RedDress at Lin­coln Cen­ter

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By JACK FREIFELDER in New York jack­freifelder@ chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The Chi­nese Na­tional Award-win­ning dance drama The Red Dress pre­miered Thurs­day at the David H. Koch The­ater in New York’s Lin­coln Cen­ter, mark­ing the first time the China Ningbo Per­for­mance and Arts Group (China Ningbo) has put on a show in the United States.

Wang Xiaoying, artis­tic di­rec­tor of The Red Dress and vice-pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Theatre of China (NTC), said the chance to work with Lin­coln Cen­ter in New York City is a key op­por­tu­nity to “share this pro­duc­tion with other cul­tures”.

“New York City is a place full of dif­fer­ent cul­tures,” Wang said through a trans­la­tor in a Thurs­day in­ter­view with China Daily. “We wanted to choose a place where we could get a high-level au­di­ence, and New York is one of the best cen­ters for per­form­ing arts.”

The Red Dress, which fea­tures a com­pany of close to 50 dancers, tells the love story of a young man and woman from two rich fam­i­lies in south­ern China.

The two main char­ac­ters, Yue’er and A’yong — played by Cheng Lin and Zeng Ming, re­spec­tively — have been sweet­hearts since their youth, but ex­ter­nal cir­cum­stances drive them apart. A prom­ise of mar­riage makes Yue’er the bride-to-be, but she must wait for many years be­fore she achieves her dream of wear­ing a red wed­ding dress.

China Ningbo, which boasts a com­pany of more than 300, mainly fo­cuses its works on the fea­tures of south­ern China and the char­ac­ter­is­tics of Ningbo as a city, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

The show — which is pre­sented by the China Arts and En­ter­tain­ment Group (CAEG), a sub­sidiary of China’s Min­istry of Cul­ture — runs from March 6-9.

CAEG an­nu­ally stages more than 5,000 shows, in­clud­ing ex­hi­bi­tions and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties in a va­ri­ety of cities and coun­tries around the globe.

This en­gage­ment with the Lin­coln Cen­ter is the third pro­duc­tion set up be­tween CAEG and the David H Koch The­ater.

Song Guan­lin, vice-pres­i­dent of CAEG, said though The Red Dress is in­flu­enced by clas­si­cal per­for­mance art, it is much more fo­cused on the emo­tional as­pect of its char­ac­ters.

“We want to em­pha­size the feel­ings and emo­tions of the char­ac­ters be­cause emo­tion is com­mon in all cul­tures,” Song told China Daily Thurs­day through a trans­la­tor. “The Red Dress talks about how a woman should pur­sue love, and in more gen­eral terms how they should pur­sue life.”

The Red Dress draws in­flu­ence from the wed­ding cus­toms of China’s Jiang­nan re­gion, which in­cludes the cities of Shang­hai, Ningbo, Hangzhou and Suzhou.

Kevin McA­nar­ney, a pub­lic re­la­tions rep­re­sen­ta­tive in­volved in the CAEG’s part­ner­ship with Lin­coln Cen­ter, said the limited en­gage­ment is a good rea­son for the­ater fans to take no­tice of the CAEG of­fer­ing.

“This group has been to Europe, but none of the big cities like Paris or Rome, so this is the first ma­jor city where they have per­formed,” McA­nar­ney said. “The show is only here at Lin­coln Cen­ter in New York, and it’s not be­ing per­formed any­where else.”

Song said the in­tent of his group’s part­ner­ship with Lin­coln Cen­ter is to in­crease global un­der­stand­ing and “to know that this kind of per­form­ing arts ex­ists”.

ZHANG YUWEI / CHINA DAILY

From left: Chen Ji­aqiang, di­rec­tor of Ningbo Bureau of Cul­ture, Ra­dio & TV, Press & Pub­li­ca­tion; Zhang Song­cai, deputy di­rec­tor of Ningbo Cul­tural Bureau; and Song Guan­lin, sec­re­tary of the Party Com­mit­tee of China Arts and En­ter­tain­ment Group, cel­e­brate the open­ing of TheRedDress at New York’s Lin­coln Cen­ter on Thurs­day. The Chi­nese Na­tional Award­win­ning dance drama will run through March 9.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.