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Category Archives: Performing Arts

The Power of Silence

In Beijing Dance Theater (BDT)’s new work, Wild Grass, silence is once again more powerful than any words. When the lights were turned down in Tiaoqiao theater, the performers shuffled between shadows and dim lights to represent through movement the words of Chinese author Lu


Acclaimed playwright and director Stan Lai is determined to build a sustainable independent theater industry in China    It’s not easy being Stan Lai. Widely acclaimed as one of the most important and influential contemporary Chinese language playwrights and directors worldwide, Lai’s plays are popular with critics

Dancing on the Edge

After making my way through a labyrinth of identical corridors on the first floor of Beijing’s Olympic Sport Center, I finally come across the group of young dancers from the Beijing Dance Theater, founded by Wang Yuanyuan in late 2008, practicing and rehearsal there like

Nature Calls

Yang Liping embodies the elemental forces of Yunnan With the heavy beat of drums reverberating across the room, The Sound of Yunnan begins. The story of the epic ethnic dance opens with a mysterious tribe holding a ceremony for the birth of a child. The

When Chinese Characters Dance…

A British friend of mine, who seldom get touched by shows, told me he was moved to tears when he watched Cloud Gate’s dance, the modern dance company from Taiwan. Wang Yuanyuan, the artistic director of Beijing Contemporary Theatre says, “Cloud Gate is the best

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When Bach Meets Beatles

The Beijing Wind Orchestra mixes rock and classical  Every morning, near the third palace of the Imperial Ancestral Temple, tourists and passersby are surprised to hear John Lennon’s “Hey Jude” and Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World” being played by saxophones and tubas. Inside the palace,

A Man, a Woman and a Rhinoceros

An unconventional love story Those fooled into thinking that tThose fooled into thinking that this story involves some sort of bestiality or Disney-like anthropomorphism will be disappointed. But otherwise, Rhinoceros in Love can be quite an entertaining story. It tells beautiful but tragic romance between

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War! What is it Good For?

Apparently, the classics are in vogue again. Just note the blockbuster cinematic success of John Woo’s recent take on the historic Red Cliff, as well as the ode to Peking Opera, Forever Enthralled. The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is taking advantage of

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And the Spring Begins

“A real masterpiece, a classic, always resonates with audiences, whatever the times,” says director Lin Zhaohua, as he discusses his latest production, Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Lin is one of the most influential drama directors in China today, renowned for his bold adaptations of

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Ageless Aida

From an eclectic pairing of electric African dance with elegant European ballet, performed in dazzling costumes against a mysterious set to a jazz filled soundtrack, a musical was born. Elton John and Tim Rice’s adaptation of the timeless love story Aida, which has been moving