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Oriental 'Romeo and Juliet'- The Peony Pavilion [Video]


15:02, October 18, 2012

"The Peony Pavilion" is based on a traditional Chinese story that has been compared to Romeo and Juliet.(

When talking about China’s cultural influence overseas, many think of the Confucius Institute. But nowadays there’s a lot more to take away than just one set of ideas. As China’s influence steadily expands around the globe, people are becoming interested in getting to know the country’s culture.

The treasure of China’s theatrical arts are being taken abroad more often than ever. One of Chinese people’s all-time Kunqu opera favourites, "The Peony Pavilion", has been introduced to western drama critics.

Dubbed the oriental "Romeo and Juliet", the play now has several adaptations, including Taiwan playwright Pai Hsien-Yung’s world acknowledged youth version, and a ballet version adapted by National Ballet of China. The dance performance packed the 9-hour long story into 2 hours, and has been performed on grand stages like the Edinburgh International Festival.

Jonathan Mills, festival director of Edinburgh Int'l Festival, says, "This is a perfect bridge between the UK and China. Because it is a fusion of western and Chinese dance, Kunqu, western instruments and traditional Chinese instruments.

So it alone stands as a cultural bridge. A bridge that I think will speak very eloquently to European audiences, but it’s extremely representative of the very best of classical Chinese performing traditions."

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