time I attend the Action Musicals at the Centre in Vancouver for
Performing Arts, I find I learn more about Chinese history, culture and
art. Unfortunately I will be missing the opening night
presentation tonight, Friday July 14 – but I hope to review the show
when I return from dragon boat racing in Seattle this weekend.
The Tang Dynasty is one of the
most powerful and artistic epochs in Chinese history. I was
thrilled to visit the museums in Bejing and Xi'an during my visit in
1993, as well as seeing the Ming dynasty tombs and the Terracotta
Warriors. Growing up in Canada, we really develop with a
Euro-centric view of history.
This show is in Mandarin Chinese, with surtitles in English.
The following is from the website for http://www.centreinvancouver.com/upcoming.php
Sight, Sound & Action Presents
The 2nd Annual Chinese Performing Arts Festival
Deciding the fate of a dynasty
July 14 – 23
This new Action-Musical portrays the lives and loves of two of the most famous women in all of Chinese history, Wu Zetian and Yang Guifei. Their notorious and celebrated lives played a major role in deciding the fate of the Tang dynasty [618-906 AD].
Tang Concubines combines a unique story with palatial sets and costumes
and stunning dance and action. The show contrasts the treacherous power
of one concubine who became China's only Empress with the love and
sacrifice of another whose legendary beauty was immortalized by
Both had amazing love affairs with father and son Emperors and
both used their sexuality and beauty to their fullest advantage. Most
importantly, each attained great power and changed the course of
Ruled by terror. Loyalty by force. Love by decree.
July 28 – 30
This haunting story of China's First Emperor is seen through the
eyes of his beloved concubine and scheming eunuch. The most incredible
Chinese historical facts are revealed on stage against a backdrop of
epic sets and lavish costumes. The audience will marvel at the dance,
music and action used to tell a story of power and lust, of betrayal
and forbidden passion.
Battles and conquest, forbidden love, burning of books, live
burial of scholars and even the building of the Great Wall end with a
final climax of the Dance of the Terracotta Warriors. It's a theatrical
event to be remembered!
Of Heaven and Earth
The Wrath of a God, the Love of a Woman
August 4 – 6
Of Heaven and Earth tells a story of gods and mortals. Passion
ignites a war between heaven and earth and forbidden love becomes
immortal. This acclaimed production was unveiled at Beijing's renowned
Poly Theater in August 2001 and premiered in North America on May 29th,
2002 at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts.
A true fusion of East and West, Of Heaven and Earth combines the
grand scale of a Broadway production with the ancient traditions of
Chinese dance, music and martial arts. Under the art direction and
costume design of Tim Yip [winner of the 2001 Academy Award for the Art
Direction for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon], Of Heaven and Earth
introduces Western audiences to a stunning new genre of live-stage
entertainment. It is a spectacular combination of Chinese classical and
folk dance, different styles of martial arts, and a new kind of Chinese
Extravagant costumes and futuristic stage design, uncharacteristic
of Chinese musical theatre, combine to create an original theatrical
experience for the audience. Of Heaven and Earth was the first
Action-Musical that paved the way for Sight, Sound & Action to help
invent the future of Chinese musical theatre for the international
arena. This re-arrangement of a thousand years of tradition Chinese
performing arts for use in musical live-theatre to showcase the beauty
of the human form was indeed unprecedented.