Home / Culture / Music and Theater

Chinese dance drama stuns British audience

CCTV | Updated: 2016-11-07 14:02
Chinese dance drama stuns British audience

The file photo shows a dancer performing in a drama directed by Chinese choreographer and dancer Yang Liping. [Photo/]

A Chinese dance performance, Under Siege, which re-tells a thousand-year-old Chinese story in a "unique" way, has premiered at London's Sadler's Wells Theater.

Directed by renowned Chinese choreographer and dancer Yang Liping, the performance opens with 20-thousand pairs of scissors hanging from the ceiling of the stage at the Sadler's Wells Theatre.

From there, a tragic battle scene plays out through the traditional use of red feathers.

The theatrics are meant express to the audience the story of a climactic battle between the Chu and Han armies, an encounter that changed the course of Chinese history.

"The sets were very impressive: the scissors hanging from the ceiling and the red feathers on the ground. They were very impressive."

"Absolutely stunning, and visually it was just incredible. And the whole thing was brought together in the most beautiful and incredibly fluid way."

Under Siege itself is designed to integrate varioius kinds of Chinese cultural elements, including Kung fu, Peking Opera, traditional Chinese folk music, the Daoist idea of Yin and Yang and paper cuttings.

This story, traditionally told through through music, literature and film as the classic Farewell My Concubine, has been reimagined as a dance performance by Director Yang Liping.

"By telling a story 2,000 years ago, we have actually revealed both the dark and the bright sides of human nature. People tend to hurt each other just for protecting their own interests, because there are ceaseless war flames in the world just line those 2,000 years ago. People are killing people, making many homeless, reducing to the status of refugees. War has never stopped. By bringing the dance here, I think, we want to express our worries."

Alistair Spalding is the Art Director of Sadler's Wells Theater.

He says Under Siege seems to resonate with both Chinese and British audiences.

"It has a contemporary set way, but it also follows the traditions of China by telling this very ancient story. So the combination I think works both in China and for Europe."

Performances of Under Siege have been staged through this past week.

Academy and BAFTA Award-winning set and costume designer Tim Yip, along with artist-designer Liu Beili are part of the people who helped put the visual magic on stage.

The theater has promoted Under Siege as containing a cast of performers who come from styles and traditions as diverse as Peking Opera, hip hop, ballet and contemporary dance, calling it a "unique piece of dance theater" and "an unforgettable experience."


Play about former soldier set to return to Beijing

Beijing venue to stage English plays on marriage

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349