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Looking for aneasy-to-build, lightweight car-topper that can handle open water and also floatsmall, shallow streams? Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road has touched many readers over the years with its storyline - a 20-year correspondence between the American author and a London bookseller.
Xue's new film, Book of Love, which is a sequel to the 2013 Chinese hit Finding Mr Right, is inspired by Hanff. The film, which opened the recent Beijing International Film Festival, will be released on the Chinese mainland on Friday. Finding Mr Right, the Chinese equivalent of the American romance Sleepless in Seattle (1993), is the top-grossing romance of all time in Chinese film history. The first film's commercial success has not only sparked a boom in similar-genre Chinese films in recent years, it has also lured a number of affluent Chinese to purchase houses in Seattle, according to media reports.
Many directors avoid making films similar to the ones they've previously made, and Xue likewise has resisted picking up her new film's plot from where the last one ends. While in the first film, a pregnant woman traveling from Beijing to Seattle falls in love with a divorced father, the sequel tells the tale of a casino worker in Macao and a property agent in Los Angeles. Unlike many romance dramas that let their protagonists meet early in the movie, Book of Love makes them meet toward the end. The director recently appeared for an event to promote the film at Beijing's Tsinghua University. She describes the film as a "heartwarming" story that revolves around the question of how to maintain emotional ties in today's fast-paced societies.
In addition to the couple's somewhat old-school platonic love, the film interweaves dialogues with many ancient Chinese poems, such as the popular lines written by Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) poets Li Bai and Wang Changling. Xue explains that the poems are a key measure for the elderly Chinese immigrants to protect their cultural roots. Xue also says the correspondence in the film is to remind viewers of the beauty of handwritten letters, rare items in the era of the internet.
Alongside Macao and Los Angeles, the film has scenes in London, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Beijing and Southwest China's Sichuan province. Book of Love is produced by Edko Films, a company that made China's all-time highest-grossing Monster Hunt, on a budget that's bigger than the 2013 movie's.
Other than Tang and Wu, the cast includes veteran Hong Kong actor Paul Chun and Chinese mainland actors Wang Zhiwen and Lu Yi. In 2015, the country's box-office takings touched 44.1 billion yuan ($7 billion), up 48 percent year-on-year.
At the annual China International Cartoon and Animation Festival, which is running through May 2 in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, filmmakers discussed ways to lift the struggling genre. From January to March, animation films earned 3 billion yuan in box-office revenues, according to festival official Zhu Yuqing.
Huang Qunfei, executive vice-president of Huaxia Film Distribution Co, one of two companies in China that are authorized to distribute foreign films, says: "More major studios and internet behemoths such as Enlight Media, Huayi Brothers, Tencent and Alibaba have tapped into the animation industry. Most of China's major film studios are seeking cooperation with foreign partners, and the results have been encouraging so far. Sun Duck, an action comedy about an alliance of armed ducks fighting an evil force, has been jointly produced by China, Russia and the United States.
Another Sino-French production, Olympia, which narrates a porcelain figurine's "adventures", is expected to be out in January 2018. Historical figures from 18th-century France and ancient China were chosen to create the characters by a Chinese team of animators, Maia Tubiana, the film's French executive producer, says. Domestic films, accounting for 80 percent of all new titles to be released in the next two years, are getting some attention as well.
While trade analysts are hoping that Chinese animation films make more money, they question the promotion of sequels to controversial films.
The Autorobots, for example, which has been involved in a plagiarism row since its release last summer, is likely to have a sequel by 2017. While this may spread gloom across the fictional land guarded by Iron Man, Captain America and their superhero friends, it is exciting news for fans: It has sparked the biggest fight in Marvel history, which spans nearly eight decades. The 13th film in Marvel's cinematic universe, Captain America: Civil War - the third installment of the franchise - will hit Chinese mainland and North American theaters simultaneously on May 6. On a recent tour to promote the movie in Beijing, Joe Russo, one of the sibling directors, tells China Daily the tale is now a "family conflict". Picking up from the 2015 Marvel smash hit Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Avengers 2, the new movie expands on the divide in Avengers 2 between supporters of Iron Man and Captain America. As concerns grow that the superheroes' unlimited powers may threaten humanity, the authorities want to regulate and direct their actions, which puts the superheroes in two camps.
The captain, played by Chris Evans, insists on maintaining free movement without government intervention, and he is backed by Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye and the latest entrant, Ant Man. But, surprisingly, Iron Man, reprised by Robert Downey Jr, supports the government's oversight and accountability plan.
Those who pick his side include Black Widow, The Vision, War Machine, the new Spider Man and Black Panther, appearing on the big screen for the first time. His view is echoed by Anthony Mackie, who stars as Falcon, the only superhero who can fly in Captain American's team. He says the brotherhood between his character and Captain America can be compared to that between Romeo and Mercutio, as depicted in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. For Chinese audiences, who have been exposed to Marvel comics for only a few years now, they could be confused about the complex relationships and names in the movie, as every character has his or her real name plus a superhero title. Some Beijing moviegoers reached by China Daily say it is a problem to remember all the faces in Marvel's previous big-cast movies such as the Avengers franchise.
