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One of the most popular events in the Chinese capital, this year's Beijing International Film Festival, which continues through Saturday, has attracted more attention than usual from the rest of the world. The festival has drawn more than 600 stars and filmmakers with Oscar winners such as Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, Black Swan star Natalie Portman and Austrian actor Christoph Waltz. While the red carpet at the opening ceremony on Saturday gave a glimpse of the celebrities, this week offered a full treat for movie fans.
More than 500 high-quality films, up to 90 percent of which have yet to be screened on the Chinese mainland, are being shown in many cinemas, research institutions and colleges in Beijing. Some must-see films, recommended by major movie review sites, include Carol, The Last Emperor, Tokyo Story, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. Among the titles where you could have an after-release conversation with the director, was Portman's A Tale of Love and Darkness, her directorial debut. The movie is based on Israeli writer Amos Oz, and usually such biopics centering on lesser-known figures typically don't find favor with local fans. The actress, with dual American and Israeli citizenship, first gained attention in China for her role in the 1994 thriller Leon and gained an even bigger Chinese fan base for her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan in 2011.
Speaking of Chinese filmmakers and her plans, Portman points to Zhang Yimou as an example to show how Chinese directors have gained recognition in the United States.
Chinese fantasy filmCrosscurrent, winner of the Silver Bear for best camerawork at this year’s Berlin filmfestival. Meanwhile, as megastars and films grab eyeballs at the festival, industry sources sense a number of opportunities. Statistics from the Film Market, a major section of the festival, show that its three-day exhibition, from April 19-21, has attracted more than 200 film companies, including top studios and special-effects developers from the US, the United Kingdom, France, South Korea and Australia. Project Pitches, an incubator for programs with market potential, has received 674 entries, up 48 percent year on year. Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun says that the Chinese capital is a home to most of the country's top film talent. Veteran director Huang Jianxin, also the host of a forum on coproductions at the festival, says China has signed 57 joint programs with American studios this year.
Tornatore, known for his film The Legend of 1900, who has signed a deal to direct a feature for Alibaba Pictures, the film arm of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba, tells the forum that cinema can cross cultural and national barriers. Tornatore, who has worked with American and French filmmakers before, says he has hardly encountered misunderstandings despite the fact that he doesn't speak English and almost no French. He says China is the world's only country which is still seeing big growth in the film industry, while most major markets in the rest of the world are going in the opposite direction. For American producer James Schamus, the man behind the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, present-day coproductions have gone even further than before.
Oriental DreamWorks CEO Fang Gan says coproductions have moved to a new level where Hollywood relies more on Chinese talent rather than their money. He says Kung Fu Panda 3, jointly produced by China and the US, had two versions - one in English and the other in Mandarin to capture the nuances of both languages. But can a joint program win over the native speaker and the rest of the world at the same time? Portman answers the question saying the key to making a quality film is "being specific" to be universal. She gives the instance of Black Swan, which won her the Oscar for best actress, to explain how a fresh tale revealing the lesser-known world of ballet dancers can win over moviegoers regardless of nationality or culture. In an era where box-office records are regularly broken, domestic filmmakers are apparently confident of their home market. Yu Dong, president of the Bona Film Group, says most Hollywood studios fear risks and have been short on creativity in recent years, and in many instances most big-budget tentpoles have been sequels to commercially successful franchises.
The company says the number of screens in China - now pegged at 35,000 - could surpass those in North America by the end of the year. Yu also says moviegoer numbers in China will see a big increase in the future, mainly coming from fourth- and fifth-tier cities. Big Fish Begonia, a feature produced by entertainment giant Enlight Media, is among a few Chinese-language movies that use virtual reality technology to make promotional material. Animation film Bobby the Hedgehog and the French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's biographical drama The Walk, which were released in January in the Chinese mainland, used VR technology for their promotional efforts.
Two days after Golden Horse-winning director Gao Qunshu announced plans to direct China's first VR feature Bijokan, adapted from a namesake Japanese film, Zhang Yimou announced a collaboration with VR developer Danghong Qitian to launch a VR-based brand to provide offline interactive games on March 26. But despite an increasing numbers of Chinese film industry people paying attention to the cutting-edge technology, VR is still a new concept in China. Statistics show that the country - despite more than 1,000 offline stores offering suits for VR entertainment - doesn't have a single cinema for VR films. So, will the new technology revolutionize the movie industry, which has benefited from so many technological revolutions in the past 120 years? A forum held by entertainment researcher Entgroup, at the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival, offers some clues. Mili Pictures vice-president Chen Qiyi says VR films, which can give viewers "an immersive experience", will change the way films are watched. Viewers can step into a virtual world to take part in the journey with protagonists, Chen says. Li Jie, senior vice-president with Heyi Pictures, says VR films will see a boom in 2020, following the development of technologically lower-threshold sectors such as live-broadcast concerts, animation and documentaries. He adds the current technologies are not mature enough to provide a "comfortable" experience for VR movie viewing. However, some industry sources are concerned that the technology could infringe upon artistic elements in films. Xu Fei, founder of the special-effects firm Illumina, says VR can help traditional filmmakers preview their scenes. Audiences in Beijing wear headsets to watch a virtual reality trailer of the upcoming animated film Big Fish Begonia. South Korea's My Love, Don't Cross That River opened the documentary section of the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival on Sunday. Released in 2014, the film, which has been shown at more than 40 such festivals around the world, made its China debut at the sixth edition of the weeklong Beijing film festival that began last weekend.
