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383 69 Revitalize and Develop the Arts in Shanghai1 October 14, 1989 Some 900 of you from the Shanghai arts and traditional opera circles have participated in the second China Arts Festival. You have made long journeys to Beijing, Nanjing, and Xinjiang, where you won over the local audiences and achieved success. You have also won acclaim for the people of Shanghai, you have helped create a new image for them, and you have brought them joy and encouragement. On behalf of the Municipal Party Committee and the municipal government, and as a lover of the arts and of traditional opera, I want to express the most heartfelt respect to all of you who work in the arts in Shanghai! I was very touched to hear the remarks by 10 of you just now. I hope that the journalistic circles in Shanghai will widely publicize your remarks so that more people in Shanghai will understand the accomplishments and caliber of those working in the arts, and understand the contribution they are making to Shanghai’s revitalization. This not only stirs up the enthusiasm of Shanghai’s people, but it also helps dispel some irresponsible rumors abroad. Shanghai is now politically stable. There are still some elements of instability at certain institutions of higher learning: some young college students lack a comparison between our new and old societies and are rather extreme in their politics. We must provide them with in-depth, meticulous, and unstinting ideological education. Our arts and traditional opera circles have done well in this regard, and your participation in the second China Arts Festival has shown that this team of ours is up to the test. You have been received very favorably not only by the general audience, but also by many specialists and central leaders . Audiences raved about the Beijing Opera “Cao Cao and Yang Xiu,” in particular, and it became the talk of the capital. I hope those of you who performed for Shanghai will carefully sum up your experiences, avoid arrogance 1. This is the main part of a speech by Zhu Rongji during a discussion with some members of the delegation from the Shanghai Academy of the Arts that had performed at the second China Arts Festival. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 383 12/26/17 12:01 PM 384 Revitalize and Develop the Arts in Shanghai and rashness, keep up the good work, and further promote the role of socialist arts in encouraging, motivating, and urging on the people. Now I’d like to offer some suggestions to you all. First, Train Very Hard You should train very hard with artistic rigor and conscientiousness to master the fundamentals. Last time, when I shook hands with the cast after watching “Cao Cao and Yang Xiu,” I could see beads of sweat the size of soybeans covering their foreheads—this is a form of beauty of the spirit. “The fragrance of the plum blossom comes from the bitter cold”: to achieve success in the arts, we must accept great hardships, endure great exertion, and work strenuously on fundamentals. It takes countless seasons of practice to perfect a single move on the stage. You can win over the audience only if your fundamentals are sound. Yu Zhenfei2 is a titan of Beijing opera and of kunqu, and he is more aware than anyone else that accomplished performers reached that level through hard training. There are so many theaters in Shanghai and such a large army of artists . We must advocate that they work hard on fundamentals in the spirit of 2. Yu Zhenfei was a Beijing opera and kunqu artist who had previously served as director of the Shanghai Academy of Beijing Opera and director of the Shanghai Kunqu Company. In conversation with veteran performing artist Yu Zhenfei (right), who had participated in the second China Arts Festival, October 14, 1989. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 384 12/26/17 12:01 PM Revitalize and Develop the Arts in Shanghai 385 being true to the people and true to art—that’s the only way to nurture great artists, create great performances, and take the right direction, and the only way for the arts in Shanghai to radiate brilliance. Of course, a correct political direction is needed in order to develop socialist culture and art. The most important thing is to earnestly study Marxism and to apply the spirit of upholding the four cardinal principles3 and to oppose bourgeois liberalization in artistic practice...


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