Modern ballet embraces Tang Dynasty love story

( CNTV ) Updated: 2015-07-19 14:44:42

Modern ballet embraces Tang Dynasty love story

A poster of the contemporary ballet "Echose of Eternity" [Photo/CNTV]

It is a story ever to be told and retold - the love of an emperor for his concubine, come life, come death. "Echoes of Eternity" - a collaboration between the Shanghai Ballet and the Shanghai Grand Theater - portrays this immortal tale through modern ballet, and Song Wenjing dropped in on rehearsals.

They are one of the best known pairs of lovers in Chinese history. "Echoes of Eternity" tells the love story of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty in the 700s, and his concubine Yang Yuhuan. Wu Husheng, the dancer who plays Emperor Xuanzong, says it's not an easy task for him.

"Xuanzong's love for his concubine is true and touching. He is the emperor, but at the same time, an ordinary man in love. He set aside the affairs of state because of her, and that's what later led to tragedy. That brings a lot of contradictions to the character," said Wu Husheng, principal dancer of Shanghai Ballet.

The man behind the show is German choreographer and dancer Patrick de Bana. His connection with Shanghai began last April, when he created the contemporary production "Jane Eyre" for the Shanghai Ballet. De Bana says he has been trying hard to give the dancers another way of expressing their emotions through their bodies.

"The challenge is like to make the dancers think for themselves. To have an exchange. For the dancers to be alive in the studio," said Patrick De Bana, the Choreographer.

Da Bana also says people don't need to be Chinese to feel the love and sadness in the story.

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