Jin Mo-young, the film's 46-year-old director, comes across as someone who pays little attention to his appearance, and his documentary that shines a light on South Korea's aging society, speaks for itself.
He got the idea of shooting the film from a Korean TV program that featured Jo Byeong-man, then 98, and his wife, Kang Kye-yeol, 89.
Until Jo's death in 2013, the couple had been married for 76 years, and Jin decided to follow them around for some 15 months in Hoengseong county, Gangwon province, to explore the "secret" of their love by documenting their daily activities. So far, his film remains the top-grossing documentary in South Korea, with more than 5 million domestic viewers in a genre still considered niche in many parts of the world. Jin says he minimized his intervention in the film, allowing scenes to narrate the couple's story, because neither the husband nor the wife looked camera-shy. The film also has moments when the elderly couple behave like young lovers, an element that Jin says has drawn young Koreans to the theater. In the film, the couple's children are seen arguing over issues like healthcare for their parents.
With cultural and social similarities in China and South Korea, including family structures, he anticipated the documentary would be received well by Chinese viewers. But Jin says he didn't want his film to look similar to Boyhood, the 2014 coming-of-age American movie made with the same cast over 12 years.
China has so many topics that could be made into heavy-duty documentaries, and Chinese filmmakers have the technology, facilities and the passion to go big on them, but many documentaries here are made in the format of "records" rather than as storytelling projects, he says. According to an industry forum at this year's Beijing film festival, more than 70 percent of Chinese documentaries are on historical themes, leaving less space for current society. Jin's next documentary is expected to be on a deep-sea diver, for which his approach would be more personal than narrative-based. While the Chinese market for commercial cinema is flourishing as the world No 2 after the US, Jin says China should create more space to screen documentaries. My Love, Don't Cross That River documents the daily lives of an elderly Korean couple who were married for 76 years.
An ambitious, immersive museum showcasing the life and works of the groundbreaking filmmaker that opened in Switzerland on Sunday, is now making it possible. Chaplin's World, 15 years in the planning, premiered in the picturesque village of Corsier-sur-Vevey on Lake Geneva one day after what would have been the British screen legend's 127th birthday. The museum is set on the vast estate of Manoir de Ban, about 26 kilometers from Lausanne, where Chaplin spent the last 25 years of his life until his death in 1977, aged 88.
He had moved to Switzerland after being barred from the United States in the 1950s over suspicion that he had communist sympathies, at the height of paranoia about Soviet infiltration. On the Swiss Riviera overlooking the lake with a view of the Alps in the distance, the large manor where Chaplin lived with his wife, Oona, and their eight children forms half of the museum, retracing the filmmaker's private life. Chaplin's 70-year-old son, Michael, recalls what it was like living in the mansion, with around a dozen helpers.
A separate building has been built nearby as a large mock-up of a Hollywood studio dedicated to Chaplin's on-screen work that began around 1914. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the artist's humble beginnings in London and his spectacular rise to become one of the biggest, most influential movie legends in Hollywood history. With clips from his iconic films flickering from a multitude of screens, visitors can walk down Easy Street, visit the barber shop from The Great Dictator and the restaurant where he ate his shoe in The Immigrant. Chaplin's World is also dotted with more than 30 wax figures created by the Grevin wax museum in Paris.
The lifelike figures portray Chaplin as different characters, his wife, other actors and actresses from his films, friends and people who mattered to him like Albert Einstein, as well as artists inspired by his work like Michael Jackson and Woody Allen. In a narrow room resembling a Swiss bank vault, one can find some of the iconic objects associated with Chaplin's work, including his bowler hat and cane of his Little Tramp persona, and the ripped trousers and patched shoes he wore in The Kid. The museum project has faced numerous stumbling blocks over more than 15 years of drawn-out negotiations. It took seven years to get a building permit, and before that organizers had to wait five years to settle a lawsuit brought by a neighbor worried about the implications of the project. Eugene Chaplin admits the transformation of Manoir de Ban, where he was born in 1953 and lived until 2008, was difficult and says he had stayed away while the work was being done. The silent film The Great Dictator is screened in Chaplin's World, an interactive museum in Switzerland.
