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Stormy spy drama dances into Chinese fans' hearts

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-04 07:34
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The Dance of the Storm, a 43-episode online modern espionage series, stars Hong Kong actor William Chan and Uygur actress Gulnezer Bextiyar (pictured). [Photo provided to China Daily]

The crab was eaten and The Dance of the Storm was produced. The relevance of that remark will be explained shortly but suffice to say for most showbiz industry insiders, 2016 was a watershed, as the number of online series produced surged 196 percent year-on-year.

"At that time, the market was brimming with creative ideas, and many production companies were testing the water of new genres," recalls Gao Feng, a veteran producer with Ciwen Media known for costume hits such as Journey to the West and Princess Agents.

This is where the crustacean comes in. Recalling that he wanted to be "the first person to eat a crab", a Chinese idiom describing individuals bravely trying fresh, yet risky, things, Gao and his longtime scriptwriting partner An Zhiyong had their opportunity that year.

Ciwen Media purchased the copyright to remake the popular South Korean espionage drama, Iris, with a plan to adapt the story to one about a Chinese spy who saves the world. The result? The Dance of the Storm.

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