Yahya CAIRO (Xinhua) -- “My eyes and feelings were
completely attached to the show, which took me on a magic carpet
to taste the beauty of both history and modern life about
China’s Grand Canal,” said Yaldiz Gamal, a lady in her 50th,
as she watched the Chinese dance drama “To Meet the Grand Canal”
in the Opera House of Cairo.
“I’m a big fan of the ballet and drama
dance shows, and the main common theme was always focusing
on the men and women love stories or the struggle between
good and bad in a direct way, but this is the first time for
me to watch a very elegant performance, with highly
professional dancers to defend a canal and tackle a tough
environmental issue,” Yaldiz told Xinhua.
“To Meet the Grand Canal,” which is
also scheduled to be performed at Alexandria Opera house on
Thursday, is a synthetic presentation and expression of the
cultural heritage of the Grand Canal of China.
The canal is the main artery that
keeps Chinese nations prosperous. It links five major rivers
system of China together, the Haihe River, the Yellow River, the
Huaihe River, the Yangtze River and the Qiantang River.
“It is the most complicated and
difficult piece I have ever created,” said, Cui Wei,
director of the dance drama show.
The toughest part was “no one can
display the canal of thousands-year history in one hour and a
half,” the director wrote in the booklet distributed before the
show has begun.
The Grand Canal, spanning over 2,000
kilometers between Beijing and Hangzhou was listed as a world
heritage site in 2014.
The canal was a pillar of the economy,
social stability and government function in ancient China,
helping the evolution of Chinese culture by enhancing
communication between the south and the north.
“For its length and historic
importance, the canal was unlike scenery of Jiang Nan’s
stream and little bridge; It was a huge project. Therefore,
we need collective work of creative artists and cultural
preservers from different social regions and cultural
identities to make a dance show as an homage to the canal
and other world heritages,” the director told Xinhua.
“Based on the common Grand Canal
culture of the two countries, the tour to Egypt strengthened
humanity exchanges and let both peoples feel proud of their
splendid civilization. At the same time, they will allow
young people of both countries to write a brand new future,”
Cui Wei told Xhinua.
Egypt’s Suez Canal likewise the
Chinese Grand Canal locates in the important areas along the
line of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
The show will be performed at Corinth
canal of Greece as its second leg, then Erie of the United
States, Panama Canal, Don-River Canal in Russia.
The Director added that “Meet the
Grand Canal” will be in continuous conversation with the world
canals to build a culture bridge for exchange with other
“The story expresses love and respect
for history and nature,” said Mona, an 18-year-old student
in the Cairo-Based Ballet Institute.
“When I saw the excavation work and
the digging of the Grand Canal by the dancers, I remembered
the pains that my grandfathers have experienced in building
the Suez Canal,” Mona added that mingling the history with
love, dance and music was unbelievable and signaled how
passionate and professional the director is.
The music, customs, colors,
backgrounds of the canal, and movements of the dancers were a
model for all ballet dancers to watch, learn from and enjoy,
The show shed light on the hard work
of excavating the canal, passing through prosperous years, then
came the pollution which threatened the life of all beauty
inside, or surrounding the canal. The last scene of the show
brought back hope and happiness after the man-made waterway was
cleaned and purified.
“Such a piece of particular
significance should be more a cultural event rather than
such a dance drama,” said Menna, another ballet dancer,
after watching the performance.
The young ballerina told Xinhua “it
was my first time to watch Chinese show. I was confused at the
beginning because I don’t understand the language, but then the
idea was crystal clear through dancing.”
Despite the fact that the show was
mainly about environment and pollution, she still saw it as an
unforgettable piece of art at all levels.
“I learned today that the value of
cultural heritage lies in its essence of being accomplished
by people and nature together,” she pointed out.
The music composition and the balanced
synchronization of the dancers made her part of the history
despite she belongs to modernity, Menna said.
“Combing tradition and modernity,
history and future, nature and the big love, everyone can
feel that the show is not merely meant to depict a canal but
it mirrored development and integrity of the people for
building and advancing their societies,” the young girl
expressed her feelings while making some simple ballet