Beijing hosts performing arts forum
China Daily

Guests listen to a televised speech during the Beijing Forum for Performing Arts 2020 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Beijing Forum for Performing Arts 2020 was held at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Sept 9 and 10.

Under the theme, "Challenges and Opportunities During the Pandemic", guests of about 200 international and domestic institutions from 27 countries and regions on six continents gathered on the internet to discuss opportunities and challenges for the development of performing arts institutions.

Started in 2019, the forum serves as a platform of exchange for arts institutions around the world on a regular basis.

With in-depth discussions on four topics: "Emergence and application of New Modes of Artistic Production", "Opportunities and Challenges of Online Streaming", "New Modes of Theatre Operation During the Pandemic", and "New Prospect of Building a Community with a Shared Future for Theatres Around the Globe", guests shared experiences and stimulated discourse.

An international league of theaters was formed during the forum, with 24 institutions from 17 countries and regions as founding members.

"Facing the coronavirus pandemic, theaters worldwide have gone through difficult times. We need to unite together to cope with the situation," said Wang Ning, president of National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

Online concerts have become a major vehicle for theaters to connect with their audiences, Wang added.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped so many aspects of our world. With health and safety as our top priorities, the Philadelphia Orchestra has evolved its practice, shifting to digital distribution of our work to maintain our vital connections to audiences near and far," said Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of Philadelphia Orchestra. He noted on March 12, when the orchestra learned it could not perform that evening's concert to an audience, the orchestra exemplified its unwavering creativity and resolve by livestreaming the performance to an empty Verizon Hall on its online platforms. Since then, despite the cancellation of more than 80 concerts, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the orchestra have shared compelling video, audio and educational content through the virtual Philadelphia Orchestra to audiences around the world.

"The pandemic has brought on a true crisis for our sector. Live performance is the essence of our work, and the uncertainties surrounding the virus and its dissemination have caused governments and institutions to take drastic measures," said Audrey Junges, general manager of Opera Europa. "Thankfully, our industry is a creative one, and interesting projects have emerged. They might even contribute to rethinking operating and financial models in the future."