New Chapter in Sino-Russian Cultural Exchange: Shanghai Theatre Academy's Directing Department Triumphs at the 7th International Festival of Theatre Schools of the BRICS Countries and Returns with Honors


On 8 June 2024, the 7th International Festival of Theatre Schools of the BRICS Countries concluded in Moscow with a spectacular joint performance of "The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish." The delegation from the Directing Department of Shanghai Theatre Academy, along with theatre schools from seven other BRICS countries, showcased the brilliant results of international cooperation and cultural exchange in theatre arts.

At the closing ceremony, performances by the students of MFA Acting 2023 from the Directing Department of Shanghai Theatre Academy, including Chinese classical dance, Huangmei opera, Cantonese opera and Baduanjin, captivated every audience member and received enthusiastic applause. Additionally, faculty and students from participating schools ingeniously incorporated their national cultural features into their performances, ranging from Russia's exquisite acrobatics to Brazil's vibrant samba, from India's traditional dance to South Africa's dynamic music. This created a visual and auditory feast for the audience, embodying the spirit of international exchange advocated by the International Festival of Theatre Schools of the BRICS Countries. Yin Yuerong, Party Secretary of the Directing Department, extended a sincere invitation to all participating schools to attend the upcoming "Belt and Road" Traditional Performing Arts Festival and Symposium hosted by Shanghai Theatre Academy, aiming to further promote international exchange and cooperation in theatre education. The closing ceremony performance was covered by Russian News Agency and other media outlets.


The closing ceremony was also honored by the presence of Feng Litao, Minister-Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Russia. His attendance not only added luster to this international theatre event but also reflected the deep friendship and mutual support in Sino-Russian cultural exchanges. He watched the closing performance jointly presented by the Directing Department of Shanghai Theatre Academy and other theatre schools of the BRICS countires and expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by Shanghai Theatre Academy in promoting Sino-Russian cultural exchange. During the post-performance interaction, Minister-Counselor Feng encouraged Shanghai Theatre Academy to continue strengthening artistic cooperation with Russia, thanked the students for their performances, and looked forward to their future performances in Russian theatres to further enhance cultural exchange and cooperation between the two countries. His presence and support marked a successful conclusion to the Directing Department's visit and opened a new chapter in the future of Sino-Russian cultural exchange for Shanghai Theatre Academy.

The festival lasted for eight days, and besides the joint performance at the closing ceremony, students from theatre schools of the BRICS countries presented diverse theatrical performances based on Pushkin's "The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish." During the festival, several workshops, lectures and tours were held, providing participants with opportunities for in-depth learning and exchange. The performance of the Shanghai Theatre Academy's Directing Department at the festival was highly acclaimed. The original production "The Story of Zhu Erdan and Lu Pan from Liaozhai" was not only a Chinese interpretation of Pushkin's classic "The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish" but also an international showcase of the mask elements and ethnic musical instruments from Chinese traditional Nuo opera. Our performance received praise from theatre professionals from other countries. The "Viewpoints" masterclass led by Associate Professor He Hao attracted and impressed over a hundred international students.

During the trip to Moscow, the delegation from the Shanghai Theatre Academy's Directing Department visited the Institute of Theatrical Arts named after Soviet People's Artist Joseph Kobzon and observed their acting classes. The delegation officially visited the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS), where they were warmly received by the Rector of GITIS, Grigory Zaslavskiy and discussed various possibilities for future cooperation. Subsequently, arranged by the Director of International Office, Natalia Plusnina, the delegation also observed classes on speech and physical techniques, and watched a stunning performance of Ostrovsky's original work "The Other World" by students from the Butusov class. While in Moscow, the delegation attended performances at the Mayakovsky Theatre, the Moscow Art Theatre and the Taganka Theatre, watching three different types of Russian theatrical works: "Russian Romance," "The Master and Margarita," and "The Trojan Horse," which deepened their understanding and appreciation of both traditional and contemporary Russian theater arts.

This was not only an artistic event but also an important activity for promoting international cultural exchange and understanding. With the successful conclusion of the theatre festival, we look forward to more international cultural exchange activities in the future, continuing to drive innovation and prosperity in theatrical arts.