Surrounded by fans at a World Book Day event in Beijing last Saturday, Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin attributed the success of his Three Body trilogy to chance.
The English edition of the first book of the trilogy - The Three-Body Problem - translated by Chinese-American sci-fi writer Ken Liu (unrelated to the author) in 2014, sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide, according to Liu Cixin.
Last year, that book also won Liu a Hugo Award, which is an annual global honor given to sci-fi and fantasy works.
While The Three-Body Problem has sold way more copies than other translated Chinese novels in the recent past, the numbers of new sci-fi books printed in China each year are on an average less than 10 percent of those in the United States.
That's also a reason why noir films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, Gravity or Interstellar are made in Hollywood. The sales of his novels outside the trilogy and books by his Chinese peers haven't risen either, says Liu. But by winning a top international award, Liu has debunked the theory that Chinese sci-fi writers lack imagination. Italian scientist and writer Giulio Prisco, who has read The Three-Body Problem in English, describes the book as a classic and "vintage space opera".
Although he was born in Beijing, Liu's soldier-turned-miner father and schoolteacher mother moved the family to Yangquan, a small town in Shanxi province, when he was very young. In 1999, Liu debuted as a writer after his short story was published in the Sci-fi World magazine.
In April, Liu met with a small group of reporters in Beijing after he was named "writer of the year" by the China Writers Rich List, an annual celebration of the country's popular writers.
At the press interaction, Liu gave a wide variety of responses to questions, from comparing apocalypse in sci-fi writing to romance in literature, and why British physicist Stephen Hawking's plans of long-distance travel by a micro spacecraft has flaws in terms of energy.
Liu says while sci-fi is a niche category in China, it could contribute to mainstream literature. Liu Cixin says he sticks to his ideals while writing and he is willing to adjust to reader expectations.
The author has kept his personal life out of media spotlight, saying he occasionally watches movies. He enjoys the quietness of Yangquan, where he still lives, but keeps track of developments in science and technology. Liu Cixin is currently working on a new novel, but which he says may not surpass the popularity of the Three Body books. Although he says Chinese filmmakers are largely unfamiliar with shooting sci-fi films, he doesn't mind being the "guinea pig". Liu Cixin is also willing to try space travel and "check on life" in outer space, if given a chance. A new Chinese collection of William Shakespeare's works is bringing one of the world's greatest playwrights closer to people in China, says Gu Zhengkun, chief editor of William Shakespeare: Complete Works, which was published recently by Beijing-based Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. In 39 volumes, the bilingual folio contains 12 tragedies and 14 comedies, among other works by the Bard.
The project that was authorized by the Royal Shakespeare Company from Shakespeare's birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon, took Gu, Xu Yuanchong, Zhang Chong and other 20 Chinese translators some eight years to complete. This year, along with the rest of the world, China is marking 400 years since the Bard's death. The Chinese collection is based on three previously translated versions by Zhu Shenghao, Liang Shiqiu and Fang Ping - all late Chinese scholars. Shakespeare's name first appeared in China around 1838, when national hero Lin Zexu was sent by Emperor Daoguang to Guangzhou in the country's south, to supervise an anti-opium campaign.
But the process of translating Shakespeare in China really began in 1903, with Tales from Shakespeare, an adaptation by British writer Charles Lamb and his sister, Mary. In the early 20th century, the Chinese seemed to regard the Bard more as a "writer of strange stories". Writers like Lu Xun sought to change that perception by using literature to elevate people's spirits in what then was a poor country. But as more Chinese scholars debated which foreign books should be translated, Shakespeare's works were left out for later because they were "unable to shoulder the responsibility", Zheng Zhenduo, a prominent writer, translator and critic, wrote in a magazine back then.
But after the '30s, eminent writers such as Zhu and Liang started translating the complete works of Shakespeare. In 2014, the first complete Chinese translation of Shakespeare in poetic style, led by Fang, was published to commemorate the dramatist's 450th birth anniversary. The latest translated collection is also the closest to Shakespeare's original writing, he says. In Zhu's translation, due to constraints of time, Shakespearean humor was either deleted or translated in an ambiguous manner.
In Zhu's time, Gu says, the Chinese could not accept such sexual allusions, but now we have come to a time when Shakespeare's "bawdiness" pales in comparison with some of the language in popular culture like films and TV shows.
The new collection keeps all the annotations of the original RSC edition and incorporates lines in Chinese and English, making it easier for readers to relate to Shakespeare in both languages. It's a pleasure to read Siddhartha's Brain, which comes from a science journalist with long experience of explaining ideas to readers of The Guardian and other publications. Anyone familiar with meditation will know that it involves not avoiding uncomfortable feelings but focusing on them calmly and with detachment.
