The year 2012 is the 30th anniversary of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala. Produced by China Central Television and broadcast on the eve of Chinese New Year, the gala is viewed nationally by extremely large audiences, which makes it one of the premier television events on China’s entertainment calendar.
Each year, the directors of the gala try to adopt fresh ideas and introduce new faces. Some of them have become overnight stars, while some left with regrets.
With his handsome face and beautiful voice, Fei Xiang, a half Chinese, became the first Taiwan pop singer to cross the Strait and perform in the Spring Festival Gala.
With two songs that he performed at the Gala, “The Clouds of My Hometown” and “A Fire in Winter,” Fei Xiang became the most popular singer in the Chinese mainland over night. Most of us may not know that his success is owed to Deng Zaijun, the first female director of CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala.
Deng Zaijun, director of 1987 Spring Festival Gala said, "I chose his song "A Fire in Winter" because the rhythm of the song was different. It was fashionable. But I was not sure if his dancing could be accepted."
But the response from the audiences proved that Deng made the right decision.
In 1993, at its 10th anniversary, the Gala faced a lot of doubts including if it was necessary to hold the event every year. At that time, Zhang Ziyang rose to the challenge. The 37-year-old director produced many firsts, including the first usage of a big screen backdrop and the first adoption of second floor auditorium.
Zhang Ziyang said, "We made a three-sided stage. And some audiences were invited to the second floor. It was decorated like a tea house."
Moreover, the 1993 Gala was noted for having live crossovers between Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao.
Zhang Ziyang said, "At that time, we had an idea, that is to hold a big gathering for Chinese everywhere. So we invited anchors in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. "
Entering into the new century, the gala tended to be set on larger stages each time. The evolution of the Spring Festival Gala is, in many ways, representative of China’s technological growth, and social development.
Looking back at each year’s gala is just like looking at the past of Chinese people’s lives, and the trace of development of China. It involves hard work and exploration year after year. No matter how the gala evolves, for Chinese people, watching it has already become an indispensable ceremony on the eve of the New Year.