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BRICS theater treat for children

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-01 07:10

The Man Who Loved Boxes, a no-dialogue play from Brazil opens a BRICS children's theater festival in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Twelve theater groups from the five BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are staging 12 original shows (36 performances) in Beijing until Aug 20, as part of an ongoing children's theater festival.

The opening show is The Man Who Loved Boxes by children's theater group Artesanal Cia de Teatro from Brazil. The play, directed by Gustavo Bicalho and Henrique Gon?alves, has no dialogue and features actors, puppets, masks and music.

"This is the first time that the show is in China," says Edeilton Medeiros from Artesanal Cia de Teatro about the performance. "I can see the cultural influence on children and the younger generation, and though there is no dialogue, audiences from different cultures feel the emotion delivered in the play.

"We also hope to work with artists from the other four countries in the alliance."

Among the other performances are Sandpiper, Clam and Fish by the China National Theatre for Children; The Circle of Life by theater Ranga Shankara from India and AHA! by Magnet Theatre of South Africa.

Besides live performances, open lectures and workshops will also be held.

According to Yang Fan, vice-president of the China National Theatre for Children, the 32-day children's theater festival, which began on July 20, is a result of the BRICS Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Culture (2017-2021), which was signed by BRICS ministers of culture on July 6, 2017, in Tianjin. The idea of establishing the BRICS Alliance of Theatre for Children and Young People first arose last May during a world congress of the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People in Cape Town, South Africa, when BRICS delegates discussed it.

The agreement covers areas of cultural cooperation, such as cultural heritage preservation and mutual exchanges.

Yang says that artists from the BRICS alliance of theater for children and young people will "share resources to open a new chapter of people-to-people exchanges among BRICS countries".

And Bandaru Wilsonbabu, an Indian diplomat in Beijing, says: "The establishment of the association of children's theaters of the BRICS Alliance opens the doors of communication among the younger generation and artists from the BRICS countries. Half of India's population are young people under 25. It's important to influence them with artistic communication."

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