This is a smart, accessible balance of philosophical teachings and brain science and how meditation can relate to everything from addiction to Alzheimer's disease.
Whether you are comfortable with being alone with your wandering mind or avoid it at all costs, you'll learn something useful from this book. Performers who are jugglers, contortionists and multidisciplinary artists play stunts in Cirkopolis, a show from Canada, which will tour 19 Chinese cities from June to September.
Cirkopolis, a show from Canada that combines theater, circus and dance, will tour 19 cities in China from June to September.
Staged by Jeannot Painchaud, one of the directors of Cirques Eloize, Cirkopolis is set in a concrete jungle. Twelve performers mount the stage in armor-like trench coats and hats, and then the show unfolds - defying monotony and pushing the limits of an industrial city. They are jugglers, contortionists, aerial and multidisciplinary artists, and they perform stunts accompanied by original music and stage design, complete with video projections, until anonymity and bleakness give way to bursts of color and vitality. A former acrobat, Painchaud says he wanted to explore different artistic visions, so in 1993, he founded Cirque Eloize to invite artists from different fields to perform in a "contemporary circus". Cirkopolis, which features 12 artists from seven countries, was premiered in 2012 and won the Drama Desk Award for "unique theatrical experience" in 2014. The Chinese promoter compared Painchaud to Hollywood filmmaker Christopher Nolan because of his ingenious and surreal presentation of urban life.
Cirkopolis was created as a crossroads, he says, between imagination and reality, between individuality and community, between limits and possibilities. Zhou of Fresh Vogur say she was impressed with the production in 2013, when it was on tour in Europe. With 2016 as the Canadian culture year, it is the perfect time and opportunity to bring the show to China, he says. The Sino-Canada Year is a two-year cultural exchange program that spans 2015-16, and nouveau cirque (contemporary circuses), represented by companies such as Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Eloize, are a major highlight of Canadian culture.
Dozens of new theaters have been built in China in the past decade to satisfy the hunger from local audiences for quality shows. Eight performances will take place over July 3-9 at the Shanghai Grand Theater, more than any other city in China. According to Xu Yin, deputy general manager of the theater, the show is good family entertainment.
7:30 pm, June 24, Shenzhen Longgang Cultural Center, 8308 Longxiang Avenue, Longgang district, Shenzhen, Guangdong province. 7:30 pm, July 16-17, Nanjing Poly Grand Theater, 6 Yecheng Road, Jianye district, Nanjing, Jiangsu province. 7:30 pm, July 23-24, Shengjing Grand Theater, 518 Shenshui Road, Shenhe district, Shenyang, Liaoning province. 7:30 pm, July 27-30, Beijing Poly Theater, 14 Dongzhimen Street South, Dongcheng district, Beijing. 7:30 pm, Sept 3-4, Xiamen Tan Kah Kee Theater, 368 Xinglinwan Road, Jimei district, Xiamen, Fujian province. Pygmalion, a French ensemble, under the direction of founder Raphael Pichon, will perform in the city at the opening ceremony of Festival Croisements, an annual celebration featuring Sino-French cultural exchanges.


Going to Baidi is an original theater production starring three actresses: Sun Ningfang of China, also the director of the play, Awesta Zarif from the United States and Rebecca Etebopinil Agbolosoo-mensah from Ghana. Soprano Huang Ying from Shanghai, who has been active on the world opera scene since 1995, is set to perform here.
A decade ago, when songwriter and producer Lu Zhongqiang began to operate his company, 13 Months, from a Beijing attic, his vision was to promote original music in China.
His indie record label has helped rock and folk musicians Ma Tiao, Xie Tianxiao and Wan Xiaoli, among others, to shine through Folk on the Road, which is a series of live performances touring different Chinese cities since 2010. The 46-year-old is now focusing his attention on a new project, titled China Music House, or Xin Yue Fu, which gets Chinese opera performers and musicians of traditional instruments with DJs and Western artists on one stage. Lu and China Record, among the country's largest record companies, have entered a deal to release CDs of joint performances by international musicians and Chinese opera performers.
As a result, New York-based oud player, Hadi Eldebek, who is a member of cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, will join in China Music House in August and cooperate with Chinese musicians on new works.
