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Dance drama on life along Silk Road set for Beijing debut

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-04-11 08:45

Dance drama on life along Silk Road set for Beijing debut

Silk Road displays different facets of life on the ancient trade route with a mixture of traditional Chinese and contemporary dance.  [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Silk Road, an ancient network of overland and marine routes linking Asia with Europe and Africa for commercial and cultural exchanges more than 2,000 years ago, is the theme of Chinese choreographer Yang Wei's latest dance drama that will debut in Beijing later in the month.

Silk Road, which mixes traditional Chinese dance and contemporary dance in lavish presentations, has been produced by the Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe.

It premiered in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, in January.

Yang's works are known to be grand spectacles, such as the dance drama Princess Wencheng. It tells the story of a Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) princess' marriage to King Songtsan Gampo and how economic, social and cultural ties between the Han and the Tibetan ethnic groups were enhanced. Another example is Mei Lanfang, a dance show that focuses on the late Peking Opera star.

Yang, who is in her late 30s, is also involved in the production of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, the most-watched annual event on Chinese TV.

Working with the Shaanxi troupe, Yang prepared for nearly a year before staging Silk Road in Xi'an. She describes the show as an "experiment", for which the production team covered the stage with a lot of sand. The stage backdrops also switch from traditional Chinese ink paintings to Persian designs.

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