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February 2, 2019

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CCTV to have 3 sub-venues for festive gala

STAYING up late on Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve is a tradition all over China. On that special day, families get together to watch China Central Television’s Spring Festival Gala after enjoying a sumptuous New Year’s Eve dinner.

This year’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala will be broadcast live at 8pm on February 4. Although the national TV channel hasn’t released the repertoire of programs and the detailed list of the stars who are expected to make an appearance, it has, till now, already completed three rehearsals.

There will be three sub-venues — Jinggangshan, Changchun and Shenzhen. The gala will use virtual reality live transmission via the 5G network to live broadcast from Changchun for better interaction with the viewers. VR programs related to the gala will also be presented.

Crosstalk and skits are still among the top-draws of the gala. Officials from China Media Group said that this year’s acts will gather young talented comedy actors and talk show performers who will perform with veterans. Many hot real-life issues will be featured in their performances.

Vocal artists and pop idols will perform classic folk songs, regional operas and pop music. Dancers will attempt various styles — from line dance, ballet to street dance.

Magic shows will be ingeniously created to celebrate the lunar new year. They will be more exquisite and interactive.

Luffy Zhang, a 30-something statistician, says the Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve is an important day for all Chinese.

“After the reunion dinner, my family has a long-time habit of watching the annual gala together and wishing all the best for the New Year,” says Zhang. “Generations of people have watched the gala. Many classic acts have been created on that stage such as the heartwarming song ‘My Chinese Heart.’ I hope that the gala can still follow the traditions and present original acts rather than simply add new changes.”

Max Zheng, an IT expert, says he is mostly attracted by the skits. Previous skits by Chen Peisi and Hou Yaohua left a deep impression on him.

“The gala’s cooperation with online websites and mobile apps for the lucky draw has also enhanced the interactivity with the viewers,” Zheng says.

On February 5, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, major regional satellite TV stations will offer their own version of the spring festival galas with different cultural flavors.

Dragon TV will air a program that will showcase traditional Chinese cultural elements. Pop band TFboys will take part in Chinese paper cutting. Singer Li Yuchun will try to play sanxian (a three-stringed fretless plucked instrument) and collaborate with the 85-year-old pingtan artist Zhao Kaisheng to perform the folk song “Jasmine Flower.”

Famous Indian actor and filmmaker Aamir Khan will perform with 200-strong line dancers and sing the hit song “Little Apple.” Taiwanese singer Fei Yu-ching will present a crossover performance with young crosstalk performer Zhang Yunlei. Liu Cixin, author of the award-winning sci-fi novel series “The Three-Body Problem,” will sing with Chinese astronauts.

Celebrated comedy star Feng Gong will participate in a crosstalk show on the beauty of ancient Chinese poetry for Jiangsu Satellite TV. Singers Mao Buyi and Huo Zun and actor Zhai Tianlin will perform their representative acts.

During the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, there will be a host of light-hearted TV shows.

Celebrities including Olympic boxing champion Zou Shiming, dubbing artist Qiao Zhen and famous dancer Huang Doudou will recite their favorite poetry and share their own “reading stories” for Shanghai City TV.

Documentary Channel will broadcast the acclaimed series “A Bite of China,” “Aerial” and “Green China.” Opera Channel will also present special kunqu and huju operas in its New Year programs.

Last year, CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala garnered an average viewership rate of around 35 percent. Hundreds of millions of people viewed it online and worldwide. It is one of the most-watched TV programs in the world.

Ever since it first aired in 1983, the annual gala has evolved to cater to all tastes. Last year’s gala used cutting-edge technologies like 3D mapping, laser display and holographic projection in its programs and for stage effects. Three hundred unmanned aerial vehicles came together in the shape of a dolphin jumping over the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge during a 7-minute show.


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