No longer strangers
Shaoxing: A quantum leap for the city and a milestone for the future
Preparation and holding of the 6th World Choir Games in Shaoxing moved ahead the city at the Pearl River in Southeast China at one go. According to Tan Zhigui, Director of the organisation commitee of the host city, valuable initiations for the cultural and social development are the main effects of the big event the “Venice of the East” is presenting to the World in the year of its 2500 anniversary, for the first time on this big scale.
The experiences in organisation management and even more the cultural encounters between of officials, actors, volunteers and visitors and the interaction with guests from more than 80 nations will take effect even beyond the current event.
The WCG are a quantum leap regarding the opening of Shaoxing within the fast-paced process of the whole country’s cultural movement. It’s fixed widely before the Closing Ceremony of the 6th World Choir Games: The philosophy of the world’s biggest choir competition in the spirit of the Olympic idea proved its enchantment and its charisma once more.
The original idea of bringing together people in a peaceful and fair competition and, in doing so, to overcome possible rifts and prejudices is “unbeatable”, according to Günter Titsch, founder of the WCG. It’s “the actual Champion of Shaoxing”.
Broad mind towards people, music and life cultures from other regions of the world – these things are striking during these two festival weeks of Shaoxing. No competition, no Champions Concerts or Special Concerts without feeling the spirit of internationality. China with 276 participating choirs from 14 of its provinces is a big factor of the WCG 2010. But vocal ensembles from Indonesia or South Africa, for example, are equally impressing, with their skills and their specific traditions.
China’s choirs and their representatives of the country’s culture indeed are intensively and ardently caring for the national music traditions. But often Chinese choirs present themselves at ceremonies with a traditional song and a piece of free choice.
The “new spirit” of Shaoxing could be felt not least at the special concert in the big hall of the EXPO culture centre in neighbouring Shanghai. Nine choirs with 200 participants from four continents lit a vocal firework of all styles. “We are no longer strangers” was the central message of this show and finally of the World Choir Games as a whole. A promise that makes you wanting more.