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Award-winning dance drama "Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting" to be staged in Hong Kong in January next year (with photos)
     The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present the award-winning dance drama "Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting" by the China Oriental Performing Arts Group in January next year. The prestigious national performing arts group will unveil the 1 000-year-old elegance of Song-style aesthetics and celebrate the fine traditional culture of China with the art of contemporary performance. Tickets will be available from tomorrow (November 14) onwards.

     The "Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting" was produced by the Palace Museum, China Oriental Performing Arts Group and People's Daily Online, with Zhou Liya and Han Zhen as chief directors. It was inspired by "A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains", a classic painting housed at the Palace Museum, which was created by genius young painter Wang Ximeng during the Song dynasty and is the only extant work by Wang. By adopting a narrative structure that interweaves space and time, the dance drama tells the story of a researcher from the Palace Museum to travel back in time to witness the moment when Wang was about to finish the work. The researcher guides the audience to accompany Wang through the precious time he spent painting the "A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains", providing them to establish the sentimental bond between the Chinese cultural relic and modern-day people. Meanwhile, the "blue-green landscape" on the painting which has remained intact for 1 000 years is attributed to the pigment, silk cloth, brushes and inks used. Through the chapters of "Scroll Unfolding, Seal Tracing, Silk Reeling, Minerals Exploring, Brush Making, Ink Grinding, and Painting Alive", the dance drama presents the intangible traditional craftsmanship and contributions of the craftsmen working far from the painting.

     The dance drama is created with the imagery of "blue-green" colours. The superb movements of the dancers exude a majestic and fluid quality that calls to mind the grandeur of mountain ranges and winding rivers artistically. The poetic nature of their body language, underpinned by original music, costume, lighting and multi-media design, represents the Song's aesthetics of simplicity and elegance. The stage design features multiple turntables within the stage floor and aerial tracks to better present the interweaving of time and space.

     Since its premiere at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing in 2021, the "Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting" has been performed about 360 times in 46 cities across the country, and won the 17th Wenhua Grand Award. Last year, a pre-recorded excerpt featured at the "Grand Variety Show in Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Hong Kong's Return to the Motherland" has won wide acclaim.

     The China Oriental Performing Arts Group, under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is one of the most prestigious national art troupes, originating from the China Song and Dance Troupe, Oriental Song and Dance Troupe as well as China Light Music Troupe. It has nurtured numerous world-renowned artists, and has created and performed many fine art works that are well-received by local and overseas audiences.

     "Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting" by the China Oriental Performing Arts Group will be held at 7.30pm on January 5 and 6, 2024 (Friday and Saturday), and at 2.30pm on January 7 (Sunday) at the Grand Theatre of Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $200, $320, $420, $520 and $600 will be available from November 14 onwards at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For telephone bookings, please call 3166 1288. For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7323 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/dance/programs_1642.html.

     A pre-performance talk (in Cantonese) will be organised, in which Dr Raymond Tang, Curator of Hong Kong Heritage Museum, will introduce the painting "A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains". The talk entitled "The Past and Present of the Masterpiece: A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains" will be held at 3pm on December 17 (Sunday) at the Lecture Hall, Basement of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Admission is free, with limited seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. The enrolment arrangements will be announced on the above-mentioned website in due course.

     The LCSD has all along been committed to promoting Chinese history and culture through organising different types of activities. For more details of related activities, please visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/common/pdf/Chinese_History_Culture_Programmes_EN.pdf.
Ends/Monday, November 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 20:15
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