Heads of state and government, and other Belt and Road Forum delegates, attended the "Millennial Road" gala performance at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Sunday evening.[Special coverage]
The extravaganza brought audiences back to ancient times, where China connected with the Western regions, Central Asia and Europe throughout communication, connectivity and understanding.
After a banquet hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan, distinguished guests enjoyed a magnificent show that included songs, dances, operas, and high-concept performances involving high-technologies.
The pageant was a tribute to Chinese culture. It showcased exquisite murals imprinted on the wall like the one from Mogao Grottoes - caves with thousands of buddha statues, while dancers mimicked celestials from ancient times. Songs by China's finest sopranos and folk tunes played by traditional Chinese instruments, portrayed history, geography, stories, love, future hopes from the historical silk road.
Chen Weiya, director of the evening gala, exclusively told CCTV on Sunday that he wanted the magnificent performance to be of international class but Chinese style, with a touch of Beijing.
Putting his comment into practice was a chapter that emblazoned Beijing's four seasons and promoted China's capital, home to numerous world heritage sites in music and painting.
Chen Weiya also told CCTV that he received the task of directing the gala in November 2016, and hopes the gala successfully portrayed the historic, modern and future's angles of the Belt and Road Initiative. He said Chinese culture and culture along the Belt and Road are included in the show.
"The gala could portray our country's moral character and qualities, as well as a country's art image. It also sends well wishes to the Belt and Road Initiative," Chen said.
The show ended with children from Belt and Road countries singing about peace, and how peace brings harvests and a happy life, a message similar to Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony of Belt and Road Forum on Sunday. He said that the initiative – which he calls a centennial project – will bring benefits to people from all countries, while he called the ancient silk road a bridge in the ancient times that brought peaceful cooperation, civilization cultivated from inclusiveness, and coexistence from integration.
"Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit," said Xi during the opening ceremony of the forum.
"We are passengers on the same boat. Peace is the sail carrying us far from generation to generation," sang the performers during the last show of the gala. "Say no to hatred and embrace love for each other. Peace, the brilliant sunshine of life. Peace, the eternal pursuit of the world."