Theatre in Wales

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Tai chi :in the city     

Tai chi :in the city If you see a group of people grasping a sparrows’ tail or waving their hands like clouds on your way to work on Wednesday don’t worry.*
In a scene you’d expect to see in a Shanghai park a group of professionals and school children will be doing tai chi in the open air outside the one Kingsway building in Cardiff during the morning commute.
British Council Wales employees will be joined by school children from Oakfield Primary school, dancers from National Dance Company Wales and passers-by, performing tai chi outside their new office, between 8am and 9.30am on 16 September 2009. The event will mark the inauguration of British Council’s new office in Cardiff and will celebrate 75 years in cultural relations.

During the 75 years of our work in cultural relations we have helped billions of people from hundreds of countries worldwide by creating opportunities and building understanding.

The UK’s creative industries, and education and training expertise, are the basis of our knowledge economy and are major national assets. Building and sustaining the UK’s reputation as an international centre of excellence in these fields is one of our major areas of work. We do this in a number of ways, for example, National Dance Company Wales (NDCWales), formerly Diversions, will build on its growing reputation on the international stage by making its debut tour to three cities in China in October.

The flagship arts company will travel in Southwest China for10 days, enhancing its position as one of the nation’s most active international touring arts organisations.

This unique opportunity, made possible by the British Council, will introduce new audiences in Southwest China to contemporary dance from the UK and build on opportunities for cultural exchange in the region.
Not only is the British Council strengthening its arts partnerships with China they have also built over 50 school links with Wales. One of these being, Oakfield Primary school in Cardiff, who, as a result of all their British Council Wales, Wales-China Joint Curriculum Project partnership with Renmin Primary School in Chongqing, have been immersed in Chinese culture for the past couple of years, taking part in various activities such as Kung Fu dancing, Tai Chi and Mandarin lessons.

Kevin Higgins, Country Director, British Council Wales said, “With the refurbishment of our new and expanded offices just started in One Kingsway, we wanted to mark this tangible example of our growth in activity over the last few years with something that was going to be fun for everyone to join in but was also relevant to our international work.
“The :in the city campaign will entail a series of high impact, international and culturally inspired events held around the city of Cardiff, all linked to the countries we are working with. The next events will include ‘debate :in the city’ and ‘grafitti :in the city’.
“So the Tai chi :in the city’ event is one way to encourage some of the mutual understanding and shared learning that is so crucial to effective, open, and long-lasting, international relationships, through experiencing an ancient Chinese activity, adapted from a martial art, that brings benefits to mental and physical health.”


• grasping a sparrows’ tail and waving hands like clouds are tai chi movements

• National Dance Company Wales dancers will be at the tai chi at 9am.
 
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