His parents were both Huangmei Opera performers before their retirement from a local troupe in East China's Anhui province. When he toured with rock and folk bands earlier, he would often find himself watching CCTV's Chinese opera channel at hotels, he says. In 2014, he spoke with Chen Weilun, a film songwriter, about his desire to give the old Chinese operas a new touch. They started with adapting episodes of Peony Pavilion, the Kunqu Opera classic, but failed after three months of experimenting. The players and DJs that they have invited for future tours are young, some of whom haven't heard old sounds of Chinese operas. Shi Xiaming, 31, who was born in Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu province, and started learning Kunqu Opera at age 14, joined China Music House performances last year. Last year, Gao Wenbo, a well-known Shanghai pingtan artist, sang in the Suzhou dialect with a DJ, guitarist and percussionist playing in the background during a show. The founder of one of China's long-standing and leading art fairs, Dong Mengyang compares Art Beijing to a superstore where people from different walks of life can find things they like and make discoveries that will broaden their vision of fine art. Since the launch of Art Beijing in 2006, the Beijinger in his mid-40s, has wanted the event not to be a typical contemporary art fair that is too fancy or upscale and scares people away.
The fair is held annually from April 30 to May 3 at the National Agriculture Exhibition Center, coinciding with the May Day holiday. Statistics from the Beijing-based Art Market Research Center show last year's fair drew more than 80,000 visitors. The original stock of tickets for last year's show sold out within the first two days, and Dong says they had to print more after more people wanted to visit the show after seeing photos of eye-catching artworks on social media services Weibo and WeChat. But he says the people's enthusiasm showed that they had realized that Art Beijing was not only for professionals - artists, dealers and collectors - but it was a place where people could see artworks that are different from those displayed in public museums. At this year's fair, there will be more than 160 galleries and institutions from home and abroad displaying contemporary works, classic pieces, designs and public sculptures. A graduate of printing art from the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts, Dong did not become a full-time artist like many of his famed teachers and schoolmates such as Xu Bing and Fang Lijun. Realizing the difficulties of surviving as a professional artist in the 1990s, he landed jobs at companies that organized cultural events, including performances and art exhibitions, as he also wanted to learn about how to educate people to appreciate art.
He worked for three years with China International Gallery Exposition, a leading art fair in China, before he left it to establish Art Beijing. About 60 galleries attended the first fair, far less than the 100 booths that had been offered by the organizing committee. Before the onset of the global financial crisis, art fairs and exhibitions were often flooded with works by star artists.
But Dong says it is now time that the market gets diversified - with new talent and galleries that can offer something more experimental but not so commercially oriented, so they can cultivate new collectors.
Now, as the Chinese art market begins to occupy more space on the global stage, there is speculation as to how long it will be before China has its version of Art Basel, a top world art fair, with shows in Basel, New York, Miami and Hong Kong.
Art Beijing drew more than 80,000 visitors last year, not just from the art world but also ordinary citizens.
For four decades, the Chinese-American artist, 55, who divides his time between his native Shanghai and California, has used ink as his main object to create art. His current solo exhibition, Zheng Chongbin: Structures, at a Sotheby's space in Hong Kong shows how he has gone beyond classical Chinese ink art, pushing its boundaries.
In his abstract ink paintings, Zheng uses white acrylic paint and creates an uneven surface on a piece of paper, engaging ink in a play of light and space.
Zheng was trained in a traditional way: He learned calligraphy in childhood and was imparted the discipline of classical Chinese painting in his college, China Academy of Art, in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province.
After graduation he joined the teaching staff of his alma mater and began experimenting with ink art.
Looking for more breakthroughs, Zheng then went to San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1980s, when he began studying performance art, installations and video.
The Californian sunlight and the "light and space" movement of the 1970s both influenced him greatly, enabling him to introduce the exploration of light and space in his ink creations. Chimeric Landscape, a video installation at the Hong Kong show executed over 2014-15, explores the "whole cycle of living, entropy and regeneration" of ink. As ink art evolves, Zheng believes it requires artists to devote their lives to exploring it further. Mauro Portaluppi, head chef at Beijing's Tavola restaurant in the Liangmaqiao embassy district, is no exception, proudly hailing from stylish Milan.
But while Portaluppi is firmly rooted in his regional foods, he is also eager to show China the big picture of Italian cuisine. The current destination is Venice, the medieval seaport that once anchored the Maritime Silk Road and boasts a variety of landscapes as well as culinary contributions from civilizations of the past, including a vigorous food and wine festival tradition. For Venice, Portaluppi's regional menu starter is shrimp with onion, nuts and dried grapes, cod fish mousse with roasted polenta and red pepper compote.
Like at the other "stops" on Tavola's Italian gourmet tour, each lasting a few weeks, the Venice set menu includes one glass of regional wine, in this case either the red wine Cecilia Beretta Bardolino Classico DOC or the sparkling white Bisol prosecco, for 398 yuan ($61).
While Portaluppi has worked at posh eateries such as Michelin-starred Al Geno-vese in Milan and the Hotel Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, he applies the same attention to detail whether he is making an elegant cod platter or a "simple" pizza. Tavola's rustica pizza is among its most popular, but it's not Portaluppi's favorite because he doesn't care for the taste of truffle.
