BEIJING – Chinese dancer and TV presenter Jin Xing is confident that the entertainment industry will return to normal and that the arts will be more valued after the pandemic.
In China, where tight lockdowns helped control the domestic spread of Covid-19 within months, Jin’s private dance company resumed national touring last year, she told Tania Bryer at the CNBC Evolve Global Summit.
The troops are now in “very good condition,” said Jin. She expects all of China’s theaters to open this year, followed by live stadium concerts.
While most of China has resumed normal business activity for more than a year, the country has had to deal with small coronavirus outbreaks, most recently in the southern export hub of Guangzhou City. The uncertainty and the continued spread of the virus abroad have contributed to a subdued recovery in Chinese consumer spending.
Jin has seen the ups and downs of China’s development since the 1960s.
She became an award-winning military dancer as a teenager, then enjoyed similar success as a dancer in New York before returning to China. Jin is best known today as China’s earliest open transgender star who also hosts television shows.
Audience becomes “super calm”
In the wake of the pandemic, new protocols like virus testing and face masks have created a new dynamic between performers and their audience – especially when they’re allowed to meet offline instead of online.
Jin Xing (in red) appears for the first time in over 20 years and for the first time ever as a woman during a dress rehearsal on January 31, 2012, before it opens at the Joyce Theater.
Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images
At a recent performance in Nanjing City, near Shanghai, all 1,900 spectators wore masks, Jin said.
That meant the audience was “super calm” and “focused on what was happening” rather than chatting to each other, she said. That creates a “fantastic” environment for an artist on stage, she added.
Another TV show starts
Jin is also enjoying success with young people online.
This spring, the first season of their reality TV dating show “Ni hao ling yi ban” aired on the video platform iQiyi. The show’s name roughly translates to “Hello, (my) other half” and focuses on Chinese people who graduated from top foreign universities before becoming entrepreneurs in China.
“They are doing very well professionally. But there is still (a) huge void in their personal lives,” said Jin, noting that regardless of their education, participants are faced with the same question of what kind of family to raise.
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The matchmaking show is slated for another season later this year, she told CNBC.
Whether on stage or online, Jin hopes her work can help keep viewers calm, especially after the shock of the pandemic.
People can never make enough money, she said, but people can “slow down”.