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China-UK physical theater coproduction ‘The Dreamer’ seeks to challenge Chinese audiences — Global Times

She stands in front of us behind a white and plain Chinese screen on which her black shadow stands in the center of a big round circle of light, like a live action shadow puppet show. Dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, she holds a peony flower in one hand while she dances, then turns around and slides her other hand – fingers positioned to look like an orchid flower – along her chin.

Although her facial expressions cannot be seen, the woman’s femininity, playfulness and gentleness burst out from the screen. She is Du Liniang, the heroine from the famed Kun Opera The Peony Pavilion, written by Tang Xianzu of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

But what audiences in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province, watched during the opening day of the Nanjing Youth Drama Festival on Saturday was anything but a traditional Chinese opera. The Dreamer is a physical theater production coproduced by the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (SDAC) and the British Gecko Theatre in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of drama icon Shakespeare and his contemporary Tang’s deaths. Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Peony Pavilion, The Dreamer follows modern metropolitan woman Helena as she travels through layer after layer of complicated dreams to deal with her anxiety and find peace of mind…

Read more at Global Times

Image courtesy of Gecko and SDAC

April 02, 2019 — 18:28

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