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Shuhe COART Festival preview and schedule

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Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve, is traditionally a time to don a costume and send children out to beg for candy from strangers. This year Yunnan's celebration of the holiday will feature a new twist as Lijiang's quieter cousin to the north, Shuhe, hosts the second incarnation of the COART Festival (COART 亚洲青年艺术现场).

COART is the brainchild of actor Li Yapeng (李亚鹏). Li first debuted his vision for an artistic festival in April 2012. His goal was to showcase a diverse array of different art forms in a way that allowed artists from seemingly unconnected disciplines and cultures to interact.

Li has said the spirit of the festival encourages participants and visitors to break from traditional norms and get inspiration from the improvisational mixing of different art forms.

Organizers have called the springtime version of COART an artistic carnival. The autumn edition, which is free and open to the public, will showcase sculptures and paintings on display in non-traditional areas. Exhibits will be exhibited beside rivers, in orchards, warehouses and in the courtyards of private homes. Joining the exhibition will be musicians, dancers and poets from several countries.

Participants from China, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia and the United States are scheduled to perform or take part in a series of lectures. A special performance entitled Naxi and the World will feature Naxi poets, singers and dancers collaborating with modern artists from around the world.

Artists scheduled to attend include: musicians Wan Xiaoli (万晓利), Xiao He (小河), FM3, DJ Laozhao (DJ老赵), Huanqing (欢庆), DADADAiii, Lostfear, Vasko, Slim, Powerhouse Swingtett, Smokin' Barrels; dancers He Qiwo (何其沃) and Luobing; poet group Shijiage (诗家歌), and Beijing performance art group Spring Theatrical Studio (春天戏剧工作室).

The five-day event will begin at 2pm October 31 on Shuhe's Sifang Jie. Performances, lectures and art 'happenings' will continue throughout Shuhe over the next four days and end with closing ceremonies at 10:30pm on November 4.

A complete list of scheduled events is available below. Events are listed chronologically with venues in italics followed by a brief description. Locations for all event venues can be found here. Please note that event locations are color-coded in green, orange and purple. Blue numbered areas are where artwork will be displayed.

Day One

2:00-2:45pmSifang Street (四方街): opening ceremony
3:00-4:00pmShaiguyuan (晒谷园): Powerhouse Swingtett
3:00-5:00pmYouqichang (有气场): street carnival
4:30-5:30pmJiamulou (嘉木楼): music lecture by Liang Yiyuan
6:45-7:30pmShaiguyuan: Shijiage poetry recitation accompanied by musicians Ma Xuesong and Xiaoyong
7:30-9:30pmYouqichang: street carnival
8:30-9:15pmShaiguyuan: Han Weng O singing by the fireplace + modern dance
8:30-10:00pmJiamulou: Xiaohe performing a series of works entitled Propitious Songs
9:30-10:30pmShaiguyuan: theatrical performance Sounds of Fantasy: The Era of Magic Places
10:30-11:50pmJinshuitai (近水台): Smokin' Barrels

Day Two

2:00-2:45pmWanmei Shenghuo Bar (完美生活酒吧): lecture on art by Bertrand Dessane, art director from French art center ilimitrof'
2:30-4:00pmShaiguyuan: improvisational music by Xiaohe, Liang Yiyuan, Weifan and Slim
3:30-4:30pmYouqichang: salon-style discussion hosted by Yilian
4:00-5:00pmShaiguyuan: theatrical performance Catman and Dogwoman
5:00-6:00pmJiamulou: talk show
5:30-6:00pmYouqichang outdoor: modern dance performance entitled Guernica
6:00-6:30pmYouqichang: Yilian auction
7:30-8:15pmShaiguyuan: Shijiage poetry recitation with musical accompaniment by Ou Ge
8:30-9:15pmShaiguyuan: Han Weng O singing by the fireplace + modern dance
9:00-10:30pmJiamulou: Wan Xiaoli musical performance entitled South of North with modern dance accompaniment by DADADAiii
9:30-11:00pmShaiguyuan: Powerhouse Swingtett
10:30-11:50pmJinshuitai: Wutiaoren musical performance entitled Last Night I Dreamt of Losing Myself

