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October 2, 2009

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Leaders join crowd in song, dance

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao and other leaders offered a rare glimpse of their dance steps and singing voices last night as they joined tens of thousands of people at an evening gala celebrating New China's 60th birthday.
Red lanterns, bright lights, a 33-minute fireworks spectacle, high-spirited songs and dances turned Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing into a sea of joy for the evening.
Hu and other state leaders, including both incumbents and retirees, came to watch the performances from the Tian'anmen Rostrum.
About 60,000 people dressed in festive costumes, including public servants, company workers, university students, service personnel and local residents, took part in the gala honoring the Chinese people's love for the nation and the great unity of all ethnic groups.
More than 4,000 performers manipulated computer-controlled LED electronic trees to form a "light cube" that showed the images of olive trees and doves as well as messages such as "long live the motherland."
At about 9:20pm, Hu and other leaders descended the rostrum to join the crowd amid applause, cheers and fireworks.
To cheerful rhythms, the leaders and people wearing traditional costumes of ethnic groups began their dancing.
"The five-star red flag is fluttering in the wind, the song of victory is sung aloud ..." filled the air. After the dance, the leaders and 60,000 people sang the patriotic song "Ode to the Motherland."
A Tibetan girl, Ngawang Qungji, said she was excited that President Hu joined hands with Tibetan and Uygur performers to dance.
"There are so many reasons for us to be proud of the great changes over the past 60 years," she said. "I couldn't help crying when I saw the fireworks portraying a train running on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway lighting Tian'anmen Square."
Vivid fireworks dragons flew over the crowd as it was cheering and dancing.
Soon after the fireworks dragon disappeared in the dark sky, about a dozen cloth "dragons" showed up on the ground, carried by dancers and accompanied by more than 120 "lions." The dragon and lion dance highlighted the theme for this part of the performance, signifying the rise of China.


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