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Beijing kicks off arts week with a gong

BEIJING today began its week-long culture show at the World Expo 2010 by displaying many of its special folk arts at the Baosteel Stage in Zone B of Pudong site, including artists making figures that can play Peking Opera automatically on a gong.

Beijing Party Chief Liu Qi announced the opening of the first culture week from Chineses mainland provinces. Each province will host a culture week in turns during Expo's 184 days.

The capital city also opened a traditional teahouse at the stage where visitors can drink traditional stall tea free and watch a special folk performance -- artist plays songs including "You and Me," the theme song of the Beijing Olympics, on 32 bowls of various sizes.

A dozen of artists of the city are performing their special skills at the stage during the Expo duration, all being the non-material cultural heritages of the city.

The 30-year-old Bai Lin struck a gong while singing the Peking Opera. Three figures rotated on the gang in accord with his strike -- imitating a traditional Peking Opera "Three Heroes Combating Lv Bu."

Bai is the fourth generation and the only successor of the coir figure making -- the figure being made of pig hairs that can rotate on gongs when performers strike the gong. He performs for visitors to the Expo at the stage during the week and says he wishes to find apprentice for the special skills.

Other skills include clay figurine and kites making. Visitors can enter and watch the shows free.

Around 200 actors wearing different styles of clothes assembling 16 famous venues, including the Temple of Heaven and the Beijing National Stadium, better known as the Bird's Nest, will parade along the Bocheng Road in Pudong site at noon every day during the week.


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