6 August 2017

Congo-Kinshasa: Performing Arts - DRC Troupe Thrills Crowds At International Dance Festival

Beijing — "Nsango Mbonda" held concerts in Xinjiang in northwest China from July 30-August 3, 2017.

The Fifth Xinjiang International Folk Dance Festival ended last weekend in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China with the remarkable participation of Nsango Mbonda dancers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC. Organisers said the festival afforded the Congolese troupe the opportunity to strengthen professional and cultural ties with Chinese and other international counterparts.

In all, the group, made up of about 40 men and women, held four concerts at the festival before concluding with another on August 5, 2017 in the famous National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, the Chinese capital. Using at least 8 traditional drums and several percussion and acoustic instruments, Nsango Mbonda concerts received capacity crowds at the festival, members said at a reception held for them in Beijing on August 6, 2017 by the DRC Embassy.

The Beijing concert entitled, "Sounds and dances from Congo," was a presentation of dances from various DRC tribes. "Our performance was intended to facilitate understanding by the audience so that language will not be a barrier," explained Brain Tshibanda, Nsango Mbonda Manager. "I was so impressed because the performance was lively and full of energy. It was an opportunity to know more about African culture. I think such performances enable Chinese people to understand African culture better," said Rong Jun Long, a young Chinese in his twenties.

"It was simply wonderful! Congolese music is so interesting. I am so grateful to the dancers. I look forward to seeing them perform again in China," added an old man in his seventies. Founded in 2006 and based in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, it was the first time Nsango Mbonda was holding concerts in China. Last May, the group held the Fifth Mbonda Festival at the Kinshasa Fine Arts Institute.

This year's Xinjiang International Folk Dance Festival attracted over 20,000 celebrated foreign folk dancers and 15 troupes. Inaugurated in 2008, the biennial festival is jointly organized by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government. "The festival displays the charms of Xinjiang's culture, enhances the exchanges and cooperation among countries and promotes the friendship among peoples along the Belt and Road Initiative countries," Luo Shugang, the Chinese Minister of Culture said at the opening of the 17-event on July 20, 2017.

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