What's new

Updated: 2007-09-12 07:33

In search of our inner gods

Chinese leading theatre director Tian Qinxin will present her latest production at the Centenary Hall of Peking University tomorrow and Friday. The play is titled Guan Shi Yin, which means to Chinese people the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva or Goddess of Mercy. It is about a young woman's expedition searching for the Goddess of Mercy. But director Tian says it is not a religious story. She interprets the title by separating the three characters: "Guan" means observe, "Shi" means the world and "Yin" means sounds from the world and from people's inner hearts.

Suffering from the parents divorce, a young woman leaves home to look for the Goddess of Mercy. Along her way, she meets a variety of people, each of them looking for happiness, freedom, harmony and balance. They finally realize that the only ones who have the ability to solve their problems are themselves.

Tian asked dancers from the Beijing Modern Dance Company to choreograph the play and trained the cast in body movement. The play will also feature multi-media designed by the US-based artist Ma Yongfeng.

Far from the same old Seong

The National Symphony Orchestra of China gave a concert on Sunday night at the Beijing Concert Hall to commemorate the late Korea-born Chinese composer Jeong Yul Seong (1914-76). The performance kicked off with PLA March, which was composed by Jeong when he joined the Eighth Route Army in Yan'an in 1939.

The first half was conducted by Shao En, featuring music selected from Jeong's operas, while Chinese soprano Lei Jia and the Choir of National Symphony Orchestra performed arias and choruses. The second half was conducted by Yan Liangkun. The program included choruses composed by Jeong to accompany the poem by Chairman Mao Zedong as well as two orchestral works by Korean composers to commemorate Jeong.

On October 19, the concert will also be played at Gwangju, South Korea to open the Gwangju Jeong Yul Seong International Music Festival, which will run till October 21.

Jeong was born in Gwangju in 1914 and came to China in 1933. He learned to play piano, violin and vocal in Nanjing and Shanghai and joined the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in 1937. He composed many songs when he was in Yan'an in 1937 to 1939 and one of them, Song of the Eighth Route Army was named PLA March in 1988.

Jeong went back to South Korea in 1945 and returned to China in 1950. Then he worked as resident composer of the Central Song and Dance Company and the Central Symphony Orchestra (now the National Symphony Orchestra).

Cui Jian rocks out in a new tongue

Chinese rock'n'roll star Cui Jian took the surprising step of singing his first English song Outside Girl at the annual Beijing Pop Festival on Sunday night.

"This is the first time I will sing a song in English and I dedicate this to women athletes at next year's Olympics," the Beijing-born multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist told the crowds at Chaoyang Park before the song.

But the new song didn't win him as much audience reaction as other better-known ones.

"It's a bit hard to follow the English lyrics," said one rock fan Ma Jun, adding that Cui is most famous for his poetic and socially conscious lyrics.

"It shows his intention of entering into the international stage, as there are so many western bands around," Ma said.

China Daily-Xinhua

(China Daily 09/12/2007 page21)