Top: An Australian cod fish and tiger prawn combination, served with roasted pepper and thyme and mint compote. At first glance, the cafe, which also serves alcohol, looks like any other except for an altar next to the countertop bar with a Buddha statue set against a gold backdrop. Tera Cafe is part of a flourishing phenomenon in Japan where Buddhist monks are seeking to make inroads in the modern world as the public's connection with a 15-century-old tradition fades.
Gone are the days when the faithful would drop by their neighborhood temple to talk to a monk over tea. Famously irreligious, many Japanese observe rituals from different traditions, perhaps going for a church wedding and worshipping at a Shinto shrine at the New Year. Hirotake Asano, head priest at the Shingyoji temple near Tokyo who opened Tera Cafe in 2013, says Buddhist priests have to venture into society to build links. His businesses underscore the need for Buddhist monks to find a livelihood outside the temple. Among other businesses with Buddhist themes are rent-a-monk services from Amazon Japan and retail giant Aeon, for funerals and other rituals. There is also a chain of bars where ordained priests clad in traditional robes serve cocktails and offer advice.
As well as the alcoholic drinks Tera Cafe offers shabu-shabu pork and ginger-flavored chicken.
On a recent visit, women in their 20s to 40s - the cafe's main clientele - took up most of the dozen or so tables. A woman speaks to Shokyo Miura, a Buddhist monk and one of the on-site priests, after tracing Buddhist sutras at Tera Cafe in Tokyo. The new facility will replace a plant currently in operation in the provincial capital of Yunnan, tripling the number of bottling lines from four to 12, the company said. According to the company, the new plant represents a $185 million investment and is part of the Coca-Cola system's current $4 billion investment plan, which began in 2015 and will continue through 2017. Coca-Cola's new Yunnan plant is located in the Majinpu New Town Industrial Base in the Kunming National High-Tech Industries Development Zone and covers an area of 195,632 square meters. Upon completion, the plant will deliver an annual capacity of 423 million unit cases of beverage, with both sparkling and still products, including such brands as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Ice Dew and Ice Dew Chunyue, to fulfill the fast-increasing demand from 47 million consumers in Yunnan province, the company said.
Coca-Cola said construction work at its new Yunnan plant adheres to green building standards with regard to a wide range of considerations, including site selection, building environment, water-saving, energy-saving, air protection, material and resource utilization, indoor environment quality and design innovation. The plant will strictly enforce the international certification system requirement of the Silver Certification of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a green building certification program of the US Green Building Council that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.
Upon completion, the plant will add to Coca-Cola's number of modern and environmentally friendly green plants. Glen Walter, CEO of Coca-Cola Bottling Investments Group China, Marcelo Boffi, vice-president of Coca-Cola Greater China and South Korea, and Li Jianhui, general manager of Coca-Cola Yunnan Beverage Co Ltd, attended the new plant's groundbreaking ceremony along with local government officials. As one of the largest and most influential foreign-invested enterprises in Yunnan province, the new plant project has received substantial recognition and won strong support from the local government and related authorities. While actively integrating itself into local economic growth, Coca-Cola (Yunnan) Beverage Co Ltd said it is also committed to corporate social responsibility and constantly invests in a variety of areas including community development, water resources and environmental protection. Since 2000, the company has partnered with Yunnan Youth Development Foundation to build 11 Coca-Cola Project Hope schools in Yunnan, which have benefited around 3,500 students. Through the Clean Water Project, Coca-Cola has also provided nearly 80 water purifiers in Yunnan's underprivileged areas, helping improve the quality of drinking water for about 40,000 residents. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Walter, on behalf of all employees, donated 50,000 yuan to a Coca-Cola Project Hope school in Chuxiong, Yunnan province, with the aim of providing students with a better learning environment. Upon completion of the new Yunnan plant, Coca-Cola has said that it will continue to invest in the sustainable development of the local community as it looks to contribute to Yunnan's future growth.
Coca-Cola executives and local officials at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Yunnan plant.
On a recent afternoon in downtown Beijing's Chaoyang Park, Canadian choreographer Alain Gauthier finishes a preview performance of Cavalia and takes a break. At a distance from them, a stage is covered in sand and has a giant digital screen behind it.
With dozens of horses, riders, acrobats, dancers and musicians, Gauthier is here with his multimedia spectacle, Cavalia, which will debut in Beijing on Thursday.
At the outdoor venue, a white tent known as the "big top", covering more than 2,000 square meters is pitched at a height of 35 meters. Created by one of the co-founders of Canadian company Cirque du Soleil, Normand Latourelle, Cavalia, which combines equestrian arts, dramatic visual effects, live music, dance and acrobatics, debuted in Quebec in 2003, touring the world since.
