China Focus Comes Back to Fringe

fringechinafocus2018

“The voices of China. The faces of China. The stories of China.”


2018 China Focus will kick off its second year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, bringing another Chinese feast for senses along with five excellent Chinese theatre productions: A life on the Silk Road, Tu Tu, A Chinese Bestiary, The Creation Myths of China and Painted Skin Return. After last year’s success, the Chinese government is ready to take the overseas promotion of Chinese heritage and culture to the next level.

China Focus is Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s celebration of excellence in Chinese theatre and dramatic production through high-quality art performances. Each is a contemporary show that blends both China’s traditional and its contemporary creative currents. China Focus aims to promote Chinese heritage and cultural products among international markets.

Officials from the Chinese Embassy, Shanghai Municipal Government, Scottish and Edinburgh government, British Council, the Edinburgh Festivals, the Fringe; and members of the press, along with key artists from the China Focus programme will gather together for the celebration of leading contemporary talent from East to West.

China Focus triggered the pursuit of Chinese original works in the British cultural market. This is one of the outstanding achievements of the golden era between China and the UK, followed by the cooperation memo between the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film & TV and the Festivals Edinburgh on November 2017, and a cooperation agreement between The Centre for China Shanghai International Arts Festival and the Festivals Edinburgh on April 2018.

China Focus proves to be a dynamic strategy and platform to encourage innovation in the UK-China art industries. By bringing the most exquisite and thrilling selection of theatre productions, the annual programme will continue to grow as a mainstay of Edinburgh Fringe’s Chinese cultural showcase and strengthen existing relationships and build new links between individuals and organisations in art and culture industries, as well as between governments.

Play Introduction

1.  A LIFE ON THE SILK ROAD

DATE & TIME: 8:15 PM 12nd – 24th Aug (except 15th Aug No Show)
LOCATION: Zoo Southside, 117 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9ER

Inspired by the story of Zhang Qian being sent to the western regions and connotated in the inclusive and open Dunhuang culture, A life on the Silk Road absorbs the magical illusions of The Classic of Mountains and Seas and leads us to discover this well-known historical figure of China through a unique, sharp and exquisite way by combining multisensual and surreal multimedia image styles and musical styles.

Taking two clues of virtuality and reality, the work focuses on Zhang Qian’s first journey to the western regions spanning thirteen years. On the one hand, it refers to historical facts about Zhang Qian’s various tortuous experiences in the journey and shows his loyalty to country and nation; on the other hand, the character’s rich and mysterious spiritual world is explored deeply through two spatiotemporal focal points (dreams and imaginations). The creative process of A life on the Silk Road is a collision and blending of Chinese and Western dramatic cultures.

Chinese and French artists have made collaborative efforts to give Zhang Qian a contemporary spirit with a diversified cultural perspective and further shows the common destiny and affection of today’s human beings, thus interpreting the significance and influence of the silk road in the construction of human civilisations.

2. TU TU

DATE & TIME: 3:50 PM 5th Aug
LOCATION: Edinburgh International Conference Centre, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh, EH3 8EE

Tutu is choreographed as a purely physical dance work, developing from unique dance language and principles of movement. It deconstructs the way that the body moves, such as using body release techniques and four-dimensional spacial recognition to continually explore the essence of physical movement through time and space.

Tutu is a dance work of post-modern deconstruction pure limb movement. Through the complete deconstruction and reorganisation of the body, time and space, combined with post-modern dance body techniques and relaxation movement principles, it reaches the pure essential language of dance.

Time erupts in silence and infinity, and points, lines, and faces in space are broken down. Relaxation techniques promote the decentralised and multi-point movement of the body. In the movement, the four- dimensional space evolves into a multi-dimensional space, which constantly oscillates in time and space, constantly exploring and redefining the dimensions of the body, mind and universe.

3. A CHINESE BESTIARY

DATE & TIME: 10:20 AM 14th – 19th Aug (except 16th Aug)
LOCATION: theSpace Triplex-Big, 19 Hill PL, The Prince Phillip Building, EH8 9DP

The Child’s dad’s bedtime story is A Chinese Bestiary, which depicts myths such as Nûwa Made Man and the War Between Chi You and Fu Xi. Every night, the Child would sleep while listening to the stories in A Chinese Bestiary, and a dream-like A Chinese Bestiary story is created in his small head. He shared the imaginary A Chinese Bestiary with his classmates at a reading party. Some students doubted whether he had read A Chinese Bestiary, which made him feel ashamed and suspected whether he was lying.

He blamed Nûwa for manufacturing complicated emotions for humans. In the end, his teacher and father solved his puzzles, making him realise the difference between imagination and lies, and also learn that the greatness of the human treasure A Chinese Bestiary lies in imagination.

4. THE CREATION MYTHS OF CHINA

DATE & TIME: 10:05 PM 23rd – 26th Aug
LOCATION: Zoo Southside – Main House, 117 Nicolson St, Edinburgh, EH8 9ER

Nûwa Patches up the Sky Gonggong and Zhuanxu, two tribal chieftains of primitive China, were engaged in a fierce war, which caused endless storms and humans were submerged in disastrous floods. Goddess Nûwa, creator of mankind, was awakened, melting the green hills, tempering the magma to patch up the sky. Finally the rainstorm stopped, but she died of exhaustion.

Jingwei Fills up the Sea Emperor Yan’s youngest daughter came to the human world for fun. Unfortunately, she drowned while boating on the East Sea. With profound sorrow and indignation, she metamorphosed into a bird named Jingwei and persistently dropped twigs and pebbles into the sea in an attempt to fill it up, thus putting up an unremitting struggle against the wanton sea. The Elegy of Fallow Soil Gun got the imperial edict to bring the waters under control. By chance, Gun learnt that there was fallow soil hidden in the Kun Lun Mountains which had the sacred power of harnessing the floods. Disregarding Heaven’s disciplines, Gun stole the fallow soil, which resulted in the rivers drying up. Gun was therefore executed as a convicted god and his blood was used as a sacrifice to the fallow soil.

Yu the Great Tames the Floods In prehistoric times, floods were rampant. Yu the Great carried out his father’s behest and led the people in their endeavours to harness the floods. After years of hard work, he succeeded in taming the floods. During those years, several times he went past his house without ever going home, showing his sacrifice and determination.

5. PAINTED SKIN∙RETURN

DATE & TIME: 2:10 PM 5th – 11th Aug
LOCATION: Paradise in The Vault -The Annexe, 11 Merchant Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2QD

Painted Skin∙Return is an experimental cross-cultural physical theatre based on Pu Songling’s Strange Tales From A Chinese Studio. Chinese opera, classical dance, modern dance, mime and other performance elements are used to present folk culture and Chinese philosophy. A ghost, imprisoned for a hundred of years, escapes from Hell to the warm human world during the Lantern Festival. She meets the handsome Wang Sheng and her cold body suddenly warms up. She put on a beautiful human skin, concealing her ugly appearance, tempting Wang Sheng and thus falling into a love relationship. However, a Taoist priest reveals the truth and wants to drive away the ghost. How does the terrified Wang Sheng choose between truth and love?

How does the ghost face her own desires and realities? Which is the real homecoming, hell or the human world?

 

 

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