Spring Festival Gala: Fusion of tradition and innovation charms global audience

<img src='https://news.cgtn.com/news/2024-02-09/2024-Spring-Festival-Gala-Tradition-and-innovation-charms-globe-1r3wnu6NWSI/img/52a93f9a94d149868cd16900d1b2c927/52a93f9a94d149868cd16900d1b2c927.jpeg' alt=''

This year’s Spring Festival Gala, an annual celebration produced and broadcast by China Media Group (CMG), unfolded on the eve of the Chinese New Year on Friday evening. This occasion signifies a cherished time when Chinese people around the world gather with their families to welcome the Chinese New Year.

As China’s most-watched TV program, the gala has been an annual tradition since its first broadcast in 1983. This year, the gala’s live broadcast set new records for both the number of viewers and total views. As of 8 a.m. on February 10, it drew 795 million viewers through new media platforms, with total views soaring to 1.689 billion, a 15.13 percent increase from the previous year. 

The mobile-optimized vertical format of the gala proved especially popular, garnering 423 million views, a 48.14 percent jump from last year, and achieving a new peak for the third consecutive year. The gala has prompted lively discussions and attracted many favorable comments on social media, with discussions related to the gala jumping 49.76 percent from last year to 26.7 billion.

This year, the gala showcased a mix of performances, from music, comedy and traditional arts like opera and martial arts to spectacular acts such as magic and acrobatics. It also incorporated cutting-edge technologies like extended reality (XR) and immersive stage interaction technologies to enhance the viewing experience. 

Among the standout performances, the creative New Year customs program featured the richness and diversity of Chinese culinary culture, suggesting an abundant harvest in the Year of the Dragon. The China drum dance emerged as another vibrant highlight, with dancers in traditional attire energizing the stage with rhythmic drum beats. The choreography, a dynamic blend of precision and spontaneity, brought the ancient art form to life in a contemporary celebration.

Continuing this theme of innovation, the show “New Year Brocade” creatively combined music with advanced virtual synthesis technology. It transformed representative symbols from ancient China into a mesmerizing display, staging an “ancient fashion show” where characters seemed to emerge directly from paintings. By intertwining traditional and modern elements, it breathed new life into cultural motifs that have endured for millennia, dazzling the audience with a showcase of Oriental aesthetics.

These captivating performances were made possible by this year’s gala embracing the virtual production (VP) model, integrating an XR and VP system that blends virtual and physical elements in ultra-high-definition. Innovative shooting techniques, such as dynamic storyboard previews and the synchronization of virtual and real lighting effects, create a stunningly realistic space where virtual and physical worlds merge seamlessly.

For the first time, the studio hall employed an immersive stage interaction system equipped with a free-view ultra-high-definition camera setup. This system captured the actors’ movements from various angles, preserving the wonderful moments of the show. By leveraging AI production and augmented reality for real-time rendering, it creates a visual experience that blends performers and scenery together.

<img src='https://news.cgtn.com/news/2024-02-09/2024-Spring-Festival-Gala-Tradition-and-innovation-charms-globe-1r3wnu6NWSI/img/5135b6959bc240988bf02105363b5f06/5135b6959bc240988bf02105363b5f06.jpeg' alt='The dance "Koi Carp" incorporated AI (Artificial Intelligence) and XR (Extended Reality), featuring dancers using wire-flying to vividly imitate koi movements, against a backdrop of rippling water and shimmering light effects. /CMG'

Another highlight of the gala was its adept storytelling, capturing the lives of ordinary people, from their challenges to their moments of happiness, and vividly bringing to life the scenes of daily life. For instance, the project “Spring Festival Gala is waiting for you,” inviting ordinary people who have become internet influencers to attend the gala, helped form a standout feature of this year’s Spring Festival Gala.

Individuals from various backgrounds took center stage at the gala. From noodle chefs and retired technicians to police officers and athletes, people from diverse professions shared their stories in the opening short film “Our Spring Festival Gala,” igniting hopes for a brighter future.

<img src='https://news.cgtn.com/news/2024-02-09/2024-Spring-Festival-Gala-Tradition-and-innovation-charms-globe-1r3wnu6NWSI/img/55f54d2fabe049349156ed6da7fa1cf4/55f54d2fabe049349156ed6da7fa1cf4.jpeg' alt='The 2024 Spring Festival Gala was broadcast live on over 3,000 public screens in 90 cities spanning six continents, allowing a global audience to experience the distinctive charm of the Chinese Spring Festival and its cultural traditions. /CMG'

In celebrating the Year of the Dragon, CGTN launched the Loong Year Loong Dance challenge on January 8, reaching out to audiences across social media platforms worldwide. As dance knows no national boundaries, this challenge invites a global audience to connect with the culture and festive spirit of the Spring Festival, creating a bridge between diverse communities through the universal language of dance moves. It has drawn participants from 68 countries and regions, with a global reading volume of over 589 million.

Overseas engagement of the gala hit new heights this year, with content being read over 649 million times globally and videos garnering 210 million views. CGTN has broadcast the gala globally across its English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian language channels, as well as on new media platforms available in 68 languages, partnering with over 2,100 media outlets in 200 countries and regions. 

Reflecting this worldwide appeal, over 3,000 public screens in 90 cities on six continents broadcast the Spring Festival Gala live, enabling people around the world to experience the unique charm of the Chinese Spring Festival and Chinese culture, all while enjoying songs and laughter on this joyous occasion.

Click here to watch the CGTN Super Night 2024 live broadcast.

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