Cavalia follows a storyline about the evolution of the horse and its important place in human history. Gauthier says the process of training horses also reflects the relationship between horses and people. With 46 years of experience in creating and staging such live spectacles, Montreal-based Latourelle was inspired to produce Cavalia by the audiences' focus on animals during a performance. Audiences in Beijing can expect a show that is full of beautiful, romantic and poetic surprises, he says. When they first started, they just wanted to get people's reaction about a new show and they didn't expect it would grow into such a big event, according to Gauthier, who joined Cirque du Soleil in 1986 as a stage artist and has since worked on some 2,000 live performances with the troupe. It took a long time to train a horse to stand still when actors were "flying" over its head, he cites as an example. Horses were used in the military in the past and in the modern world they are largely used in competitions, he says. With Cavalia, they wanted to show the world how respect and trust works between animals and human beings.
Under an agreement between Sinocap and Cavalia Inc, the production is expected to stay in China for a while, jointly managed by the two companies, with Latourelle as the show's artistic director. Chen Zesheng, CEO of Sinocap, first watched the show while on vacation in Singapore in 2014. Having performed the show in Beijing, the British heavy-metal band now prepares to hit Shanghai on Tuesday. As part of their ongoing The Book of Souls global tour that started in February, the band's musicians flew into the Chinese capital on Ed Force One, a customized Boeing jumbo jet piloted by lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson. The Sunday concert was held at LeTV Sport, a large indoor space in Beijing, where fans in the thousands turned up, including young children and the elderly. Founded in Leyton, east of London, in December 1975, the band has so far sold more than 90 million albums worldwide, with hits such as Two Minutes to Midnight and The Trooper, landing their first Grammy in 2011 for the song El Dorado. The ongoing tour is in support of the band's 16th album, The Book of Souls, which was released in September.
Calling Iron Maiden "old-school", Smith, who grew up listening to Deep Purple and the '70s music, says the way they make music is not affected by new technology or the internet, which brings them young fans.
Though the band is not nostalgic, the musicians sometimes look back in wonder about their own success. Titled Migrazioni (Migrations), the collection features a total of 182 multithemed works including paintings, photography, photo painting, explanatory text and a video documentary. It is being billed by its sponsors, Florence's innovative Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, as one of the art world's most significant responses to date to the wave of refugees arriving on Europe's southern shores. The exhibition is due to run through June 19 in the Tuscan capital's Palazzo Strozzi, just a short bus ride away from Prato, the Florence suburb that is now home to one of the biggest Chinese communities in Europe.
What began as an invitation to Liu to spend time in the region examining the relationship between Prato's Chinese population and broader Tuscan society evolved into something much larger when the artist decided to see for himself the journeys being made by Syrian refugees trying to reach northern Europe via Turkey, Greece and the Balkans. The result is a thought-provoking collection that is partly an illustrated diary of the artist's trips from Florence to the frontline of the migrant crisis, and partly a reflection on the nature of migration itself, seen through the twin optics of Prato's Chinatown and the timeless beauty of Tuscany's undulating, cypress-dotted countryside. Among the most striking works in the collection is a huge painting of a classic Tuscan landscape seen from the edge of a swimming pool tastefully cut into the hillside.


In the foreground, two hunting dogs look on languidly, perhaps a little curious but not that interested, as a partly deflated piece of a black rubber dinghy bobs incongruously in the water, like the last remnant of a migrant boat sinking. Liu says his visits to Prato had left him surprised by the slow pace of its Chinese community's integration into Italian life. The Palazzo Strozzi's director general Arturo Galansino says Liu's work was a long overdue attempt by the art world to make sense of the profound changes brought about by migration without seeking to take sides in the day-to-day political battles over whether Europe should close its frontiers or open its gates. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's annual music report says that music sales in China rose 63.8 percent in 2015, to $170 million, which is "a tremendous increase". The first is support from the government, which stepped up the pressure for removal of copyright-infringing content. Last July, the National Copyright Administration of China issued a notice, saying that "online music delivery platforms must have all unauthorized musical works removed by July 31, 2015". Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the copyright administration, recently said more than 2.2 million illegal songs had been removed within two months of the notice being issued.
George Ash, president of Universal Music Asia Pacific, says: "The government is determined to see this transition succeed. Another factor has been digital services, led by Chinese tech giants Tencent and Alibaba, which helped to move China's music market to a paid model.
In 2015, digital revenues rose 68.6 percent and international record companies have pushed to build partnerships with local internet companies in China, which is a strategy seen as key in the fight against piracy, and to reaching out to China's vast audience of more than 680 million internet users. The report says that the most influential internet company in 2015 was Tencent, which first launched a paid service, Green Diamond, in 2008, and has licensing partnerships with two international record companies, Sony and Warner, and some 25 local independent labels. Guo adds that this is not the first time China's record labels and digital services have tried to convert to a paid model. However, the difference this time is in the level of engagement by the government and major Chinese companies. In addition to licensing music, international record companies are investing more in the development of local artists, looking to extend from the traditional hubs of Taiwan and Hong Kong and focus more on the Chinese mainland. Sony Music in 2015 signed Cui Jian, China's "godfather" of rock 'n' roll, while Chinese singer-songwriter Li Ronghao has been signed by Warner Music. Universal Music, which has a recording studio in Beijing and is home to artists including Sa Dingding, Ava Zhao and Wang Tao, has also stepped up investment and aims to take Chinese talent to an international audience.
