The 2019 Hangzhou Global Qipao Festival themed Splendid HangzhouWorldwide Dance hosted the event successively in Paris, London, Vienna, and Prague. Each rendition included an interactive component that allowed spectators to have their own hands-on experience painting on silk, as well as attend cultural exhibitions highlighting the city’s uniqueness. The festival, from June 19 until the end of August, was hosted by the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism.
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Chinese performers, in concert with artists from all over the world, participated in flash mobs where the highlight was the exotic qipao dance which told the story of the city’s glorious and rich past and how it became the modern and unique metropolis that it is today. In front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Zumba community leader France Alex led a dance troupe decked out in red qipaos in a dynamic dance routine. In front of London Tower Bridge, a ballet dancer dressed in a pink Hangzhou-made qipao bedecked with a flower and bird pattern and British jazz singer Cathrine Summers collaborated in emulating a flash mob when they put on an innovative qipao-based performance. By the Danube river in Vienna, Chinese and Western models performed the qipao dance, Sky City, while, in Prague, an Italian dance ensemble danced with a Chinese fan in hand on a boat on the Vltava river.
Chinese sericulture and silk weaving skills, a set of traditions recognized as a United Nations intangible cultural heritage, originated in Hangzhou, earning the city its second name: the “home of silk”. The festival organizers also launched the Hangzhou Qipao Initiative at the Vienna International Centre as part of a larger message to the world that publicizes a new and modern Hangzhou that is, at the same time, environmentally responsible and sustainable. The official challenge, “Dance for Beauty”, can be found on TikTok’s video platform, where videos featuring several silk paintings, dancers performing in a qipao and other creative content can be viewed, providing an online venue for anyone interested in learning more about Hangzhou’s silk and the natural landscape where the art and skills associated with production and uses of silk were born.
SOURCE: Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism