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Five Stars Rising in the East

7 June - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on 8 June 2024 at 8:00 pm

EVENT DESCRIPTION

The inaugural Chinese Culture Festival (CCF), organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), will stage the award-winning dance drama “Five Stars Rising in the East” by the Beijing Dance Drama and Opera as the opening programme in early June. Centering on a cultural relic, the dance drama ingeniously merges Chinese aesthetics and the flavour of Western regions through innovative dance languages. The troupe takes the profound cultural connotation of the precious relic – an ancient brocade armguard – and 1 000 years of exchanges and integration of Chinese culture that shine on stage, demonstrating a deeper sense of cultural confidence.

The dance drama was inspired by a piece of a Han dynasty brocade armguard unearthed in 1995 from an archaeological tomb at the Niya cultural relics site in Hotan Prefecture, at the ancient Silk Roads in Xinjiang. It is embroidered with Chinese characters in seal script that literally translate as “five stars rising in the East are auspicious signs for the Central Plain”. The colours of the brocade are still bright after thousands of years, and it is now a National Class One Cultural Relic.

The dance drama begins with the discovery of the brocade armguard at the archaeological site, as if a door to the past has been opened from the golden sand that tells the story behind the brocade; a Han dynasty general stationed at the Western border, Feng, and the son of the leader of the Northern State, Jiante, get caught in a sandstorm. They are rescued by a monk who brings them into the ancient city of Jingjue, where they meet Chunjun, the daughter of the city leader. Despite an initial animosity that leads to conflicts, the three eventually form a deep friendship. The brocade armguard that Feng left behind serves as a reminder of his duties to his land, and bears witness to his friendship with the people of the Western regions. It represents an ideal that all ethnic groups “cluster together like pomegranate seeds”, forming a sense of community for Chinese nation.

The innovative approach of the dance choreography in this production has incorporated various types of dances that showcase the colourful ethnic cultures. For example, the lantern dance in Jingjue city is infused with the Western regions’ style. The group dance in the market is a mix of modern and tap dance, while the excerpt “Embroidery” is presented in a Han-Tang style classical dance. With distinctive characters, compact plot lines, as well as humorous styles, the dance drama has been performed nearly 100 times since its premiere in 2021, and has won the 16th Five One Project Award and the 17th Wenhua Grand Award. Excerpts such as “Embroidery”, “Lantern Dance” and “Market Dance” were featured in a number of programmes on the Mainland, including last year’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala, and has received high acclaim.

Established in 1978, the Beijing Dance Drama and Opera is under the Beijing Performance and Arts Group as one of its nine performing arts companies. It is also the only professional performing group that specialises in song and dance performances under the administration of the Beijing Municipal Government. It has produced many award-winning productions including dance dramas “The Way to the Sky” and “Five Stars Rising in the East”. It has also been invited to participate in various cultural exchange events and other large-scale performing activities at home and abroad, and has performed in more than 30 countries and regions.

The programme “Five Stars Rising in the East” will also feature a session under the “Chinese Culture for All: A Special Performance Series”. An open rehearsal of the dance drama will be held at 2.15pm on June 7 at the Auditorium of Sha Tin Town Hall with free admission for local primary and secondary school students to encourage them to participate in cultural activities and experience the wonders of Chinese culture and arts. Interested schools can call 2268 7323 for details.

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