China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WEEKEND LIFE -

Cre­ators Luke Cress­well and Steve McNi­cholas have cre­ated a the­atri­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. This play is a unique com­bi­na­tion of per­cus­sion, ac­tion and com­edy.

Stomp Date: Sept 26-Oct 5 — 7:30 pm Venue: Bei­jing Polly The­ater Cre­ators and co-di­rec­tors Luke Cress­well and Steve McNi­cholas have cre­ated a the­atri­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, and it is play­ful, thrilling and charged with en­ergy. Stomp, a unique com­bi­na­tion of per­cus­sion, ac­tion and com­edy, has ham­mered out a universal the­atri­cal lan­guage of rhythm, move­ment, com­edy and dance, bring­ing ev­ery­day ob­jects like Zippo lighters, plas­tic bags, bin lids, even the kitchen sink to life along the way. This Broad­way mu­si­cal shows the globe that even the most or­di­nary ob­jects can do ex­tra­or­di­nary things when put in the right hands. The show is the re­sult of a 10-year col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween its cre­ators.

The Mu­si­cal Mamma Mia! in Guangzhou Date: Nov 16-25 — 2:30 pm/7:30 pm Venue: Guangzhou Opera House Writer Catherine John­son’s sunny, funny tale un­folds on a Greek is­land par­adise. On the eve of her wed­ding, a daugh­ter’s quest to dis­cover the iden­tity of her father brings 3 men from her mother’s past back to the is­land they vis­ited 20 years ago. The sto­ry­telling magic of ABBA’s time­less songs pro­pels this in­ter­est­ing tale of love, laugh­ter and friend­ship, and ev­ery night ev­ery­one’s hav­ing the time of their lives! The mu­si­cal is full of women em­pow­er­ment spirit which cel­e­brates the theme of friend­ship and love, which are beau­ti­fully ex­pressed from ABBA’s songs like, “Su­per Trouper”, “Lay All Your Love on Me”, “Danc­ing Queen”, “Know­ing Me, Know­ing You”, “Take a Chance on Me”, “Thank You for the Mu­sic”, “Money, Money, Money”, “The Win­ner Takes It All”, “Voulez-Vous”, “SOS” and the ti­tle track. Over 60 mil­lion peo­ple have seen the show, which has grossed $2 bil­lion world­wide since its 1999 de­but. A film adap­ta­tion star­ring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Bros­nan, Amanda Seyfried, Chris­tine Baran­ski, Stel­lan Skars­gard and Julie Wal­ters was re­leased in July 2008.

Kharkiv Na­tional Opera and Bal­let The­ater Swan Lake & La Bayadere Date: Sept 20-23 — 7:30 pm Venue: Na­tional Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts Tchaikovsky’s four-act bal­let Swan Lake is rec­og­nized as the most famed bal­let, which pre­miered in 1877. As Tchaikovsky’s best-known mas­ter­piece, Swan Lake is the first bal­let to be per­formed with two peo­ple danc­ing to­gether. To­day, Swan Lake re­mains a model for dancers and a paragon of re­al­ist bal­lets. La Bayadere is a clas­sic work cre­ated when clas­si­cal bal­let was at its hey­day, a pe­riod ear­lier than the com­po­si­tion of Swan Lake and it was based on this work that many clas­sics were pro­duced. The mu­sic in La Bayadere sets a prece­dent for bal­lets based on its sym­phonic struc­ture, which is also con­sid­ered the hard­est-to-per­form bal­let in the cir­cle, that re­flects a bal­let en­sem­ble’s com­pre­hen­sive strength. Well-de­signed are both the solo and group dances, of which the “Specter King­dom” is a rare pas. Kharkiv Na­tional Opera and Bal­let The­ater is one of the old­est mu­si­cal the­aters in former USSR and Ukraine. Per­for­mance have been staged in Kharkiv for more than 200 years.