It is actually a picture of President Richard Nixon shaking hands with Elvis Presley in the Oval Office in December 1970 after the meeting between two pivotal figures in 20th-century America. Elvis & Nixon, a comedy movie that re-imagines their unlikely White House encounter, opens in US theaters on Friday after premiering at New York's Tribeca film festival. Kevin Spacey (Nixon) knows a thing or two about playing a president after years as the scheming Frank Underwood on the TV series House of Cards. There are no records of what exactly happened on the day when Presley requested a meeting with Nixon in a bid to become an undercover federal agent-at-large, and found a bond with the president over a shared dislike of the counterculture.
Nixon had not begun his secret Oval Office recordings, so the screenwriters relied largely on firsthand accounts from Presley confidant Jerry Schilling and Nixon aide Bud Krogh. Shannon, whose Presley is quiet, lonely and reflective, never imagined himself playing the "king of rock 'n' roll".
Shannon listened to interviews and visited the tiny apartment in Memphis where Presley spent his teenage years. Spacey relished the chance to play a very different kind of president, and to present a rarely seen side of Nixon.
The US comedy Elvis & Nixon stars Kevin Spacey (left) and Michael Shannon in the lead roles. When Liang Guyin spent 18 months' salary on tuition, to learn an episode of the play Peony Pavilion, she could never have foreseen that half a century later, she would still be performing the play. It was the summer of 1976, and Liang was a hardworking young actress with more than a decade of training in Kunqu Opera, an ancient local art form of southern China. Decades earlier, the play Peony Pavilion had been banned, because the love story between a man and a female spirit was unacceptable in the political environment back then. Peony Pavilion represented the ultimate climax of Kunqu Opera, and she was determined to learn all of it even though she might never have been able to present it on stage. To attain her dream, she was then introduced to Yao Chuanxiang, a maestro of Kunqu Opera, and wanted to learn from him a particular episode of Peony Pavilion. In order to convince the maestro, who was known for his reluctance to teach, as well as to prove her determination and sincerity, Liang offered Yao an envelope containing 1,000 yuan ($154), which amounted to her total salary of a year and a half at the time.
Now, Liang, 74, will join her colleagues from the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe to perform the play as part of an international tour of four classical plays known as Four Dreams in the Camellia Hall by Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), the celebrated playwright of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). She will be the lead actress for Peony Pavilion, which is by far the most recognized play of the Four Dreams performance.
Starting on Sunday, the tour will cover 11 cities in China, as well as Prague and New York.
The project has brought together generations of Kunqu Opera artists - from Liang and fellow artists in their 70s to younger talent.
Artists such as Shen Yili and Li An, who will be performing The Purple Hairpin, another operatic piece, are in the "golden years" of their artistic careers, says Yue Meiti, an artist in her 70s. Reviving the other three plays - A Dream under the Southern Bough, The Handan Dream and The Purple Hairpin-took a great deal of effort by the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe. So, as China marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, along with the rest of the world, cultural experts here are grumbling that less attention is being paid to Tang. His question gets its answer in the views of Zhang Xiaoding, general manager of Shanghai Grand Theater, who says: "It has to do with the dominance of English culture internationally. The Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe's endeavor is a major step to introduce Tang's masterpieces to the public. For almost 300 years, Kunqu Opera, known for its grace, beauty and delicacy, dominated the country's theater scene, until Peking Opera, which shares common roots with Kunqu and combines influences from a variety of folk music and theatrical arts, took over in the late 1800s. Tang's plays are still widely adapted today for different folk opera styles in China, yet Peony Pavilion, which remains the best known of them, is mostly staged in Kunqu. Liu Mengmei, a poor young scholar, and Du Liniang, the daughter of a high-ranking official, share the dream of meeting and falling in love under a tree, despite the fact that they've never met.


The work, which debuted in December 1962 by Stuttgart Ballet, is arguably the best dance treatment of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev's celebrated ballet score. When NBC's former president Zhao Ruheng visited Stuttgart Ballet in early 2006 to discuss staging the work in Beijing, Reid Anderson, its artistic director, was hesitant. Anderson also sent Stuttgart Ballet's principal dancer Friedemann Vogel to perform as Romeo with NBC's principal ballerina Zhu Yan as Juliet for the premiere. He also says every time he returns to China, both Shanghai and Beijing seem changed but the dancers and the company make him feel like he never left. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Vogel started to dance at the age of 4 influenced by his brother who is 12 years older and now also a professional dancer.
