Following its 15th Sep debut at the 2016 Chinese Moon Festival celebrations in Garden of Serenity at Santa Lucija, the visiting Shaolin martial arts and Puyang acrobatic troupes from China`s Henan Province set yet another stage ablaze, this time with an earthshaking performance in St.George`s Square, at the heart of Malta`s Capital, Valletta on the evening of September 17th. The Chinese Embassy`s Political Counsellor Mr Lan Chongxin and Commercial Counsellor Ms Qiu Guang Ling, Ms Rosette Fenech, Cultural Advisor to the President of Malta, Ms Carmen Bajada of the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation chaired by the President of Malta; Mr Jonathan Barbara, Private Secretary, Parliamentary Secretariat, Ministry for Research, Innovation , Youth and Sport, The Mediterranean Conference Centre`s Chairman, Dr Kenneth Spiteri, and Artistic Director, Mr Tony Cassar Darien; Pjazza Tearu Rjal`s Chairman, Mr Charles Gatt, and Director, Mr Chris Muscat; the Spazju Kreattiv-St James Cavalier Artistic Director Dr Toni Sant; Mr Arthur Matikyan, Director of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture and Mr Kevin Casha, President of Malta Institute of Professional Photography were alongside other dignitaries and representatives of government departments or prestigious cultural organizations amongst a vast audience of over 1500 .
The Shaolin warrior-monks performance troupe presented a variety of items exhibiting skills with a range of the Shaolin weapons and sticks, whole-group sequences with and challenging stunts, such as piercing glass with a single needle, “Iron Palm” breaking bricks, and body resisting the prod of sharp spears. On the other hand, the Pu Yang Acrobatic Troupe`s stupendous acts showcased elegant oriental grace, with artistic feats of Chinese Yo-Yo juggling, a tableau of acrobatic contortions and a solo single-handstand routine. The thrilling sixty-minute performance entranced the seated and standing audiences winning a salvo of applause, escalating to a standing ovation and rhapsodies of praise.
CCC Staff were greeted with exhilarating remarks such as: “ It is thanks to China Cultural Centre that this fabulous show has reached Malta, each and every performer is exceptionally skilled, they really were amazing!”
“I wish next year this show can be held in Birzebbuga ” said the Mayor of Birzzebuga as he thanked CCC for inviting him.
“After today`s performance, no matter where you perform in Malta, China Cultural Centre`s name will always be recognized and remembered as one offering quality. “ was the comment received from Mr Jonathan Barbara, Private Secretary at the Ministry for Research, Innovation , Youth and Sport. The resulting string of congratulatory comments to CCC and high-praise from the admiring audience beckoned performers to meet with them and pose for group photos, whipping up even more anticipation for their return to Malta to stage the forthcoming Shaolin show in January, for the 2017 Chinese New Year.
This series of performances was the result of CCC`s successful collaboration with Henan Provincial Government Department, under the “Cooperation with Designated Province Project” for 2016. This is also the promising seed for promotion of prospective Shaolin Martial Arts training courses in Malta, as well as the precursor to the follow-up commercial Shaolin performance, acting both as a test and a catalyst to its local market potential. For these reasons, CCC actively initiated Media promotion and negotiations with its intended collaborative partner six months ahead of the scheduled dates. To date, The PBS News Room, has broadcasted news on the recent Shaolin Performances on Malta`s National TV Station ( TVM) twice; on 23 rd August Malta`s National Radio Station , PBS Radju Malta, broadcasted a promotional interview on the Henan Shaolin and Acrobatic visiting artist delegation, on its popular cultural Program “Nitfa Kultura”; on 1st September, Malta`s leading Newspaper “The Times of Malta” published a full two-page spread article on the 17 Sep Valletta Spectacular; Using his media credentials, Malta`s acclaimed photo journalist Darrin Zammit Lupi photographed throughout last night`s performance in preparation for interested media. Furthermore, Valletta Local Council, Santa Lucija Local Council and Malta Tourism Authority contributed significantly to realization of these events, through joint efforts and encouraging support. In this way these performances received unprecedented media exposure and public attention. Not surprisingly, although CCC ended up increasing the allocated number of seats more than once, countless interested persons inquired after free tickets long after they run out, so that on the night of the performance, the actual audience present at St George`s Square was triple that of the seated- area capacity.
The combined 20-member artiste group from Henan Province is comprised of the Deng Feng City Zhongyue Shaolin Boxing Culture Troupe and Pu Yang Acrobatic Troupe, with the youngest member of the Shaolin troupe being just 8 years of age. The overwhelming response to the Shaolin Warrior Monks` debut in Malta laid a strong base upon which China Cultural Centre will take advancing steps to promote local commercialization of Shaolin cultural performances and a martial arts training programme.
Translated by Aida Daoud Bushra