CHINA ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LTD. PRESENTS
THE AMERICAN PREMIERE OF THE ACCLAIMED CHINESE DANCE DRAMA
A PRODUCTION OF THE CHINA NATIONAL OPERA & DANCE DRAMA THEATER
MARCH 21-24 AT
THE DAVID H. KOCH THEATER
China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. (CAEG) returns to the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center this spring with Princess Zhaojun, a new dance drama performed by the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater. The production will make its New York debut March 21-24 at The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center (20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY). The production is directed and choreographed by Ms. Kong Dexin, a 77th-generation direct descendant of Confucius, written by Yu Ping, and composed by Zhang Qu. For tickets and more information, visit davidhkochtheater.com.
Princess Zhaojun is a part of CAEG’s Image China cultural exchange initiative, which seeks to introduce traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world. Since its inception in 2009, Image China has presented works at performance venues across the globe, including Lincoln Center in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and stages throughout Europe and Australia. Recent productions include Dragon Boat Racing, The Legend of Mulan, Confucius, Soaring Wings and the acclaimed American debut of the Peking Opera star Zhang Huoding.
Direct from China, and with traditional Chinese music, opulent costumes, and expressive choreography, Princess Zhaojun brings to life the real story of one of China’s most important heroines, Wang Zhaojun, then an imperial concubine, who sacrifices her comfortable palace life to secure peace on the turbulent border of northern China.
Princess Zhaojun had its world premiere in 2016 and has since toured throughout China. In 2017, it performed in National Auditorium of Mexico as a closing performance of “Year of Chinese Culture” in Mexico and won wide acclaim. El Universal applauded, “the audience were fascinated by the history, the costumes, the scenery and the dance,” AEscena cheered, “unparalleled aesthetic quality,” and CIO.tv said, “Princess Zhaojun conquered Mexico.”
Said Wang Xiuqin, General Manager of China Performing Arts Agency, CAEG, “Wang Zhaojun is an unsung heroine in the history of Chinese culture and selflessly offered herself in marriage to the monarch of Xiongnu to bring about peace. We hope that this dance drama, performed with imagination and elegance by the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater, will excite the hearts and minds of audiences and bring the story of Wang to life.”
Centuries ago, the Xiongnu, a minority ethnic group on China’s north, had constantly invaded the territory that today stands as China’s Inner Mongolia region, and threatened the northern border of Han Dynasty. During the period of Emperor Yuan (49BC-33BC), Huhanye Chanyu, monarch of the Xiongnu, expressed his wish to establish friendly relations with Han Dynasty. Emperor Yuan decided to make peace with Huhanye Chanyu through marrying off his daughter. His daughter, the princess, refused the arrangement, and Wang Zhaojun, bored with palace life, offered to go instead. To Wang’s surprise, she fell madly in love with Huhanye and did her best to serve as a good queen and build up friendly ties with the Han Dynasty. Today, the name of Zhaojun not only symbolizes physical beauty, but also a spirit of goodwill to bridge different cultures, even at the expense of one’s own interests.
The cast of Princess Zhaojun includes over 50 dancers. Princess Zhaojun has scenic and lighting design by Ren Dongsheng, costume design by Yang Donglin, and style design by Sun Aina.
LISTINGS INFORMATION: Princess Zhaojun plays a limited run at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center (20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY) March 21-24. The performance schedule is March 21, 22, and 23 at 8:00PM and March 24 at 1:00PM. Ticket prices range from $66 to $196 (plus a $4.00 facility fee) and can be purchased online at www.davidhkochtheater.com.
CHINA NATIONAL OPERA & DANCE DRAMA THEATER, which is directly affiliated to Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, is the largest state-level theater with the longest history in China. The theater consists of an opera troupe, dance drama troupe, folk music troupe, symphony orchestra, stage designing department, creation studio and performance department, etc. The predecessor of the theater was the Yan’an Lu Xun College of Art. The first president of the theater was the famous artist Mr. ZHOU Weizhi. The current president is Dr. TAO Cheng.
