Vancouver-based Goh Ballet Academy, led by director Chan Hon Goh, is formalizing partnerships this week with the National Ballet of China, Guangzhou Ballet Company, and Guangzhou Art School of China, creating an opportunity to foster dance between the two countries.
Goh is part of a delegation visiting Guangzhou, Vancouver's sister city in China, as well as Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong from Nov. 4-12. Organized by the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) and the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver-China Business Mission 2013 is the largest ever Vancouver-led business and cultural mission to China, intended to attract investment to Vancouver, build long-term strategic partnerships, and promote deeper cultural ties.
Goh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Ballet of China in Beijing, and will do the same with the Guangzhou Ballet Company and the Guangzhou Art School of China later this week. These MOUs will enable the companies, their dancers, instructors, and choreographers to collaborate on productions, broaden their scope of dance to include both Eastern and Western choreography, participate in educational and cultural exchanges, and co-present ballets in both countries.
“I am so humbled and honoured that these revered companies – including the National Ballet of China, China’s first and largest ballet company – have chosen the Goh Ballet for their first formal Canadian partnerships,” Goh said in a press release. “This expression of mutual support is incredibly significant for the companies and related dance professionals, but also signifies a collaborative arts relationship between Canada and China which has both cultural and economic benefit.”
The delegation includes senior executives from 18 companies in various sectors and more than 130 Chinese-Canadian community leaders representing the city’s ties with Guangzhou. Also traveling on the delegation are representatives of Ballet BC, Bardel Entertainment, Holiday Pictures, and Chinese-Canadian singer-songwriter Wanting Qu, Vancouver's first-ever tourism ambassador to China.
Five MOUs have been signed in Beijing during the initial days of the mission, including one on Strategic Cooperation between the Beijing International Copyright Centre and the VEC. This will allow for a permanent location in Vancouver for a Chinese cultural and art exchange centre. The centre will enable the showcasing of culture and trade opportunities that will benefit both Vancouver and Beijing.