Invitation from the Transcaucasia
From June 25 to 28, 2019, at the invitation of the Government of Tbilisi, the Capital of Georgia, and Mr. Levan Khetaguri, the Council Member of the International Theatre Town Alliance and the Director of the Arts Research Institute, Georgia, Mr. Guo Xiaonan, Chairman of the International Theatre Town Alliance, and Mr. Shen Lin, an academic adviser to the International Theatre Town Alliance, visited Tbilisi for a trip of cultural observation.
Georgia is an ancient country with a special culture. It is located in the Caucasus on the border of Asia and Europe. Situated on the bank of Black Sea, it is the place where the Jason looked for the Argonauts in ancient Greek Mythology. “Georgia” means “idyllic” and “agriculture” in Greek. Georgia is indeed a large agricultural country, especially good at planting grapes and making wine. Its brewing technique is listed among the UNESCO world intangible cultural heritage. As the largest city of Georgia and a famous ancient capital in the Transcaucasia, Tbilisi was first made a capital in the 4th century B.C. It still preserves the castle ruins dating back to the 4th century and the church built in the 5th century.
In a short span of four days, the Government of Tbilisi and Mr. Levan Khetaguri arranged a full schedule. The delegation visited the Tbilisi Youth Palace and watched the chorus, dance and instrumental performances of Georgian teenagers, toured the Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre and watched the Exception and the Role, a Bertolt Brecht masterpiece directed by Mr. Robert Sturua, a famous director and Art Director of Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre. The delegation also inspected the Old Town of Mtkvari, met the Mayor of Gori and visited the Stalin Museum in Gori City. In addition, Mr. Levan Khetaguri specially arranged the performance in one theater by song and dance troupes, choirs and modern drama troupes. He also arranged two puppet shows of different styles and a contemporary circus performance mixed with music, dance and acrobatics.
The highlight of the trip was the Culture and Business Forum organized by the Tbilisi Government. At the forum, Mr. Guo Xiaonan promoted the Yue Opera Town, while Mr. Shen Lin gave a speech on cultural exchanges. Relevant personages from Georgia gave detailed presentations on various topics such as tourism and nightscape economy. The forum was hosted by Ms. Sophio, Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi City in charge of education, culture and tourism. The forum attracted interviews and coverage by local media.
In the future, the Yue Opera Town and the International Theatre Town Alliance will have in-depth cooperation with Georgia in art education, performance exchanges, and translation & publishing, as the two sides signed MOUs.
The Georgian side named the forum “on the Silk Road”, which indicates that the Silk Road is not only ancient but also thriving today. It is not just about economic contacts and trade, but also about culture.
(On June 27, “On the Silk Road” Culture and Business Forum was successfully held.)
(Mr. Guo Xiaonan signed an MOU with Ms. Sophio, Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi)
(Mr. Guo Xiaonan signed an MOU with the Director of Tbilisi Youth Palace.)