Zhang Yimou's incredible new stage show combines tech and Chinese folk art

2017-06-19 21:43 GMT+8 1km to Beijing
Editor Wang Jia

Renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou has unveiled his latest work at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Based on Peking Opera “Sanchakou,” “2047 Apologue" is a high-concept performance breaking the form of traditional stage plays, combining Chinese folk art with the newest technology. The show aims to mirror reality, commenting on how science and technology are such a huge part of life in the 21st century.

2047 Apologue / Photo from CFP

As well as laser displays, iPads feature heavily in the show. Displaying indifferent faces, the Apple tablets are carried by actors in front of their heads.

Zhang explained that this was meant to convey “People walking around without any communication, just like nowadays, we spend most of our time on smartphones rather than communicating in person."

Peking Opera Sanchakou / Photo from CFP

But the helmer of “Raise the Red Lantern,” “Hero” and “The Great Wall” for the big screen as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics said there was also plenty of room for phenomenal human skill in the performance. “The modern dance was completely choreographed by dancer Qiu Jirong,” Zhang said. All I did was to introduce the laser system to him and let him work with the laser engineers alone. The speed of light is fast, and Qiu has to make every step go with the laser accurately."

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