Friday, May 24, 2024

Chinese dance drama ‘A Dream of Red Mansions’ International premiere – Singapore

SINGAPORE, April 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A Dream Of Red Mansions, an original dance drama by Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts (JSCPA), is instructed by The Publicity Department of Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the CPC, advised by Research Institute of The Dream of the Red Chamber, Chinese National Academy of Arts, planned by Jiangsu Cultural investment & Management Group.,Ltd, produced by JSCPA, jointly produced by Nanjing Chinese Orchestra and Lixing Studio. The production was awarded as the most influential dance drama award in China, “the Lotus Award”, and is now one of Chinese audiences’ favourite dance dramas.  In 2024, the first performance of its overseas tour will be held at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in Singapore from September 13th to 15th, presented by Willow Arts in association with HOPPA Live. Let’s experience the oriental aesthetics in the dance drama, appreciating the innovative expression of traditional Chinese culture and the marvelous kingdom of youth in the “Grand View Garden”.


The dance drama A Dream of Red Mansions follows the spirit of the original work and provides the audience with an in-depth analysis of the younger generation’s interpretation of traditional culture, and then explores the beauty of China and the classics from all aspects of a deeper level so that people can touch the power of fine culture and art. From the perspective of Jia Baoyu, the audience is invited to enter the dreamland, following the main line of the protagonist’s love tragedy, and experiencing the prosperity and overthrow of a generation of families immersively.

The production is co-directed by two dance artists Li Xing and Li Chao, who have won numerous awards at home and abroad. It features the leading playwright, composer, lighting designer, set designer, and makeup designer in China. A star-studded cast performs this piece, including outstanding dancers of the new generation as leads and dancers from JSCPA Artists in Residence. They manage to showcase Chinese culture and aesthetic conception in the form of dance drama, injecting traditional culture with vitality in the new era and taking into consideration the aesthetic preferences of young people when designing stages with ingenuity, aiming to highlight the unique oriental beauty and wisdom.

The dance drama A Dream of Red Mansions has been toured across China for more than 170 performances. The dance drama is seeing a rise in popularity among the youth who are excited to discover the beauty of China’s traditional culture.

Plot Synopsis
The dance drama A Dream of Red Mansions inherits the structure of traditional Chinese novels. The twelve dance numbers, Entry, Illusory Land, Jealousy, Imperial Visitation, Promenade, Burial of Flowers, Lantern Festival, Loss of Jade, Warding-off Evil, Family Reunion, Flower Burial and Back to the Great Wilderness, corresponding to twelve independent chapters, which narrate the story together.

I. Entry:
All that you see and hear is the nobility.
If not in the mundane,
how could you learn such extravagance…

II. Illusory Land:
Beyond the Sphere of Parting Sorrow
In the Sea of Brimming Grief
“When false is taken for true, true becomes false;
If non-being turns into being, being becomes non-being”.
The lonely souls in fantasy
Acting the fools.

III. Jealousy:
The pledge between plant and stone
The well-matched gold and jade.
Is the encounter destined?
Hesitant eyes linger,
Thousands of words yet to say.

IV. Imperial Visitation:
Bouquets dressed in embroidered silk
Flames lick the boiling oil.
In the midst of the bustle,
Flowers bloom and tears rain
The unspeakable sorrows.

V. Promenade:
Striking clock and dressing mirror
Watching the tumultuous feast collapses
Through a fleck of dust.

VI. Burial of Flowers:
In the city of sorrow
Wind shatters the young hearts
Wherever it blows.
No appreciation nor resonance
I mourn myself by making the flowers’ burial.

VII. Lantern Festival:
Torches igniting the sky,
Powdered incense strewing the ground.
Golden gates and jade doors,
Like palace where deities dwell.
Gone in ashes in a blink
The wondrous world of lanterns, firework, flowers and jewel.

VIII. Loss of Jade:
Alas! Come and gone without a trace
By the ancient pine at the foot of Blue Ridge Peak.
To seek it, cross myriads of mountains:
Entering my gate with a smile you will meet again.

IX. Warding-off Evil:
Heaven and Earth witness the wedding perform.
Red veil in a dazed dream
Tears,
Drenching the dear memories.

X. Family Reunion:
Joy and sorrow alike are false
Desire and longing arise from fool.

XI. Flower Burial:
Here, the girls close as sisters
Their outstanding talents and appearances
One can only compare to heavenly goddesses.

XII. Back to the Great Wilderness:
The vast, desolate wilderness

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