Nine of Beijing's best art troupes are teaming up to present the first online performance season, which will kick off on Tuesday night, offering a rich cultural feast for home-bound audiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched by Beijing Performance and Arts Group in 2014, it has been an annual tradition for nine prestigious art troupes in Beijing to team up to run a performance season across the capital city during May and June.
As most of the theaters and performance centers across the city have shuttered their doors temporarily to curb the pandemic, this year's event, in its seventh edition, will be entirely presented online through livestreams on multiple digital platforms, including China's leading video-sharing and livestreaming apps Yangshipin, Douyin, Bilibili and Kuaishou.
It will kick off with a chamber concert presented by Beijing Chinese Orchestra on May 5, when the seventh solar term of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar – Start of Summer, or "Lixia" in Chinese – begins this year.
Titled "Summer Night," the opening concert will feature 12 popular music works from home and abroad, evoking a warm summer atmosphere.
They include Chinese folk song "Summer Palace," famous pieces "Summer" and "Castles In The Sky" by Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, as well as American rock classic "Hotel California."
It will see renowned erhu player Chen Jun and musician Yu Haiyin with the orchestra introduce the music to the audiences and co-host the opening concert during the livestream.
Tribute and celebration
In addition to the "Summer Night" concert, the online show season has other highlights which can be expected in the following two months.
Featuring various artworks created by artists from the troupes during the nationwide battle against coronavirus, a performance will be held on May 12, International Nurses Day, to pay tribute to the frontline medical workers.
The group will also present a concert on May 20 in cooperation with its counterpart in Hubei, the province hardest hit by the virus, to send a message of love and hope.
On June 1, China's Children's Day, the Beijing Children's Art Theater will invite children to join an online art-based charity event.
An orchestral suite "Central Axis" will be aired on June 13 to drum up support for the central axis of Beijing applying for the title of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
To celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival on June 25 this year, audiences can watch performances and lectures delivered by inheritors of intangible cultural heritage to enjoy the superb artistry and workmanship and explore the history of the time-honored legacies.