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Xinjiang steals the spotlight during New Year Gala

By Xing Wen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-12 13:25

Dancers perform during the CCTV Spring Festival gala show on Feb 9, 2024. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

This year, the CCTV Spring Festival Gala made history by establishing a branch venue in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, specifically in Kashgar in the southwestern part of the region.

On the evening of Feb 9, an impressive 8-minute performance from the Xinjiang branch venue captured the spotlight as the gala was broadcasted. The innovative stage was set up on the rooftops of 12 houses in the Ancient City of Kashgar, a rammed-earth building complex with a 2,000-year history. The interplay of light and shadow on the stage, accompanied by dynamic music from ethnic instruments, featured local performers from diverse ethnic groups showcasing their singing and dancing.

Qin Zheng, the director of the branch venue, explained that this arrangement showcases the genuine way of life of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds in Xinjiang. "These individuals lead fulfilling lives, find contentment, and come together on the rooftops to share meals while participating in song and dance," she said.

The main program at the Kashgar branch brought together the most distinctive cultural symbols of this vibrant region, involving actors from different generations and ethnicities, with the youngest performer being only five years old.

Xinjiang, a pivotal point along the ancient Silk Road, has been a multi-ethnic settlement since ancient times. The diverse ethnic groups have established deep roots within the Chinese civilization, fostering a vibrant and diverse history and culture through interactions, exchanges and integration.

"Trying to encapsulate all of this in a single performance is not an easy task. From the content of the program to the stage design, in the intertwining of the virtual and real, the fusion of technology and culture, we retained the most representative elements," added Qin.

The performance also showcased a group of prominent figures who hail from Xinjiang, such as singer Wang Hongwei, actress Dilraba Dilmurat, rapper Air and actor Yu Menglong. Air's performance skillfully integrated rap culture with ethnic music. He noted that numerous musicians in Xinjiang have been actively exploring the path of cross-cultural integration in ethnic music, advocating for its preservation, development and innovation.

"The gala is a significant event for my hometown and my hometown's grand occasion holds great importance for me. I am genuinely delighted and proud of the progress and development of my hometown," stated Dilraba.

As of 1:00 pm on Feb 10, the gala was simultaneously broadcast and reported by over 2,300 media outlets from more than 200 countries and regions worldwide. Many Chinese living overseas had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the beauty of Xinjiang through the 8-minute performance.

Yang Xiaoqian, a Chinese citizen residing in Iraq, expressed a deep impression of the 8-minute program from the Kashgar branch after watching the gala. "Having worked overseas for many years, I deeply miss the magnificent landscapes of my homeland. If given the chance, I must visit Xinjiang and experience the beautiful scenery from the north to the south of the Tianshan Mountains up close."

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