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Last Updated: Monday, 11 October, 2004, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Jean Michel Jarre lights up China
The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square were lit up during the concert

French electronic music maestro Jean Michel Jarre lit up China's Forbidden City on Sunday with a spectacular sound and light show.

Jarre treated the crowd in central Beijing with his signature synthesized music, against a laser light show.

Images and colours were projected onto huge inflated white cylinders, cones and spheres over Tiananmen Square.

Jarre's concert, which also featured the Beijing Symphonic Orchestra, opened the Year of France in China.

It was beamed live across China on three Chinese television stations and was also watched on large television screens in the central Wangfujing and Xidan shopping centres in Beijing.

Jarre and Cheng Lin
Jarre opened the concert with soloist Cheng Lin

Jarre opened the concert with a collaboration with soloist Cheng Lin who played her erhu - a traditional Chinese stringed instrument.

He played classics like Oxygene as 600 projectors were used to bathe the historic Wumen Gate in light blues or oranges as images of Paris and Edgar Degas paintings flashed across the screens.

"I'm very happy to be back on the streets of Beijing and on Tiananmen Square which belongs to you," Jarre told the crowd before playing his final number of the night, Tiananmen.

"I would like to dedicate this last piece to the values of my country that are liberty, fraternity and equality."

Jean Michel Jarre first played in China in 1981, becoming one of the first western musicians to be given permission to perform in the country.

'Extraordinary' stage

More than 15,000 people watched the opening of the concert at Wumen Gate.

The concert ended in Tiananmen Square after Jarre was transported by motorcycle to the southern end of the square.

"We have never seen or heard anything like this in Beijing. It is just great, the music is good the stage design was extraordinary," said concert-goer Shi Lingling, who was on Tiananmen Square with her friends.

"This was a very modern concert, not only did you have the electronic music, but you had all the lights and the images," said Zhang Xuejiao, a Beijing medical worker, who saw the concert with her daughter.

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