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Dalian hosts cultural festival with folk art at the centre

CCTV.com

06-07-2016 07:00 BJT

In China's coastal city of Dalian, just south of Liaoning province, folk artists have been showcasing their talents at a special festival. It's all part of the build up to the country's national Cultural Heritage Day which falls on June 11th.

A live performance of the Fuzhou shadow puppet show goes down extremely well with the crowd at Dalian's cultural festival.  

The art form was officially listed in the first national intangible cultural heritage 10 years ago. 

Shadow puppet show was officially listed in the first national intangible cultural heritage 10 years ago.

Shadow puppet show was officially listed in the first national intangible cultural heritage 10 years ago.

68-year-old Song Guochao ,who is the representative inheritor of the Fuzhou shadow show, is an expert in creating the stage, set and the stars of the show and even performs as a puppeteer, a craft that he believes is dying out.

"Nowadays, most of the shadow puppet performers are old ones like me and it's sad to see the art form on the edge of dying out," said Song.

In order to save the art, Song has formed a troupe and together they've made vast improvements on scripts and performance styles in order to cater to a more modern audience.

"We believe a different variety of show will go down a lot better with the audience. While we want to maintain the local characteristics, we have also learned the latest trends from other troupes across the country," Song said.

The event also features a forum where folk art experts discuss different ways to help preserve the country's rich cultural heritage.

According to one expert keeping it preserved has been a  a long and arduous task which has required the cooperation of everyone involved , none more so than the artists themselves.

"It's vital that we preserve our rich cultural heritage. This doesn't just mean continuing what is passed down to us but it means we must try to innovate and evolve. If you look through history, you'll see, only those who have inherited and survived," said Wu Bingan, folklore expert.

This year's celebration will also include an exhibition and creative bazaar of the traditional handicrafts of China along with a nationwide paper-cutting contest with a new batch of the city's intangible cultural heritage to be announced.

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