Despite the progress in China's music business, the Chinese mainland remains one of few markets that do not have full performance rights. According to Guo, a draft proposal has already been submitted by the copyright administration to the State Council, China's cabinet, for its consideration.
According to IFPI's Global Music Report 2016, the music industry achieved a key milestone in 2015 when digital became the primary revenue stream for recorded music worldwide, overtaking sales of physical formats for the first time. Digital revenues now account for 45 percent of total revenues, compared to 39 percent for physical sales. Total industry revenues grew 3.2 percent to$15 billion, leading to the industry's first significant year-on-year growth in nearly two decades. Music is being consumed at record levels, she said, but there continues to be a "value gap" which deprives artists and labels of a fair return for their work.
Like many new visitors to Beijing, they went to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and relished Peking duck. Playing the role of Elsa, the lead character from the 2013 animation hit Frozen, Walker sang the movie's most famous song, Let It Go, along with Chinese pop singer Su Xing.
Two years ago, after she sang the same song along with American singer-actor Alex Boye and the One Voice Children's Choir from Utah, their online video was viewed more than 72 million times, according to Sony Music. Since then she has appeared at several US venues, such as Carnegie Hall, the Disney Christmas Day Parade and Kennedy Center. Last November, she released a holiday-themed debut album, Merry Christmas, featuring traditional and new songs. She is also working on a crossover album with Sony Music, which is likely to be released later in the year.
Walker wasn't formally trained in singing while young but she was surrounded by music, thanks to her grandmother, a longtime music teacher at a local school.
As a child, Walker once had a crowd gathered around her as she sang a Beatles number while sitting near a stuffed toy in a shop, she says.
She decided to become a professional singer after she performed the US national anthem at a soccer game in Utah in 2013, and it fetched her much public attention. US star Lexi Walker performs with Chinese pop singer Su Xing at the Beijing International Film Festival. Beyonce, whose Formation tour opens on Wednesday, encouraged fans to contribute on the CrowdRise website to the United Way charity in Flint, with donors entered into a raffle to win VIP-section tickets. Fans can also win tickets and upgrades by signing up on-site at concerts to support groups.
The beneficiary is Global Citizen, which is dedicated to ending extreme poverty worldwide and puts up an annual concert in New York's Central Park, and Chime for Change, a group founded by the Gucci fashion house that works with Global Citizen to promote the inclusion of women and girls. The United Way, generally considered the largest charity in the United States, will also highlight local issues on each stop. Beyonce also plans charity events on the sidelines of the tour in her hometown of Houston, the gangsta rap capital of Compton, California, and in Detroit where she will highlight the water crisis in nearby Flint.
More than 8,000 children in low-income Flint, which has a majority African-American population, are believed to have drunk municipal water tainted by lead levels that had grown alarmingly high but were not immediately addressed by the government. This business is dedicated to making a difference so that each customer will receive a warm British Columbia welcome, friendly service and an invitation to come back again. Directed Produced by Geoff Marriott Build Your Own Duck Boat paddled and the smallest of electric or gas motors will easily push the lightweight hull. Making the motor To make the pop-pop “motor,” you’ll need some pieces of KS for sale, Let us help you build your own longtail mud motor.
The two experience many ups and downs in their respective lives and gain courage from the letters they write to each other. I hope the dialogues don't make young audiences feel alienated, because that's not the intention," she says.
You can hardly find those from just talking or sending messages on phone apps or over social media," she adds. She says the Chinese version of 84, Charing Cross Road is likely to be reprinted in the thousands as part of the film's promotion. The black-and-white Uproar in the Studio is said to have been made by two brothers in Shanghai. Event organizers also said that some 60 animation films will be out by the end of the year. The film, expected to be released in 2018, revolves on insects' endeavors and is the 200-million-yuan sequel to Minuscule: Valley of Lost Ants, a 2014 hit. It's bigger than all the previous ones, with heavy action sequences and a cast of big names," says Russo, who alongside his brother, Anthony Russo, won an Emmy Award for the comedy TV series, Arrested Development, in 2004. Clarke's works offered him his "first shock and enlightenment", and Liu began to write in his spare time in the late 1980s. There, Lin found a mention of Shakespeare in a Chinese edition of the Encyclopedia of Geography by Britain's Hugh Murray. So if we use a poetic style to translate his works, we should not only consider the form but also the diction, as well as the rhythm and rhyme," Gu adds. James Kingsland even includes guided meditation exercises throughout a book that explores mindfulness and its benefits. Others might focus on compassion, or on the putrefaction of the body if easily distracted by sensual desire. It's a contemporary circus and a circus of the future," said Painchaud at Beijing's Poly Theater earlier. Ever since, Cirque Eloize has presented more than 4,000 performances in more than 500 cities around the world. Nanning Theater, 4 Xingguang Avenue, Jiangnan district, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The concert includes not only popular arias from operas but also pieces from Europe and China. Launched last May, the shows have since toured Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Suzhou, drawing more than 20,000 people.
