange of performing arts between China and foreign countries. STA has long been committed to the translation and introduction of outstanding domestic and foreign theatre works, not only to "bring in" the outstanding overseas works, but also to "bring out" the representative Chinese theatre works.
Tobias Biancone, Director General of the International Theatre Institute and Editor-in-Chief of CPA, delivered a keynote speech entitled "Chinese Traditional Roots on the Road to the Future". Comparing the richness of Chinese theatre to a large tree with many branches and leaves, he pointed out that CPA as a journal will show the world not only the tree itself, but also the roots of the tree, i.e. the roots of traditional Chinese culture, and that the publication of CPA plays an important role in protecting endangered genres of traditional Chinese opera and promoting the performance of traditional Chinese opera.
Participants from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore, University of Sibiu in Romania, University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, Art Institute of Padangpanjang in Indonesia, Zhejiang University and Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts gave presentations on the history and current situation of overseas promotion of Chinese theatre from different perspectives.
Yang Yang, a professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy and a member of the editorial board of CPA, gave the closing speech. Yang Yang said that in the 21st century, all dimensions of culture, including theatre, are interacting and developing in the melting pot of the international community, and that while CPA mainly focuses on the overseas promotion of traditional Chinese theatre, theatre practitioners should not limit themselves to how Chinese theatre and Chinese culture go out, but rather consider the promotion of Chinese theatre in the context of the development of world theatre, and therefore we should further strengthen our theatre exchanges with the rest of the world. We look forward to the opportunity to appreciate those forms of theatre that we have not yet touched, which will greatly contribute to the prosperity of world theatre, the updating of theatre theories and the establishment of new aesthetic paradigms of theatre. Civilization is wonderful through mutual learning, and intercultural theatre exchanges will surely continue.