Vogel then passed an audition for the John Cranko School and later received a scholarship to study with Marika Besobrasova at the Academie de Danse Classique Princesse Grasse in Monaco. Immediately after the Beijing show, Vogel will fly to Moscow to dance in MacMillan's Manon. Stuttgart Ballet's principal dancer Friedemann Vogel will perform Romeo with NBC's ballerina Wang Qimin as Juliet in Beijing. Two French jazz musicians, pianist Baptiste Trotignon and percussionist Minino Garay, are expected to perform here in May. The Painted Garden, a multimedia dance show by Italy's interactive theater company TPO, is returning to the city after its debut last May. Italian violinist Giovanni Angeleri will perform in the city together with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra.
Choreographed by Swiss musician Michel Kelemenis, the play is said to feature exquisite costumes. New Yorker Faith Ann Birnstein visited the Three Gorges twice - before and after the dam was completed in 2006.
Birnstein, who has worked as a university instructor in Chongqing for nearly 12 years, hopped on a cruise with a cultural exchange group during her 2009 trip. As China's longest watercourse and the planet's third longest, the Yangtze is renowned for its long, rich history and beautiful scenery. The Three Gorges - Qutang, Wu and Xiling - span about 120 kilometers on the river from Chongqing's Fengjie county to Hubei province's Yichang. Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) emperors frequently boarded wooden ships to inspect their territory. Since the Three Gorges Dam - the world's largest hydroelectric project - began operations, the water level has risen, making the river wider and mountains appear lower.
To cope with the changes, Beijing in 2004 drafted the Regional Tourism Development Master Plan of The Three Gorges, China's first national plan for regional tourism development. The plan coordinates the activities of the region's cities and provinces, especially Chongqing and Hubei, to improve infrastructure, upgrade travel facilities and develop new scenic spots. Chongqing Normal University tourism expert Hu Zhiyi says that, compared with the "old" Three Gorges, the current area offers diversified landscapes, such as lakes.
Li Yang, a 20-year-old student in Chongqing, recently took a bus to the municipality's Dragon Jar Geopark for a three-day trip. The national geological park's karst areas were developed as a destination starting in 2005.
Wulong county in southeastern Chongqing, far from the river, is not a traditional destination for cruise passengers. The bureau has worked with nearby counties along the river and designed various travel products to meet increasing demand. It attracted over 5 million visitors in 2015, up nearly 140 percent over the previous year. The expansion of luxury fleets has made Yangtze cruises as popular as those along the Nile, the Mississippi, the Rhine and the Danube.
Yangtze cruises have become more interesting and comfortable, says Liu Jianbin, general manager of the cruise business at Tuniu, one of China's biggest online travel agencies.
Over 100 million tourists visited the region's 15 districts and counties last year, Chongqing's tourism bureau says. But the number of guests from overseas is dropping, says Yu Bing, marketing director of Yichang Royal Yangzi Cruise Ltd, a high-end cruise company targeting the overseas market. Chongqing plans to build a cruise terminal at Chaotianmen Port on the Yuzhong Peninsula, plus 10 other terminals along the Yangtze. And I've taken several - very different - trips through the region since I returned three years ago.
Indeed, the scenery of the gorges - Qutang, Wu and Xiling - have transformed since the world's largest dam was completed in 2006, raising the water level to 175 meters. Most folks relied on the waterway to travel the area in the '90s, due to underdeveloped roads in the mountainous area around the river.
My mother took me on a 10-day cruise from Chongqing to Hubei province's Yichang in the summer of 1992, when I was in junior high. The banks hosted several scenic spots, such as Fengdu Ghost City, White Emperor City and Zhangfei Temple. Today, there are many ways to discover destinations farther from the riverside thanks to huge infrastructure investments. I'll always remember drinking beer on the deck as we watched the sunset reflected off the river that rippled in the cool breeze. But nowadays, I opt to drive to the area's scenic spots, since highways have been built to link every county and district. Easier access has enabled me to discover amazing natural sceneries, such as those of Yunyang Dragon Jar Geopark, tucked among ancient heritage sites. Though people like me sometimes miss the Yangtze's wild torrents of the days of yore, indeed, the "new Three Gorges" present another, tranquil, type of beauty.
The official expects that the number will rise to 200,000 in 2016 as almost 15 regular and charter flights come to Cairo, Luxor and Hurghada every week. Mahmoud reveals that the tourism authority contacted the Chinese ambassador in Cairo and asked him to work on allowing Chinese airlines to fly to Egypt, adding "it will be a great chance for the Chinese airlines to work in the Egyptian market". He says that most Chinese tourists visit areas such as the Giza pyramids, the Egyptian Museum and Upper Egypt's ancient temples.
Mahmoud says there are many travel agencies in Egypt working with Chinese tourism operators. Tourism in Egypt was dealt a heavy blow following the Russian airplane crash in North Sinai in October, after which several countries, including Britain and Russia, suspended flights to Egypt. Since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has descended into political, economic and social chaos, causing a recession in its tourism industry, one of the main sources of the country's national income and foreign currency reserves. Meanwhile, the official says the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Egypt "sent a positive message to our friends in China". Mahmoud says the government is working hard to breathe life into the ailing tourism industry through promotional campaigns inside and outside Egypt. He believes that the Arab market is very promising as the number of Arab tourists in Egypt has increased in January and February this year. Although many European countries stopped tourists from going into Egypt recently, he says, there are some European countries that have started sending tourists to Egypt.
