LHASA Joe Thornton Canada Jersey , June 13 (Xinhua) -- In front of a forest backdrop projected on a screen, a group of Tibetan "hunters" wearing blue masks dance into the limelight, followed by a costumed "prince" and hymn-singing "fairies."
This is a modern rendition of a centuries-old Tibetan opera. Its songs, dances and costumes remain faithful to the original forms. The only difference is that it was staged in a modernized theater with fancy visual and acoustic effects.
Moreover, the audience for the show -- on Wednesday -- included many foreigners, many of whom were visiting Lhasa Jeff Carter Canada Jersey , capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, where the theater is located.
This updating of Tibetan opera and the cultivation of foreign fans are typical of efforts within the art form to strengthen its prospects.
"Tibetan operas are unique among all Chinese operas. It carries the special memories and cultures of the Tibetan people," says Liu Zhiqun, former deputy director of the Tibet Ethnic Art Institute.
Incorporating Tibetan poetry, music, dance Jean Beliveau Canada Jersey , painting and acrobatics, Tibetan operas have been dubbed the "living fossil" of Tibetan culture. Once having had only local Tibetans in its audience, the art form is now appealing to more domestic and overseas culture vultures after being moved into theaters with the addition of modern stage elements, Liu explains.
He says Tibetan operas were once "open-air performances" staged in villages, farms and nobles' yards on festive occasions, with the only instruments being drums and cymbals.
"Now Jay Bouwmeester Canada Jersey , apart from performances still thriving in rural areas, we have theater adaptations that feature the use of modern technologies -- we can add computerized sounds of birds and thunderstorms to make the scenes look vivid," according to Liu.
Tseten Dorje, a veteran actor in Tibetan opera, can recall the old days when most people in his trade were destitute performers traveling the countryside and putting on shows with only primitive tools and techniques.
"We used to describe spectacular scenes like expanses of barley in Nangsa Obar or the boiling sea of blood in Sukyi Nyima all in asides, but now we have LED screens and verisimilar settings like rockworks and castles Jamie Benn Canada Jersey ," says the 77-year-old.
Tseten Dorje is a former member of the Tibetan Opera Troupe, which China established in 1962 in an effort to preserve and promote this cultural heritage.
In 1987, the troupe sent him and eight other members on its first overseas tour, to the United States. In the following two decades, the troupe has performed in nearly 30 countries and regions outside China.
"The advances in technology, for one thing Jake Muzzin Canada Jersey , have helped non-native audiences understand the opera's contents and supported its performances abroad," says Tseten Dorje.
In 2012, cultural authorities in Tibet completed the filming of eight classic Tibetan operas that had been orally passed down and were threatened with oblivion. The DVD versions were released in April with subtitles in Tibetan, Mandarin Chinese and English.
"Tibetan operas have moved from open-air platforms to theater stages, now there are digital versions, so people from across the world can watch them at home. It means more audience and a bright future for the opera Guy Lafleur Canada Jersey ," says Migmar, leader of Tibet's Nyangrain Folk Opera Troupe.
SHENYANG, China, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing women's rugby sevens team could be stripped of the silver medals they won at the National Games for match-throwing pending an investigation, a top sports official said here on Wednesday.
"An investigation has been launched by the Chinese Rugby Association," Sun Yuanfu Duncan Keith Canada Jersey , an official at the State General Administration of Sports.
"The Beijing team's silver medals would be stripped of if the Chinese Rugby Association rules that their conduct is an offence of serious nature."
The National Games was rocked on Tuesday when the Beijing team threw the women's rugby final against the Shandong team in a protest to controversial refereeing.
Beijing had been widely favored for the women's gold in rugby's debut at the National Games, but Shangdong scored two tries to jump 10-0 up soon after the start.
The Spanish umpire awarded Shandong another try in the second half, a decision which Beijing players claimed "wrong". The Beijing players then refused to play and stood still on the pitch, only to see their opponents score easily and eventually win by a scoreline of 71-0.
Beijing coach Jiang Xuming alleged the umpire "biased" in favor of the Shandong team.
"It's too obvious," Jiang said angrily after the game.
But rugby's jury committee at the ongoing National Games was quick to defend the umpire.
"We've come to the conclusion that the umpire's ruling is fair and correct after our review of the match videos," the committee said in a statement.
The Beijing team made an apology to the public on Tuesday night Drew Doughty Canada Jersey , saying that their behavior was "inappropriate" and "tarnished the images of rugby and the National Games".
According to the medal counting system adopted for the 12th National Games, the Shandong women's rugby team's victory were awarded two gold medals and the Beijing team two silver medals.
The quirky counting system awards three gold medals to the winning team of any of "three big ball games" - soccer, volleyball and basketball, and the winners of any other team event two National Games golds.
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