In Cooperation with the Foreign Correspondents Club of China
China's "most famous foreigner," the Canadian Mark Rowswell aka Dashan, has been working as a comedian and media personality in China for nearly three decades. He shot to fame for his mastery of "xiangsheng" - a comedic form of traditional Chinese dialogue and went on to become a popular fixture on Chinese television, hosting cultural, diplomatic and commercial programmes and live events. He has appeared four times at the Spring Festival Gala - the only non-Chinese performer to do so.
Dashan is seen as a cultural ambassador between China and the West. He was dubbed "a foreigner but not an outsider" by the People's Daily. In 2012, the Canadian Prime Minister appointed him "Goodwill Ambassador to China."
Recently, Dashan has returned to his roots in a series of live shows combining traditional Chinese comedy with Western stand-up - a format relatively new to China but growing in popularity. "Dashan Live" will be featured at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April - the only non-English performance listed. On the eve of his departure, Dashan will talk to the FCCC about his life as a household name, his work to bring stand-up to China and his plans to take Chinese language comedy to mainstream international festivals.
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