A giant firework dragon will stretch across the Millennium Bridge and light up the Thames at the start of the Chinese New Year in January, kicking off the major 'Tate and Egg Live' series of shows combining art with theatre and music.
"There is great risk, but we have great conviction," Tate director Nicholas Serota told the Reuters news agency. "This is a major departure for the Tate, but our audiences demand it."
The nine-month extravaganza will burst into life on 31 January with a firework spectacular by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang entitled Ye Gong Hao Long or Mister Ye Who Loves Dragons.
The pyrotechnical beast will start at Millbank's Tate Britain, zoom along the Thames to stretch across the Millennium Bridge, reaching across to Tate Modern and climb to the top of the chimney of the former Bankside Power Station. The spectacle has been likened by some to the elusive 'river of fire' on Millennium Eve.
The second event in the series, sponsored by online bank Egg, sees Estonian composer Arvo Part team up with Anish Kapoor to create a piece of music for Kapoor's blood-red trumpet, Marsyas, the biggest sculpture in the world, which currently fills Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.
American theatre and opera director Peter Sellars will also be staging Artaud's For an End to the Judgment of God in the Turbine Hall as if it were a press conference about the war in Iraq.
At Easter, the Death and Resurrection concerts, to be conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, will begin at St Paul's Cathedral, with the audience walking across the Millennium Bridge to a second concert in the Tate's Turbine Hall, itself often described as a cathedral-like space.