Mahmoud believes that the sources of tourism must be diversified, noting that in the past Egypt has relied on four or five markets that brought in about 70 to 75 percent of its tourists. Jia Pingwa's new novel, Ji Hua, narrates the story of a woman who is freed after three years of being abducted. The author, who won the Mao Dun Literature Prize, China's top literary award, for his earlier novel Qin Qiang (Qinqiang Opera), has named his latest book after an imaginary flower.
Ji Hua is the tale of Hu Die, a girl from a poor rural family who accompanies her single mother to the city. Jia is among China's most influential contemporary writers, and his books have been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Korean. Ji Hua was written based on a real-life story that Jia had heard from a resident of Xi'an, in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, a decade ago.
Jia, who also comes from a farmers' family, then began to focus on population thinning in rural areas of China. Several years ago, in many remote villages in Shaanxi, the number of residents fell so much that the villages were merged into one. Many women who go to the cities with their husbands either divorce or abandon them fearing the prospect of returning to the poor villages.
The situation reminded Jia of the story about the abducted girl, and resulted in the new novel of around 200 pages - his shortest - using a concept he borrowed from Chinese ink painting, an art form that he is also good at.
Instead of depicting pure good and evil, his book creates an organic image of a remote village in his home province, where challenging living conditions present many complexities. Chinese author Liang Hong, who is known for her works about the Chinese countryside, says that for her, Ji Hua isn't about an abducted woman, but more about how to communicate with the land.
According to Chen Xiaoming, a professor of Chinese literature at Peking University, Jia's writing is both about wronged women of rural China and the living conditions there. The author writes about the villages that have been deserted for the cities - villages with history, beauty and vitality.
Jia's latest novel reveals the transformation of China's rural areas through an abducted woman's story. Reading and translating the Bard's sonnets she realized how much of a poet he was, in addition to being one of the world's finest playwrights. According to historians, the Bard dedicated many of his sonnets to a young man and a few to a young woman. Along with the rest of the world, China is marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death this year with a series of cultural events. Ye will release her book dedicated to Shakespeare on World Book Day, this Saturday, she says. She hopes to help Chinese readers understand Shakespeare's sonnets better through Across 400 Years to Reach You, her well-illustrated book that not only translates his words about also interprets their meaning. To critic Zhang Yimeng, the Bard's sonnets have been lost on many Chinese readers due to translation issues.
There have been a few successful Chinese translations in the past century, but Zhang says more needs to be done. Zhang sees Ye's translations as being more successful, because she adopted the approach of paraphrasing and captured key elements of the original sonnets - the theme of beautiful and undying love, the elegance of language and the enchanting mood or atmosphere created by them.
A Shakespeare fan commented on Douban, a Chinese online platform, that Ye's translation brings readers closer to the Bard's "mood of love" compared with earlier versions that sounded more like an elderly man recalling his younger days. For every sonnet she translated, she also offered an essay alongside recording her thoughts and ideas. Her online translations that mix modern Chinese, especially catchy phrases, with expressions in ancient Chinese poems, helped take excerpts from the upcoming book to her friends and beyond. Born in East China's Fujian province, Ye has an English major from Beijing's University of International Relations.
Before starting to translate Shakespeare, she worked as a professional translator in the Chinese navy for 16 years. Ye is not afraid of possible questions that could be raised about her version of Shakespeare's sonnets.
Hu, 63, can trace his ancestry back to more than 20 generations in an ancient village in East China's Jiangxi province.
With China's modernization, ancient villages are disappearing at a fast pace as residents replace old houses with modern buildings. The top annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference are commonly referred to as the two sessions. Guo says houses in Jinxi have retained their olden-day forms as locals have great respect for their ancestors. She has helped with a conference called Digital Heritage Around China to raise awareness and money for the protection and preservation of ancient villages. In Youdian village, there are 72 ancient stone buildings with walls that are several meters high. For the few residents of the village, they recognize that their houses must be preserved as a kind of cultural heritage after the local government offered them money to help them with repairs. Separately, Huang says the local government also wants to bring in private funds to protect the ancient villages.
For instance, Guo's team and the organizer of Digital Heritage Around China have promised to help fix decaying houses. But Guo says repairing the houses is relatively easy compared with convincing young villagers to return home from the cities.
These villages that reply mainly on agriculture can't provide enough job opportunities like big cities do.