In addition to a group of famous artists such as Mr. Ma Ke, Mr. Qiao Yu, Ms. Guo Lanying, Ms. Zhao Qing, Mr. Liu Wenjin, Ms. Chen Ailian, Mr. Wu Yanze, Mr. Liu Shiming, and Ms. Shan Chong, the theater has a large number of outstanding young and middle-aged artists who are loved by the audience. Over half of the century, the theater has created and performed more than one hundred operas and dance dramas, including the first national opera of China White Haired Girl, the first national dance drama of China Lotus Lantern, as well as Peasant Takes a Wife (Opera), Dream of Red Mansions (Dance Drama), Yuan Ye (Opera), all of which have become epochal works in the history of Chinese opera and dance drama. Chinese national leaders and many foreign heads have enjoyed the performances of the theater and given high praises. With a focus on its glorious history, the theater adheres to the concepts of inheritance and innovation. In recent years, the theater has produced a series of new masterpieces, such as Red River Valley (Opera), Xing Hai (Opera), Horn (Opera), Confucius (Dance Drama), When We Were Young (Dance Drama), Chinese Orphan (Dance Drama), Princess Zhaojun (Dance Drama), Charm of the Seasons and Wishes from Heaven (Gala), Revival (Symphony Concert), and National Treasures (Chinese Traditional Concert). The theater has been invited to perform in countries throughout Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, which helps not only to promote international cultural exchange but also to strengthen friendships between Chinese people and the rest of the world. With its classical stage productions, masterful performing arts and first-class artists, the theater has won wide recognition and appreciation both domestically and worldwide.
The theater adheres to the concept of inheritance and innovation. In recent years, the theater has produced a series of new masterpieces, such as Red River Valley (Opera), Synopsis of Opera Xing Hai (Opera), Synopsis of Opera Horn (Opera), Confucius (Dance Drama), When We were Young (Dance Drama), Chinese Orphan (Dance Drama), Charm of the Seasons, and Synopsis of Ethnic Concert National Treasures. The theater has been invited to many countries in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania to conduct performances. With its classical stage performances, masterful arts, and first-class artists, the theater has won wide recognition both domestically and worldwide.
THE CHINA ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LTD (CAEG) was set up in April 2004 on the foundations of China Performing Arts Agency (CPAA) and China International Exhibition Agency (CIEA). As China’s first large-scale state-owned business group engaged in arts and entertainment, CAEG presents more than 4,000 events every year in more than 200 cities abroad, attracting more than 10 million audiences, playing a significant role in China’s external cultural relations. CAEG founded the Silk Road International League of Theatres (SRILT) in October 2016. SRILT has now grown into an alliance of 87 large theatres and art organizations from 33 countries and regions around the world and a platform devoted to international communication and cooperation.
CAEG has established a marketing network covering all major markets in China. The company’s CPAA Theatres now has over 70 member theatres including more than 10 directly-managed theatres across 27 provinces and municipalities, such as Guangzhou Opera House, Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center, Shanghai Daning Theatre and Shandong Grand Theatre. Another subsidiary of CAEG, China Cultural International Tours Inc (CCITI) has explored new businesses in meeting and exhibition organization, art training, festival organization and town cultural tourism planning. In addition, the group has produced or co-produced shows including multi-media acrobatic extravaganza ERA-Intersection of Time, Shaolin Warriors, China Goes Pop, opera Marcopolo, Chinese versions of the musicals Mama Mia and Cats and other stage performances, which have received nationwide and international attention.
For years, CAEG has successfully undertaken and organized the “Meet in Beijing” Arts Festival, China International Chorus Festival, China International Youth Arts Festival, Asia Arts Festival, the “Image China” performance series, the “Happy Chinese New Year” events, the exhibition at China’s pavilion for “La Biennale di Venezia”, China Art Industry Expo, Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo and other large festivals, performances and exhibitions. CAEG was also commissioned to conduct the opening and closing ceremonies of the 27th South East Asia Games (2013), the cultural performance for APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (2014), the closing ceremony for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the “Year of China in South Africa” (2015), the opening ceremony at the Luxor Temple for the “China-Egypt Cultural Year” (2016), the China-Latin America and Caribbean Year of Culture Exchange (2016), the BRICS Cultural Festival (2017), the cultural performance for Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (2018) and other high profile events.