Unfold the Tempo of Africa through Dance
The Republic of Congo's National Ballet has given a presentation at this year's "Meet in Beijing" Arts Festival.
CRI's Xiong Siqi has more.
Two percussionists wearing traditional headwear stand at the right corner of the stage whilst playing large cylindrical drums to a fast beat.
Jiving to the tempo, men and women in long robes painted head-to-toe in white dots, greet the chief of the tribe, a man dressed in red.
This is the beginning of the dance drama, "Congo of Yesterday and Today". It is created and performed by the National Ballet of the Republic of Congo.
According to Célestin Ganongo, the director of the dance troupe, the drama extends beyond these depictions of historical Congolese life.
"You will witness a creation that incorporates elements of dance and theatre. The performance will illustrate to the Chinese audience the significance of Congolese history before and after French colonization. From this dance, you will understand how the traditional way of living in Congo was disrupted by colonial power; how people revolted against the colonists and how we gained independence. "
The Chinese audience may not have understood the lyrics, but many were moved by the intense emotions and rich narratives delivered in the performance.
"The show was really good. Even though we don't understand the language, from the performance, we have come to know how people in Africa harvest and how hardworking they are."
"The drama has distinctive African features, which helped me to experience a different culture. For example, every dance movement matches a drumbeat. It feels so wonderful and passionate. "
The dance performance not only serves to deepen the Chinese public's understanding of Congolese culture, it also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Daniel Owassa, the Congolese Ambassador to China, says:
"The title of this drama, 'Congo of Yesterday and Today', was not deliberately chosen, but it has certain hidden meanings. Every country has its own yesterday, today and future. Since China and The Republic of Congo has worked together for 50 years and built a friendship spanning half a century, we hope the relationship between our two countries may further develop. "
The ambassador adds that in addition to the exchange visits between art troupes, an implementation plan for cultural exchange will be signed in the future to encourage further bilateral cultural exchange between Congo and China.