Friday, August 8, 2008

More Artists than Athletes at Olympics

Once every four years, the world’s athletes come together to compete in the global Olympics. As much media coverage is reserved for ‘the Games’, one piece of information is often neglected. This year, in Beijing, there will be two artists performing or showing work for every one athlete competing. According to the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the country has invited some 20,000 artists from more than 80 countries to put on 300 shows as part of the international spectacle. Performing arts highlights are the "Divas in Beijing" performance at the sleek new $438 million National Center for the Performing Arts, featuring renowned sopranos Renee Fleming, Sumi Jo, and Angela Gheorghiu; a performance by the Royal Danish Ballet, and a collaboration between the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and a Beijing children's choir. "The Games is the perfect opportunity to showcase China's rich history and culture," said Lu Bin, a director at the Beijing's cultural bureau. "Having overseas artists perform in China represents our integration with the global community."

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