After graduating from the music department of Nanjing Arts University and learning double bass, Lu tried to shun Chinese opera and worked as a producer for Warner Music China and China Central Television's popular touring pop concert series, The Same Song. He is attracted to the project because of the immediate audience reaction, he says, just like "they would enjoy rock or folk". Rather, he wanted it to become a dynamic platform for art and a holiday destination where families can have fun. There, 98 percent of the 140 galleries and art institutions that participated sold works with 60 percent of the deals done at prices ranging from 100,000 yuan ($15,385) to 200,000 yuan.
The exhibits will be placed around the exhibition center's former Soviet-style building, its latest exposition venues and also its public spaces. When you spend 100,000 yuan on a painting so that you can hang it in your living room, that is meaningful (to the market)," he adds. He first got rid of the traditionally delicate, detailed lines he had perfected for years, looking instead for an abstract presentation that emphasized how the texture and the structure of ink could vary. And, he says people should no longer perceive ink art in the context of historical traditions because only by doing so "will we not get lost in the mist of certain doctrines or mannerisms".
Right: A visitor looks at Chimeric Landscape, an installation by Zheng,during the ongoing Hong Kong show.
The more likely answer is Rome, or Lombardy, or Sardinia, or whatever town or region they claim as home. Born in 1975, he was intrigued by cooking as a child - one uncle owned four restaurants in the city.
So soon after he took the helm of Tavola's kitchen last year, he launched a culinary tour of his country, starting with Puglia, an agricultural region that produces about 40 percent of Italy's olive oil. The region is famous for excellent prosecco from Treviso, and Amarone and Bardolino from Verona. Next comes a beautiful red-radish risotto made creamy with Asiago cheese, cooked just past the al dente stage to perhaps be more harmonious with Chinese tastes.
It lists classes for 1,500 yen ($14) in weaving prayer beads, calligraphy with sutras, or lines of scripture, and consultations with a Buddhist priest. Such acts are forbidden for monks in places like Southeast Asia where there have been instances of association of Buddhism with bars triggering public outcry and prosecutions.
This builds on the $9 billion of investment made in China between 1979 and 2014, and underscores the Coca-Cola Co's strong confidence in the Chinese market and its business growth in the southwestern region. It is hoped that the new investment project will not only foster economic growth in Kunming, but also promote the development and upgrading of the region's industry clusters. I feel grateful to have it in my life," says the artist, looking at two Spanish horses near him.
He wanted to do something different from a circus show that usually has the trainers controlling animals. Many wore the band's T-shirts and screamed in excitement as they heard some of their favorite songs being played live for nearly two hours. It is the band's first double CD album and comes five years after its previous album, The Final Frontier.
For the album, the frontman also wrote the band's longest ever song, Empire of the Clouds, which runs for 18 minutes and was inspired by a plane crash in France in 1930. Fans buy the album, read the lyrics and they don't just download and skip it soon," he adds.
Her performance at the opening ceremony of the Beijing International Film Festival on April 16 thrilled the audience. Trip length is approximately 80 miles with stops at Cascade Bay, Rainbow Falls, Doctors Point and Lillooet river. Besides pieces by Debussy, Saint Saens and Ravel, the Swiss program features Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.
Unimpressed by the food served at their school cafeteria, 8-year-old Mauro and his twin brother would go home at midday and cook pasta or pizza themselves for lunch. Also famous for its wines and a long coastline with a rich tradition for seafood, Puglia came to Beijing customers on plates that featured deep-fried mackerel fillets with cucumbers in vinegar and mint, sauteed mussels with clams and cherry tomatoes, and squid stuffed with focaccia bread. The main course is beef steak Venice style, with spinach and Amarone wine sauce, and the finale is tiramisu, artfully served in a glass with fresh fruits and thin chocolate crisps. Above right: Duck breast roasted with honey, served with baked potato, broccoli and almond slices.
The latest album also climbed to the top of the charts both in Britain and the United States. It's nice to get them (the awards) but I am not in the business to get a Grammy, or to become somebody in the Rock and Roll Hall (of Fame). I just feel excited even when I am about to reach a high note that I have never done before," says Walker, who is also a member of the One Voice Children's Choir. We will be stopping for a barbeque shore lunch on Long Island with plenty of time to discover the many hidden coves.
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I am pretty sure the rest of the guys want the same thing," says Gers, 59, who joined the band in 1989.



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