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China's Reform & Opening Up: Unique collaboration combining art, architecture and technology

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China's Reform & Opening Up: Unique collaboration combining art, architecture and technology TravelNews


Next is our special series on 40 years of China's reform and opening up. Today we look at how China's relations with other countries are evolving. China and Malaysia's historic and economic ties may date back centuries. But now, trade and investments are accelerating sharply under the Belt and Road Initiative. And there's one collaboration that's very different from the industrial or infrastructure developments. Our correspondent Rian Maelzer reports.
 
Encore Melaka is a dazzling spectacle showcasing the history of this Unesco heritage city in a way never seen before. Feeling that there was a lack of night time entertainment for tourists visiting Melaka, the CEO of local property developer Yong Tai reached out to the creative forces behind the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and the Impressions series, and a unique China-Malaysia collaboration encompassing art, architecture and technology was born.
 
BOO KUANG LOON, CEO YONG TAI "For this project, in China it's all initiated by the local government. It has never been initiated by a private entity before. This Encore Melaka, the funds are from Malaysia, performers from Malaysia, story about Melaka but the idea, the innovation and the expertise come from China."
 
Yong Tai invested $100 million to create a purpose-built theatre. A 250-metre long stage wraps around a platform that seats 2000 people and that revolves 360 degrees.
 
BOO KUANG LOON, CEO YONG TAI "So the director is not architect. Director is not builder. But who can enter into the director's mind to dig out what he thinks the theatre should look like in his mind and put that onto the drawing board? So this itself is something that is very challenging."
 
The performers too faced immense challenges to meet the expectations of Chinese director Wang Chaoge.
 
JACKSON YEW CHUN ENG PERFORMER, ENCORE MELAKA "Wang Chaoge brought our training and rehearsal to a higher level. She was so professional. She wanted to make sure each of us, no matter how big or small our role, remember everything precisely and perform perfectly, whether one time or a thousand times."
 
RIAN MAELZER MELAKA, MALAYSIA "Melaka has the longest and deepest historical and cultural ties of anywhere in Malaysia. It dates back to the early 15th century when the huge fleet of Admiral Zheng He visited the city several times."
 
Now in the 21st century, China is seeking to resurrect and revitalize the ancient Silk Road.
 
BOO KUANG LOON, CEO YONG TAI "This Encore Melaka theatre performance can actually be a model of the One Belt One Road from China and the One Belt One Road countries over how they can cooperate together and work together. But there's nothing more important than the first thing which is the heart must first link up."
 
And certainly this China-Malaysia production has been winning the hearts of those who have witnessed it.

£®Rian Maelzer, CGTN 22 Nov 2018 MELAKA, MALAYSIA£©

 


 
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