A young man who Guo met earlier this year told her that he realized the value of the houses in his village when he saw how ancient houses are protected in other countries. Last week, Faberge Revealed, which displays 234 of the finest Russian objects from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, normally housed in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the United States, went on display at the Meridian Gate Gallery in Beijing's Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City. According to Alex Nyerges, director of VMFA, Peter Karl Faberge (1846-1920) is considered one of the world's most refined jewelers.
From 1885, czars Alexander III and Nicholas II commissioned Faberge to make Easter eggs as gifts every year.
For instance, the Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg, made by Faberge firm in 1903 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of St. He also says that some techniques used to make the eggs were even more demanding than what were commonly used to make Chinese royal objects. For instance, he says while in China enamel is usually used in cloisonne, and enamel painting without a metal outline is done rarely because it is difficult to execute, Faberge's company often uses the technique. Barry Shifman, a curator from VMFA in charge of decorative arts from 1890 to the present, says the picture frame is another Faberge object favored by Russian nobles.
Shifman says that VMFA has an impressive collection of Faberge items thanks to Lillian Thomas Pratt, a private collector from Virginia who donated 200 objects to it in 1947. The Beijing event is part of a cooperation agreement between the Palace Museum and VMFA signed in 2011. Under the agreement, a landmark exhibition called Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing, was held at VMFA from October 2014 to January 2015. With the ongoing exhibition, the Faberge treasures from VMFA are outside North America for the first time, and this is also the first exhibition at the Palace Museum displaying exhibits from a US museum. Lou Wei, deputy director of the Palace Museum, says it has also begun to contact other US museums to bring their collections to the Chinese public.
Exhibitions displaying royal objects from India, Germany and Spain have been held at the museum since 2005, and Lou says more will follow the Faberge show. Museum director Shan Jixiang says the Meridian Gate Gallery, which is situated by the entrance of the Forbidden City, will become a major venue hosting heavyweight overseas exhibitions in the future. Born in 1989, Zheng Jilong has become a cocktail-making wizard, starting from scratch to co-own two successful bars.
A school dropout who once struggled to make a living, Zheng says an online video in which a mixologist showed his bartending flair changed his life. That was in 2009, three years after the Weihai native from Shandong province had dropped out of a martial arts occupational school, making a meager income through occasional performances. In 2009, with all the money he had saved - 10,000 yuan ($1,500), Zheng came to Beijing and took a four-month bartending course at an occupational school.


It was first time he realized bartending is a respectable profession that requires systemic skills and knowledge, and it's not just about shaking cocktail shakers and being cool, he adds. It was hard for him to remember cocktail recipes, and even harder to master bartending movements with flair.
He thought all the time about tips he'd been given to develop his skills, and practiced his set of movements much more than others in the class. But four months was too short a time for him to fully acquire the skills and knowledge to become a bartender after graduation. Everything seemed going well, until a bad decision dragged him to the lowest point of his life. He joined in a startup and contracted to run a bar, only to find he was victim of fraud, and lost more than 60,000 yuan in two months. Starting from zero, Zheng drifted from one bar to another, until in 2010, he got a position at Twilight, a popular bar in Beijing. He quickly developed his cocktail-mixing skills and theoretical knowledge, such as the characters of different spirits, and how to mix them with other ingredients, and says now that he learned more in his time at Twilight than in the past years combined.
As Chinese people are increasingly getting used to drinking cocktails, people would go a long way to bar streets and hotels if they want to throw a party or socialize with others, he says. In about a year, thanks to its location, privacy and drinks list of about 150 cocktails, it was packed every night. Then Zheng launched The Mixing House with Yang Zaigui, a chef, which means they can provide Western and Japanese food, as customers from D&M Bar had suggested. Jasmeet Singh, deputy general manager of The Taj Pavilion, says he got to know the staff, and as they talked, they decided to bring the restaurant's food to the hotel for 10 days in April. Opening night on Friday was crowded, with officials from India's embassy in attendance, as well as musicians and dancers, Singh says. A portable tandoor oven is in operation, and chef Makhan Singh was making naan by flattening out dough and slapping it on the side of the clay oven, where it cooked into crunchy deliciousness.
The rich butter chicken was my favorite - when ordered a la carte, it's the most expensive item on the menu at 80 yuan, while some entrees are just 40 yuan. While we dined, chef Singh came out to the restaurant floor to demonstrate how roomali roti, a thin Indian bread, is stretched by being tossed in the air like a pizza.
The dinner buffet offers such delicacies as butter chicken, aloo jeera potatoes and freshly made naan flatbread. US embassy chef Michael Rosenblum will share dishes with Beijing-area gourmets from menus enjoyed by celebrity guests in a weeklong promotion at Grill 29 starting on Monday. With two suitcases, three carry-ons, a diaper bag, a double-stroller, and a pair of additional car seats, the van was packed, too packed for a shovel.
