Dance drama to bring Peking Opera star's creativity to the fore

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-12-08 06:59:50

Dance drama to bring Peking Opera star's creativity to the fore

Dancers use abstract dance movements to tell how late Chinese Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang evolved his artistic philosophy. Photo provided to China Daily

To mark the 120th anniversary of the birth of legendary Peking Opera actor Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), Liaoning Song and Dance Troupe has produced a dance drama titled Mei Lanfang, which will be performed at Beijing's Poly Theater on Dec 9 and 10.

Luo Yichun, a former performer of the opera and now the troupe's director, has written the script for the dance drama.

The story of Mei, the biggest Peking Opera star in modern China, has been adapted into a movie, Forever Enthralled, which was directed by acclaimed director Chen Kaige in 2008, and a ballet by Guangzhou Ballet Troup in 2009.

However, according to Luo, all such adaptations focused on portraying the life story of the late master, and he wanted to make Mei Lanfang's creative mind the center of the dance drama.

"The dance drama is not a biography of Mei. We interpret how he revived Peking Opera traditions with his own creations, shaping a style of his own and giving birth to the Mei School," Luo, 54, tells China Daily.

Luo also adds that the show doesn't display the detailed life events of Mei but focuses on the late Peking Opera master's art philosophy and how he created his unique art style.

"We use abstract dance movements to tell the how the late master devoted himself into his career," he says.

The dance drama premiered in Shenyang city in Northeast China's Liaoning province, two months ago. After the Beijing performances, the troupe will take it to the rest of the country.

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