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Beijing Arts Festival Presents PRINCESS SISSI, April 27

The 17th Meeting in Beijing Arts Festival will open with Hungarian dance Princess Sissi on April 27. The event will feature a series of classic works from countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative, including ballet Swan Lake performed by a Belarus dance company.

Princess Sissi, or Elisabeth Amalia Eugenia von Wittelsbach, became well-known due to the 1955 film Sissi. Her life and experience as Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary in the 19th century have inspired many dramas, animations and musicals.

Sissi lived in Hungary longer than any other place and regarded the country as her second home. She learned the Hungarian language and embroidery and also contributed to the construction of Budapest, earning her the nickname “Daughter of Hungary” from Hungarian people at the time.

The upcoming dance will feature Sissi’s journey from young innocent princess to a great Queen and her life in Hungary. The dance is a fusion of modern dance and traditional ballet, with the addition of court dances, European folk dances and Gypsy dances.

Along with the performance, Hungarian folk dances and Gypsy music, two other performances during the festival will show off the country’s cultural heritage.

A special Gypsy orchestra from Hungary, consisting of 100 violinists, cellists and double bassists, will perform a series of classic pieces, including Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies and Johann Strauss’s The Blue Danube. Hungary’s precious musical instrument cimbalom, a hammered dulcimer, will be featured in the performance.

Meeting in Beijing Arts Festival has been held 16 times, with 1,020 artistic troupes and 32,000 artists from 120 countries participating, attracting more than 4 million viewers. The 17th event has invited 400 artists and 23 troupes from 21 countries and regions, which will give about 100 performances and exhibitions.

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