A bittersweet week in Madison as the famed octopus signs from the Octopus car washes are coming down. Though your lawn itself may not be growing at an accelerated rate, the roots and rhizomes are going nutso beneath the surface.
Custom options for horse stables and horse stalls are as popular as they come when ordering a modular Amish horse barn.
Sheds today are not merely unsightly outdoor containers; they can offer secure and stylish solutions to a multitude of storage needs. Shed extensions and snow load kits are not currently available for 7-foot wide Lifetime sheds. Thus, your plastic storage shed gets the attractive look of a wood storage shed without having to worry about the plastic peeling or warping like wood shed do. Like all Lifetime storage sheds, the bulk of the visible shed is made with polyethylene plastic. The films were selected from 2,329 entries from 105 countries and regions, a rise of 53 percent compared with last year.
But when online ticket sales began on March 28, the 621 seats on offer were immediately sold. The producers even hired a Chinese director and a star-studded cast to make Chinese audiences feel that the film "is a tale tailored for them". But he says such movies could become a specific branch of the business that needs creators to tailor content to enable viewers to participate in the storyline. Directors tell their personal stories through them and it would be weird to enter such a world," says Ding Liang, senior vice-president of Shenzhen Huaqiang Holdings Ltd. Deng Goes to Washington, a documentary about Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's historical visit to the United States in 1979, made 17 million yuan ($2.6 million) in box-office revenues in 2015. He also learned karate for a scene in which Presley demonstrated his black belt moves for an astonished Nixon. Tormented by this unfulfilled love, Du fades away, and before her death asks a helper to hide one of her portraits in a garden. He immediately recognizes the woman, and eventually digs her out of her grave, reviving and marrying her.
In 2007, he danced the pas de deux of Romeo and Juliet with Wang for Angela Merkel, when the German chancellor visited East China's Nanjing city. It seems my life is always about packing, changing costumes and luggage," Vogel says, recounting his journey. Trotignon is known for his romantic and cheerful style, while Garay's music has deep roots in Argentina, where he was born and raised.
Catering to children ages 3 and 7, the show has dancers inviting the audience to join in scenes and interact in a lively theatrical experience. Angeleri won the first prize at the International Paganini Competition in 1997, while the Moscow orchestra, which was founded in 1978, is a major representative of Russia's classical music scene.
It was peaceful and seemed so much like traditional China to me as a foreigner," she says, recalling her first trip in 2005.
But now people can get off at Fuling Port and take an hourlong drive to its UNESCO South China Karst World Heritage Site.
Above right: Tourists experience a trip on a boat dragged by boatmen along the Shennong stream in the Three Gorges area. However, terror attacks by Islamist militants have led many countries to warn their residents against traveling to Egypt.
But her urban dreams are soon shattered as she is abducted by a group of people, taken to a village and sold to a family. She returns to the same village to reunite with her baby boy whose biological father is her former captor. Through the abducted woman's perspective, readers not only see the problems of the rural areas, but also the different aspects of village life.
So all the characters in the novel are part of the village, and each person has his or her position on issues," says Liang. They try to find ways to communicate with the outside world such as by doing business, and even with Hu Die to reach a 'reconciliation,'" she says.
I also see his hesitation in expressing his love because of the age gap between them," Ye, 46, tells China Daily at a cafe in Beijing, speaking of one of Shakespeare's sonnets. Having received positive feedback, she went ahead with presenting it to a broader readership. So when she launched a crowd-funding request to publish the book, she got the task done in two days, thanks to her already existing fan base. After he finishes work in his rice fields he visits a family in Youdian village, speaking to them about the history of their house and narrating stories about their common ancestors, hoping to persuade them to repair their house, which was built hundreds of years ago. All the buildings of Hu's village in Jinxi county are ancient houses dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). All these villages have traditional houses built also in styles of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It's rare to see ancient houses that are mostly in their original forms in such large numbers in China," says Guo Daiheng, an expert on Chinese traditional architecture. An average of 100 villages are vanishing each day in China, scholar Feng Jicai remarked during last year's two sessions in Beijing. Some are transformed into tourist attractions and the local residents are replaced by businesspeople. They may leave for the cities or build new houses near their village," says Guo, whose team has been in the area for two months now with the sole aim of studying the houses and protecting them. The village's most famous ancestor was Hu Guifang, a senior official in the Ming Dynasty, who was then in charge of construction, transportation and agriculture. They have ancestral temples, schools and houses with similar layouts that include ponds, long and narrow stone alleys. But the average annual income of villagers who work in the rice fields is about 10,000 yuan, says Hu. However, Guo says she sees hope when she meets young people making plans for their hometowns. The eggs were typically made using precious metals or semiprecious stones and decorated with enamel and gemstones. The items were mainly bought to the United States in the 1930s, when they frequently appeared in the market there following the Russian Revolution. D&M Bar opened in 2013 at a residential community near Beijing's CBD, and The Mixing House opened earlier this year. However, the training he'd gotten in martial arts since young had made him accustomed to move his arms and hands firmly and with strength, and that helped him to learn to make cocktails with elegant but relaxed moves. So he started working as a waiter in 1949 The Hidden City, a club area in Beijing, where he got the chance to learn from senior bartenders. Most of the money had come from his parents, who even suspected that Zheng had become addicted with drugs. He was not only encouraged to learn from its skilled mixologists, but he also was required to create new cocktail recipes every day. But if they just want to sit down to drink and talk with close friends, or simply to enjoy cocktails themselves, he believes most would prefer a bar that is quiet and not far from home. It is one of three outlets of the restaurant group, which has been serving the subcontinent's delicacies in Beijing since 1998.
