China’s Kite Association Sends Nearly 30 Kite Experts and Zhejiang Performing Arts Group’s 32 Artists to Denmark’s Fanø Island for the Fanø International Kite Festival, June 10-16, 2023.
Fanø Island, situated on the western fringe of Denmark’s Jutland, with its 7-kilometre stretch of white sandy beaches, played host to the highly anticipated Fanø International Kite Festival from June 10th to 16th. As Europe’s largest and most participated kite festival, it attracted over 7,000 kite enthusiasts from around the world, along with nearly 5,000 local residents, who were all captivated by the enchanting spirit of the East.
On the afternoon of June 10th, at precisely 14:00, inside the only large-scale sports arena on Fanø Island, the Zhejiang Performing Arts Group took the stage with their magnificent opening dance performance titled “Wind from the East.” Following the mesmerizing spectacle, Mr. Frank Jensen, the Mayor of Fanø, and Ms. Sofie Valbjørn, former Mayor and current Chairwoman of the China Fanø Cultural Association, delivered speeches expressing their joy and gratitude. They emphasized that this cultural feast, which had been eagerly awaited for three years and once delayed due to the global pandemic, aimed to soothe people’s souls through cultural exchanges and foster a peaceful and beautiful world through friendly collaboration between different ethnicities. Mr. Wang Wenlong, Chairman of the Zhejiang Performing Arts Group, hoped to showcase the charm of Chinese culture on this stage, bringing the beauty of poetic Zhejiang to every member of the audience.
The Zhejiang Performing Arts Group presented three remarkable performances featuring Chinese song and dance, traditional music, acrobatics, and magic. Each show was met with thunderous applause, evoking a myriad of reactions from the audience. Some were moved to tears by the poignant dance and music of “The Butterfly Lovers,” while others held their breath in anticipation during the awe-inspiring acrobatics of “Umbrella Technique” before erupting into fervent applause. The audience’s excitement reached its peak as they watched in awe as the magic act “Illusion” magically transformed into the flags of China and Denmark, eliciting cheers of joy. The performances of the art troupe deeply touched the hearts of the local residents on Fanø Island. After the shows, eager audience members sought opportunities to take photos with the performers, and a large group of devoted fans followed the troupe back to their accommodations, longing for autographed pictures from the actors. Every passerby in Fanø was quick to give thumbs up to the Chinese artists they encountered on the streets.
Equally, The thirty kite performance artists from the China Kite Association showcased their talents in traditional folk customs, earning enthusiastic applause from their international counterparts. Ever since the initial visit of the China Fanø Cultural Association to explore China’s kite culture in 2019, it took five years for Chinese kite enthusiasts to finally set foot in this magical land, where their deep affection for Fanø Island had been nurtured over the years. The moment these kite performers took to the stage, they captivated the entire audience with their awe-inspiring displays.
Among the remarkable kite creations were majestic dragon kites stretching dozens of meters, exuding both power and vitality. The collection of 108 face-painted kites, each displaying a unique design, resembled a resplendent river representing the beauty of Chinese opera culture. Additionally, the seamless aerial maneuvers of the spiral hawk, soaring in harmony with eagles, left spectators in awe. The dynamic kites, resembling agile lizards, gracefully ascended to the heights of the sky.
Kite enthusiasts from various countries couldn’t help but express their admiration for the Chinese performers. They acknowledged China’s deserved reputation as the birthplace of kites, praising the remarkable technical skills that held their gaze captive. Some even remarked that Chinese kites were filled with intricate artistry, particularly those depicting animals that seemed to come to life.
Likewise, the local kite enthusiasts who have lived on Fanø Island for many years regarded their collection of Chinese traditional kites as precious treasures. These kites were exhibited in the island’s kite museum, where the passionate locals tirelessly explained the allure of Chinese kites to visitors.