Zhao Liang Dance Stu­dio: Mar­tial Art in Dance Date: Sept 17-18 — 7:30 pm Venue: Na­tional Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts Zhao Liang says “mar­tial arts” and “dance” in Chi­nese are pho­net­i­cally sim­i­lar, with dis­tinct pre­sen­ta­tions but the same root. They both fol­low the law of the uni­verse and are also deeply con­nected with the hu­man body and spir­i­tu­al­ity. With the theme of “in­tox­i­ca­tion, ex­al­ta­tion and sim­pli­fi­ca­tion,” Zhao chose a sim­ple stage set­ting of only black, gray and white for the work. Cross­over mu­sic with el­e­ments such as min­i­mal­ism, cello and Chi­nese pipa (Chi­nese lute) is used to por­tray the clash be­tween con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional fea­tures. Zhao Liang is highly open to new in­spi­ra­tions and ideas and then weave them into his well-de­signed sto­ry­line. Be­sides, he has at­tracted a team of out­stand­ing artists. Through lit­er­ary al­lu­sions, seam­less emo­tional con­nec­tion and flow­ing per­for­mances, he blends frag­ments of clas­si­cal sto­ries into a mul­ti­sen­sory cul­tural in­no­va­tion. Sur­real as they are, the dance shows con­tain lay­ers of mean­ings and use metaphors to present universal truths. As a re­sult, they res­onate with the essence of our be­ing, lead­ing to spir­i­tual in­sights be­yond per­cep­tion.

Chicago the Mu­si­cal Date: Nov 1 — 7:30 pm Venue: Bei­jing Tian­qiao Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter Based on real life events back in the roar­ing 1920s, night­club singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and along with Cell Block ri­val, dou­ble-mur­der­ess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of smooth talk­ing lawyer, Billy Flynn. Cre­ated by the mu­si­cal the­ater tal­ents of John Kan­der, Fred Ebb and le­gendary chore­og­ra­pher Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score in­cludes “All That Jazz” and “Raz­zle Daz­zle”. It won six Tony, two Olivier, one Grammy, two Bafta and six Academy Awards. A night­club singer, a dou­ble-mur­der­ess, a smooth-talk­ing lawyer and a cell block of sin: it would be a crime to miss it.

Ever­last­ing Four Sea­sons-Daniel Hope & Zurich Cham­ber Or­ches­tra Shang­hai Con­cert Date: Sept 15 — 7:30 pm Venue: Shang­hai Ori­en­tal Art Cen­ter Bri­tish vi­olin­ist Daniel Hope has toured the world as a vir­tu­oso soloist for more than twenty years. He is renowned for his mu­si­cal ver­sa­til­ity and cre­ativ­ity, and for his ded­i­ca­tion to hu­man­i­tar­ian causes. Hope per­forms as soloist with the world’s ma­jor or­ches­tras and con­duc­tors, di­rects many en­sem­bles from the vi­o­lin, and plays cham­ber mu­sic in a wide va­ri­ety of tra­di­tional and new venues. He was also the youngest ever mem­ber of the Beaux Arts Trio dur­ing its last six sea­sons. Raised in Eng­land and ed­u­cated at High­gate School in Lon­don, Hope earned de­grees at the Royal Academy of Mu­sic, where he stud­ied with Rus­sian ped­a­gogue Zakhar Bron. Called “ad­ven­tur­ous and bril­liant” by The New York Times, Hope was named “the most ex­cit­ing Bri­tish string player since Jac­que­line du Pre,” by the Lon­don Ob­server. He has per­formed in all of the world’s most pres­ti­gious venues and with the great­est or­ches­tras in­clud­ing the Bos­ton, Chicago, Toronto, and At­lanta Sym­phony Or­ches­tras, and so on. The Zurich Cham­ber Or­ches­tra was founded shortly af­ter the World War II and since then has en­joyed an ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion all over the word. Its reper­toire en­com­passes pieces from the Baroque, Clas­si­cal and Ro­man­tic eras, as well as con­tem­po­rary mu­sic. The or­ches­tra is par­tic­u­larly renowned for its out-of-the-or­di­nary pro­duc­tions — such as its per­for­mances with mu­si­cians from other mu­sic gen­res, such as jazz or pop.

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