Hans Christian Andersen celebrations taking shape

The celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) will be a major cultural event in 2005 in Denmark as well as around the World.
     In South East Asia, Singapore has been selected for major celebrations. In Thailand, plans are also currently being made but nothing as of yet finalized. In China, a dedicated web portal www.hca2005.cn was recently established. Here, also Mandarin speaking people from the rest of Asia can follow the latest international news and events generally relating to Hans Christian Andersen.
     “The Chinese have a deeply-felt relationship with Andersen and he was fascinated with China,” says Lars Seeberg, Secretary General of H.C. Andersen 2005.
     “The Chinese website is a superb symbol of how, a small culture like that in Denmark through modern technology can exchange knowledge and insight with a major culture such as that in China.”
     The Chinese HCA2005 portal will also provide experience-oriented material like various forms of multimedia games for children and other playful souls, who want to immerse themselves in the universe of Hans Christian Andersen in other, alternative ways.
     “The Chinese HCA2005 portal is a cornerstone for the project’s activities in China and an essential part of our communication strategy. From the start, we have placed great emphasis on our visibility on the Internet and consider www.hca2005.cn as a natural extension of our activities on the English-language HCA2005 portal,” says Director of Public Affairs for HCA2005, Christian Have.
     Back in Denmark, the festivities are to kick off at Parken national stadium in Copenhagen on April 2, 2005, followed by a welter of concerts, readings, theatrical productions, exhibitions, film festivals, opera and ballet performances throughout the rest of the year.
     Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has agreed with great pleasure to become patron of the many Hans Christian Andersen 2005 events. This is considered of great importance to the many cultural events in Denmark and the rest of the world.
     “We are grateful to Her Majesty who with her great knowledge of the poet will help bring an even larger world focus on Hans Christian Andersen,” says Lars Seeberg, Secretary General of H.C. ANDERSEN 2005.
     The Royal Theatre alone is planning seven projects devoted to Andersen during 2005, including a new ballet and opera along with guest visits by the Australian Ballet, Britain’s Arc Dance Company and top international names.
     Among the plays to be staged is a hitherto completely unknown work by Hans Christian Andersen, which has just been published for the first time – 165 years after it was written by Andersen.
     The work, described as a “fairytale comedy” and entitled “Wasteland”, appears in the annual edition of Anderseniana, published by Odense City Museum every year since 1933. Andersen was born in Odense, which is located on the central island of Funen.
     “Wasteland”, inspired by the play “Der Verschwender” by Austrian playwright Ferdinand Raimund, was turned down by the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen and never previously published.
     Also the Danish Broadcasting Corporation will stage 75 concerts focused on the Andersen theme, including a new work by leading Danish contemporary composer Per Nørgård.
     H.C. Andersen 2005 is supported by the Kingdom of Denmark, Odense Municipality, the County of Funen and the Bikuben Foundation. The stated aim of H.C. Andersen 2005 is to promote a wider and deeper understanding of the poet.

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