We visited a little on the late side on the next night, and while things were more sedate, it still was a stimulating experience for the eyes and palate. But we chose the buffet, available only at dinner, which features a variety of Indian dishes, an array of Western items, beverages and a delectable fruit and dessert display with yummy pastries and a chocolate fountain for 188 yuan ($29) plus a 15 percent service fee. At peak dinnertime hours, there also are dancers, and artists who will apply a henna tattoo. We're not supposed to name those luminaries, though Americans will probably be able to guess who came to dinner the night "Plains Chocolate Peanut Pie" was served. Her mom is a wild, Californian sea otter that sought refuge in the pool to shield her against other animals and the stormy days.
Every lawn is different, so if youa€™ve got some problem weeds, dona€™t ignore that bag of weed-and-feed. You know youa€™re going to need fertilizer and planting soil and lawn mower maintenance kits, so buy them now while most stores are liquidating the inventory.
Modular barns are built using pre-built shed row sections configured to your desired specifications. Saving your time and money and let North Country Sheds help get you started in the right direction. Please note that this shed item will ship via an ltl freight carrier for a curbside delivery. By using steel to strengthen these critical areas of the shed, the shed is more able to handle harsher weather areas with strong winds or heavy snow loads.
NBC bought the copyright of the work from Stuttgart Ballet in 2006 and premiered it in China that year. Also, Anderson wasn't sure whether a Chinese company would stage it properly - no Asian companies had performed the production until then. The dancers, the crew, all were all very good," Vogel, 34, tells China Daily on the sidelines of a recent rehearsal. But thanks to the great music in the rehearsal room every morning, when you feel down, you put your back up, put your neck up to the music, then you move and you feel better," he adds. His target this year is to attract 9 million tourists, but the government hopes to attract 20 million visitors by 2020. Raped by Hei Liang, a member of that family, she lives through her troubles until her mother rescues her with the help of police and a reporter.
There are about 11,000 houses built during both dynasties in the county, according to the local government. Well-known ancestors of today's villagers were influential scholars, writers, poets and powerful officials in imperial China. Jasmeet Singh says that while they don't adjust recipes for non-Indian palates, they have mainly chosen northern dishes that generally are less hot. The ola€™ mini van stood tall in the face of Ashleya€™s 13+ inch assault, though the ripple effect was felt, snow piled high on the sides and behinda€¦drifting and plowinga€¦quite the pile-up. Like your grass, weeds are supercharging in the fall, and attacking them will be quite effective this time of year.
Sure you might get some looks from the neighbors when your turning the auger in 65 degree weather, but it's worth it.
Our on site construction team then fits together each panel making assemble one of the fastest types of construction. I wanted a shed to store my gardening equipment and decided to build my own from plan.
Thus, you can enjoy storing items and using your shed rather than keeping it up with monotonous tasks. A Itasca County Sheriff Vic Williams gives a public warning about the current ice conditions. For most dig out conditions, like long-term airport parking, the garden trowel provides plenty of clearing ability and great ice-chipping leverage, and it stores under the seat or often in a glove box or easily in a backpack if you're a winter hiking, snowshoeing, or camping enthusiast. If youa€™re wondering which fertilizer to use, dona€™t overthink it a€“ anything is better than nothing, and most companies make it easy on you, offering a€?winterizer" blends.
If youa€™re a do-it-yourselfer, you will save a lot of money by preparing for spring right now.
This type of building saves you time and money as appose to traditional stick by stick builds.
For instance, the shed can fit underneath areas that larger sheds would struggle with like under trees or parts of another building. The shorter depth of the shed makes it well-suited for storing smaller pieces of yard equipment like a pushing lawn more, paint and other chemicals, and smaller yard tools. These modular barn plans are the perfect choice for a horse lover interested in a quick and affordable horse shelter. All our modular Amish horse barn designs are custom built to meet your desired look and finish.



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Author: admin | 15.12.2013 | Category: Small Sheds For Sale


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