Fuzhou in the eyes of Yang Lan: lanes and alleys that travel through time, and a breathing city of banyan trees

2021-07-20 15:20:38

Three Lanes and Seven Alleys is not an aging urban area,

but a place that can breathe.

Banyan trees are the witnesses and narrators of the stories here

On the occasion of the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, Yang Lan, a well-known host and the General Coordinator of the performance titled Seek Dreams in the Lanes and Alleys, used the term "treasure city" to describe her impression of Fuzhou in an interview.

Fuzhou in the eyes of Yang Lan: lanes and alleys that travel through time, and a breathing city of banyan trees

Yang Lan. People.com.cn (Photo by Lyu Chunrong)

The images of white walls and black tiles appeared in the alternating light and shadows. In the alleys, a woman wearing a cheongsam emerged with an oil-paper umbrella; in between the ancient houses, Shen Baozhen and Bing Xin spoke to each other; on the Water-side Performing Stage, the Min opera and nanyin(a style of Chinese classical music from the southern Chinese province of Fujian) told the stories of the past. A few days ago, the immersive performance Seek Dreams in the Lanes and Alleys was staged in the Three Lanes and Seven Alleys. This is a performance in which people can“travel through” history and it adopts acousto-optic-electronic multimedia technologies and others. Connected by Fuzhou elements, the performance is presented to be a unique and three-dimensional one, with the Three Lanes and Seven Alleys as the clue, and the World Heritage Committee session as its background.

Fuzhou in the eyes of Yang Lan: lanes and alleys that travel through time, and a breathing city of banyan trees

The performance of Seek Dreams in the Lanes and Alleys. People.com.cn  (Photo by Liu Qing)

"Seek Dreams in the Lanes and Alleys adopts a walking scattered-point performance style, which is combined with the context and grid-like structure of the entire Three Lanes And Seven Alleys," according to Yang Lan in an interview. She added that “this performance selects the most representative Fuzhou elements, and it is combined with scientific and technological means to bring every detail in the lanes, such as ancient banyan trees, jasmine flowers, fish lanterns, and other intangible cultural heritages ‘back to life’ and serve as narrators of the history and culture.”

In the last scene, the dancers waved their arms with the sky full of the falling flower petals. This was a design with which Yang Lan was satisfied. Under the digital presentation, the living Three Lanes And Seven Alleysemerged before the audience.

When talking about the protection and inheritance of cultural heritage, she said that China's concepts of world heritage protection have changed greatly. "We are not protecting a certain building or cultural relic itself, but preserving a way of life, which must be protected by reviving it."

In Yang Lan's view, China has a large number of world heritage. Journalists and cultural industry workers must do a good job on contemporary interpretation and narration of traditional culture to make people feel attracted by the culture from the bottom of their hearts.

"It's not a one-way promotion, but a two-way interaction," said Yang Lan, adding that it was necessary to attract more young people with more popular ways of communication. This kind of "narration" is like translating ancient and time-honored culture into the contemporary and international language, and the narration of the stories of the world heritage must resonate with and relate to people's lives today.