The Fabulous Show of Mirror Held by Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers, France

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers [Time]    2013-07-02 09:44:11 

The Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers, France, and the Poitiers government jointly held the show of the comedy Mirror on 29 June. As the first performance, it kicked off the city’s Summer Cultural Month, co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the municipal government. This is the second cooperation between the two.

Mirror tells a story happening in the 17th century, when a French countess treated a Chinese visiting princess. It was hoped that this meeting might help repair the relationship between the two countries. The Chinese princess brought the countess a precious gift: Monkey King; and in return, the countess showed the princess her treasure, a mirror. Yet, the two, although with good wishes, had frequent misunderstandings and even conflicts, resulting from language barriers, distinct lifestyles and cultural differences. They later fell into the mirror accidentally. To help themselves out, they worked concertedly and diligently. Finally, they got out of the mirror, crossed the inner barrier between them, and turned to be bosom friends.

The theme of the comedy is that when being exposed to different cultures, we shall treat things which are distinct from our own with great tolerance. As a hybrid of Masked Comedy, Peking Opera, Shanxi Folk Song and French Rap Poem, the comedy show won a big success in Poitiers, heaps of laughter erupting time and again during the performance.

As the first show of the Summer Cultural Month, it was greatly supported by the government of Poitiers, who provided financial backing, built a temporary theatre in Palais de Justice, a golden location in the downtown, for performance, and invested hugely in advertisements for performance promotion. Le Compte, the Deputy Mayor of Poitiers, and Licia Bagini, the Vice President of the University of Poitiers also graced the show. The theatre was fully occupied by over 400 audiences, while some others without booking beforehand could only stand there watching the show. The audiences said that “the activities organized by Confucius Institute have already had their brand effects and are the guarantee of quality”; “This performance gives expression to exchanges, clashes and blending between cultures. We benefit a lot.”

Alain Mignot, Chairman of the Council of the Confucius Institute, delivers a speech before the performance

The Chinese princess and the French countess

The end of the comedy: grudges melted, friendship fostered

Attentive audiences

Text and photography by Chen Mengwen