Members of the National Ballet of China perform at the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 2, 2018. In the Egyptian capital Cairo, a large audience applauded wholeheartedly after a Chinese ballet troupe presented a series of short programs including classical and modern ballet shows. The shows were performed by members of the National Ballet of China (NBC) who are visiting Egypt and hosted by the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
by Ahmed Shafiq
CAIRO, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- In the Egyptian capital Cairo, a large audience applauded wholeheartedly after a Chinese ballet troupe presented a series of short programs including classical and modern ballet shows.
The shows were performed by members of the National Ballet of China (NBC) who are visiting Egypt and hosted by the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo.
"This is my first time to watch a Chinese ballet show and it is really amazing. The performances told us stories about the Chinese culture," Samar Seif, an Egyptian employee at transportation company, told Xinhua.
Seif, who used to practice ballet when she was a little girl, said she came to the show with her friends to get some knowledge about the Chinese ballet art.
After upgrading the relations between China and Egypt to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014, cultural exchange has been at its peak as artists, cultural and musical delegations have paid frequent visits.
Through such cultural moves, both countries want to boost friendly ties under the background of the Belt and Road Initiative, which certainly promotes deeper understanding of each other and wakes up the ancient civilization in the new era.
"Today's show was impressive, captivating and classy. I can say the Chinese ballet school is one of the best in the world," she said.
The young lady added that she appreciates the idea that the Chinese Cultural Center in Egypt holds many cultural and artistic events that bring China closer to the Egyptians.
"You don't even have to pay to watch these shows. It is a very smart way to spread the Chinese culture worldwide," Seif said.
The NBC, or the Central Ballet Troupe, was founded in 1959 and based in the Tianqiao Theater, which was specifically built for NBC.
In addition to performing in China, NBC has toured internationally, and produced and performed many Chinese and Western ballets.
"Now we are becoming more internationalized, putting on some of the best ballet in the world," Xu Gang, assistant artistic director of the NBC, told Xinhua.
Xu mentioned the troupe's cooperation with the world's best ballet composers and dancers, saying that the NBC is determined to introduce the best ballet to China and to create best ballet with Chinese characteristics.
"Some of our colleagues are performing for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and we are performing in Egypt," Xu said.
The actor stressed that art transcends borders of countries and is shared by all human community, adding that the performers of the troupe are working to make the world know more about China.
"We are amazed by the old civilization here in Egypt. I believe the Egyptian audience understood what we wanted to express," Xu said.
"I believe it is the best way to communicate with African people through ballet and other artistic forms which require no language," he added.
Liu Qi, an actress of the NBC, said she felt honored to perform in Egypt as both China and Egypt are two countries with splendid culture.
"Ballet originates in Western countries, but now we bring Chinese style and characteristics into it," she said.