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Bicoastal Festival Celebrates Chinese Culture

New York City and Costa Mesa, California “Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture” Carnegie Hall (October 21–November 10). It’s one of the world’s biggest markets for classical music; it’s rife with venerable artistic traditions of its own that are still relatively little-known in the West; and the performing-arts field in the United States is trying to get a handle on it. China—at least, a cross-section of its arts and artists—is the subject of a bicoastal festival on October 15–24 that will take place simultaneously at Carnegie Hall (partnering with other institutions around New York) and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (philharmonicsociety.org). The festival involves three weeks of performances by instrumentalists and composers, dancers and puppeteers: everyone from Lang Lang to Chinese folk groups, dancers specializing in 10th-century Tang choreography to the fabled “Class of ’78” (the first composers to graduate from the Beijing Central Conservatory after the Cultural Revolution, including luminaries Tan Dun, Chen Yi, and Zhou Long). The result: not blanket coverage, but a series of fascinating snapshots.

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