National Centre for the Performing Arts is a dynamic new icon to the arts in the heart of old Beijing. The Centre's ultra-modern architecture is in sharp contrast to its neighbours, the Great Hall of the People, Tian'anmen Square and the ancient Forbidden City. The National Centre for the Performing Arts is far more than a spectacular and futuristic building.
It is China's new face on the performing arts. It is a stage for the world's greatest artists. It will showcase China's burgeoning international stars and celebrate the creativity of its many ethnic cultures. Its location at No. 2 West Chang'an Avenue and its masterful, creative design are testament to the prestige China has placed on the performing arts.
The Centre hosted its first official concert on December 22, 2007, signaling a coming of age for performance art in China. Three main performance venues, along with a host of resource facilities, are cunningly housed under the Centre's ellipsoid shell.
The 2,398-seat Opera House is the Centre's largest venue and boasts the most advanced staging equipment available. It will host the most elaborate productions from the world's most creative artists. The Concert Hall, which can seat an audience of 2,019, was designed with superior acoustics. It will host symphony orchestras and national music performances.
The 1,035-seat Theatre is also equipped with hi-tech, theatrical staging and audio visual equipment. It will mainly host traditional Chinese operas and modern dramas. The interior design of main hall is as stunning as the building's architecture. Ten very different coloured marbles from around China were used for the flooring.
A huge floor to ceiling glass curtain baths the interior in sunlight or reveals the city's lights at night. The interior walls are warmed by a massive lattice work of rich Brazilian rose wood. The main building, which has no doors, angles or beams, is surrounded by a small lake that compliments the tranquil nature of the structure, which changes its hue depending on how the sun shines. Visitors enter the grand hall via a stunning 80-meter-long corridor. Its glass ceiling glistens with the water from the pond above.
National Centre for the Performing Arts also hosts a variety of Auxiliary Facilities and spaces that are dedicated to public use. Jointly known as the "The Fifth Space", they include the underwater corridor, an exhibition gallery and a resource centre along with souvenir shops and cafes.
Both inside and out, China's new National Centre for the Performing Arts is a must-see attraction. The Centre's surrounding Landscape: its gardens and trees, its lake and pedestrian-only paths are an invitation to a leisurely stroll around the arts facility. We hope you are inspired to think creative thoughts. Don't forget your camera. The Centre is easily accessible by public transit. Ride subway Line One to Tian'anmen West station, take exit 'C' and you are there.
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