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China Daily (USA) - - LIFE -

f you want to ex­pe­ri­ence what it feels like to en­counter his­tor­i­cal fig­ures in the flesh and hear their sto­ries in per­son, the En­core Dun­huang show is for you. Staged in a desert in Dun­huang, in Gansu prov­ince, the show lets you meet, talk to and feel the emo­tions of fig­ures from Dun­huang’s his­tory.

The show lets you en­counter char­ac­ters from 2,000 years ago and from the re­cent past as well — like the Taoist priest who in 1900 found the Mo­gao Grot­toes full of manuscripts, which are now dis­persed in dif­fer­ent mu­se­ums across the world.

Within 90 min­utes, mem­bers of the au­di­ence walk through four rooms in a time­travel-like per­for­mance, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing key mo­ments from the his­tory of the city, which was once an im­por­tant stop along the Silk Road, a trade route that was used to trans­port goods be­tween East andWest.

Among the his­tor­i­cal fig­ures you en­counter are Zhang Qian, the first diplo­mat who was sent by an em­peror of the HanDy­nasty (206 BC-AD 220) to visit Cen­tral Asia.

Then, you have an old gen­eral, telling his story of how he sent 10 groups of troops to Chang’an, the cap­i­tal city of the Tang Dy­nasty (AD 618907), to in­form the em­peror that the Silk Road had been re­vived.

Just like mod­els at a fash­ion event, the his­tor­i­cal fig­ures walk down a ramp while the spec­ta­tors stand around.

The high­light of the show, how­ever, is inthe sec­ond room, when the au­di­ence gets to meet Wang Yuanlu, the Taoist priest, whois seen in­China as a vil­lain for sell­ing China’s Bud­dhist trea­sures from Mo­gao Grot­toes to for­eign­ers at the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury.

TheTaoist talks abouthowhe was forced to sell the trea­sures as he was un­able to get help to pro­tect the manuscripts.

He says the for­eign­ers, in­clud­ing Bri­tish ar­chae­ol­o­gist Aurel Stein, to whom he sold the manuscripts, promised to use them for re­search and pro­tect them.

Wang then begs for for­give­ness from the Bud­dha fig­ures in the caves and he is for­given.

The other rooms show the

The per­for­mance fea­tures fly­ing Ap­saras based on the mu­rals of the Mo­gao Grot­toes.

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