Chinese poet to miss Féile due to SARS

CHINESE poet Zhang Ye has been dropped from the programme for this year’s Féile na Bealtaine (Festival of May) in Dingle, Co Kerry, due to the SARS scare.

The theme for the Féile is Far East cultures and Politics and the event will get underway tomorrow night to the backdrop of Cór Ban Cúil Aodha.

A political symposium Is the UN effective? will be held on Bank Holiday Monday.

Féile na Bealtaine is a celebration of an old Celtic festival, as the celtic year was divided in two by festivals at Samhain (November) and Bealtaine (May). Féile na Bealtaine is the only one its kind in the country, a festival of arts and politics. The organisation aims to introduce new ideas and people to the Dingle peninsula, and foster good will. This is the ninth year of the festival. Poet Thomas McCarthy; Aogán O Muircheartaigh; Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa; Michael McCaughan; Paddy Bushe and Katie Donovan will also read at other venues.

On Sunday, May 4, a music-literature event will feature participants such as the Guo brothers, renowned Chinese musicians, and Stephen Sensbach, cellist with the NSO.

There will be a lecture on Friday afternoon, May 2, by John Moriarty, entitled Rocking the Cradle of Civilisation Reflections in a Time of War. Concerts will be held every night, including a jazz concert by Olive Donegan and Colm Stride O'Brien on Thursday, May 1.

Among the main attractions are HUUN Huur TU, throat singers from Tuva (bordering Mongolia) who will perform on Sunday, May 4 in the Hillgrove Hotel. This year, Féile na Bealtaine collaborates with Cork International Choral Festival in hosting the Banchieri singers from Hungary, who will sing in Ballyferriter Church on Thursday evening.

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