Posts Tagged ‘cathy barbash’

“The Sharks are gonna have their way, tonight.”

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

by Cathy Barbash “I Sing Beijing,” the Hanyu Academy of Vocal Arts, wrapped up its inaugural program on August 18 with a gala concert at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. ( A colleague of mine in attendance reported: “WELL DONE Hanban, Tian Haojiang, and Martha Liao! This concert was wonderful. Lots […]

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Red Detachment Redux and the Cowboy Spirit

Friday, August 5th, 2011

by Cathy Barbash For those of you who did not get enough of the Red Detachment of Women during this winter’s run of Nixon in China at the Met, the National Ballet of China will be performing excerpts of the ballet (possibly the same excerpt reinterpreted and interpolated into the opera by Mark Morris) in […]

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Wishful Thinking

Friday, July 29th, 2011

by Cathy Barbash Hear ye hear ye, international arts consultants looking to profit by advising on the development of cultural industry infrastructure, in particular the development of theater districts, be advised that China’s own home-grown consultants have entered the fray. I had the opportunity recently to see one of their observations: “I was in (second […]

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Summer Doldrums

Friday, July 15th, 2011

by Cathy Barbash As mid-summer approaches, US-China cultural exchange continues its lopsided dance. No American performers participate in festivals in Xinjiang and Guangdong. Meanwhile, in Beijing, a consortium of U.S. conservatories attempts to woo Chinese students with their own show-and-tell festival. Way out in Urumqi, Xinjiang Province, the second annual China Xinjiang International Folk Dance […]

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Shenzhen Odyssey: A stroll through the 7th International Conference for the Promotion of Chinese Cultural Products

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

 by Cathy Barbash Attendance at a Chinese performing arts trade fair-seminar hybrid is always a surreal affair, equal parts exhilaration, exasperation, unintentional hilarity and unexpected vignettes of our shared humanity. Further to my last post, here are highlights of my recent visit to the 7th International Conference for the Promotion of Chinese Cultural Products in […]

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

by Cathy Barbash Within the last six months, a Ministry of Culture subsidiary actually hired a local foreign media expert to advise them on the use of social and other internet media tools to improve its cultural diplomacy (aka soft power) initiatives. Foreign expert told them to use Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the like. Ministry of Culture tossed the recommendation. […]

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Return of the King?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

by Cathy Barbash Last weekend in Xi’an, my local cultural official friend, discreetly told us that artists in Shaanxi Province are quietly telling each other that “spring is coming.” Why their optimism? Shaanxi native Xi Jingping will become the next president of China. “The Tang Emperor is returning,” they say. They will need all the […]

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Passing It On: Thank you Elizabeth Kauffman

Friday, October 29th, 2010

or A brief history of cultural word of mouth in China by Cathy Barbash Way back around 2000, during one of my fact-finding trips to Beijing, I asked then Cultural Affairs Officer Elizabeth Kauffman what was new and interesting in town. She said she’d heard of a relatively new independent modern dance troupe, and gave […]

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Cathy Barbash on China

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I first went to China 19 years ago, as orchestra manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was the 20th anniversary of the orchestra’s historic first, post ping-pong diplomacy tour, and just four years after the demonstrations in Tian’anmen Square. Whether for business or cultural purposes, foreigners still came only when invited, and itineraries were closely […]

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