Day Three

2:00-2:45pmWanmei Shenghuo Bar: lecture on artistic creation by Bertrand Dessane
2:30-3:00pmYouqichang outdoors: modern dance performance entitled Guernica
2:30-3:30pmShaiguyuan: salon-style discussion entitled The Power of Chant
3:30-4:00pmShaiguyuan: Shijiage poetry recitation with musical accompaniment by Wutiaoren
3:00-4:00pmYouqichang: quiz show
3:30-4:30pmYouqichang: salon-style discussion hosted by Yilian
4:30-6:00pmJiamulou: musical performance by Huanqing, FM3 and DJ Laozhao entitled Beautiful Voice
6:00-6:30pmYouqichang: Yilian auction
6:30-7:00Youqichang: theatrical performance Catman and Dogwoman
6:30-8:00pmShaiguyuan: musical performance by Wutiaoren entitled Caocao Don't Be Afraid
8:00-9:00pmJiamuyuan: musical performance by Liang Yiyuan + improvisational dance
8:30-9:15pmShaiguyuan: Leba dance performance with musical accompaniment by Lostfear
9:30-10:30pmShaiguyuan: theatrical performance Sounds of Fantasy: The Era of Magic Places
10:30-11:50pmJinshuitai: musicians Vasko and Slim

Day Four

2:00-2:45pmWanmei Shenghuo Bar: lecture on works of art and art festivals by Bertrand Dessane
2:30-4:00pmShaiguyuan: musician Wei Fan
3:30-4:30pmYouqichang: salon-style discussion hosted by Yilian
6:00-6:30pmYouqichang: Yilian auction
7:00-8:00pmShaiguyuan: Shijiage poetry recitation with music and improvisational dance
8:00-8:30pmJiamulou: modern dance performance entitled The Bed
8:30-10pmJiamulou: musical performance by Huanqing
9:30-10:15pm Shaiguyuan: Leba dance with improvisational music
10:20-11:50pmJinshuitai: musical performance by Wan Xiaoli entitled The Shore

Day Five

2:30-4:00pmShaiguyuan: Smokin' Barrels
3:30-4:30pmYouqichang: lecture Connection Among: Spaces, Audience and Artists by Bertrand Dessane
3:30-4:30pmYouqichang: salon-style discussion hosted by Yilian
4:30-5:30Shaiguyuan: salon-style discussion entitled Walking Children
6:00-6:30pmYouqichang: Yilian auction
7:00-7:30pmShaiguyuan: Shijiage poetry recitation with music by Wan Xiaoli
8:00-9:00pmJiamulou: modern dance with He Qiwo and Luo Yuebing
9:30-10:30pmShaiguyuan: theatrical performance Sounds of Fantasy: The Era of Magic Places
9:15-10:30pmJiamulou: musical performance by FM3 and DJ Lao Zhao
8:30-11:50Jinshuitai: musical performance by Ma Xuesong entitled The North

Getting there

Buses to Lijiang leave from Kunming's West Bus Station (西部汽车客运站). Driving time is about nine hours and tickets cost 150 yuan. Day and night trains take roughly the same amount of time and cost between 90 and 220 yuan depending on seat or bed preferences. Direct flights from Kunming to Lijiang take one hour. Prices vary depending on availability and time of year. Shuhe is only five kilometers north of Lijiang and can be easily reached by bus, taxi, bicycle or mule.

For further information or help booking lodging in Shuhe, contact MovidaKM or call Luca (English) at 18687804751, Peppe (English) at 13708734459 or Li Yajing (Chinese) at 18683762670.

Images: COART Festival

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