Singapore Arts Festival 2004 Presents China Blue Sky Modern Drama Troupe

 

China Blue Sky Modern Drama Troupe (China)

 

Ba Wang Bie Ji

 

 Date:  29 & 30 May 2004, 8 pm  
 Venue:  University Cultural Centre Theatre
 Tickets:  $42, $32, $22  
 Duration:  110 minutes (no intermission)

 

Sponsored by Lee Foundation

 

Supported by the Ministry of Culture, People’s Republic of China under the auspices of the Singapore-China Cultural Memorandum of Understanding

 

The Chinese tragic love story of Ba Wang Bie Ji (Farewell My Concubine) has captured the hearts of many since its debut in Beijing in 1921.  For the Festival, China Blue Sky Modern Drama Troupe presents a contemporary version incorporating  Beijing opera techniques, scripted by renowned writer Mo Yan (of Red Sorghum fame) and well-known playwright Wang Shuzeng.  Director Wang Xiangming translates the written text masterfully into a magnum opus that gives the classic a fresh interpretation. This adaptation fuses classical poetry and modern prose dialogue, and is peppered with Shandong dialect and popular music.

 

Set in the Qin dynasty, Ba Wang Bie Ji is an epic tale of a doomed romance between Xiang Yu, a courageous warrior and King of Chu, and Lady Yu Ji, his favourite concubine.  The honest and faithful Xiang Yu loses his power because of Yu Ji, a beautiful yet politically naive woman.  Trouble begins when Lü Zhi, the wife of rival Han ruler Liu Bang, confesses her passion for Xiang Yu.  The drama reaches a climax when Xiang Yu wins the affection of both women, but is defeated by Liu Bang in a fierce battle. Both Xiang Yu and Yu Ji commit suicide.  

 

With its juxtaposition of universal issues like love and hatred, jealousy and betrayal, morality and human nature, this lavish stage production has been well received by both critics and audiences.  It was nominated for the Best Performance and Best Actress Awards at the 13th Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre in 2001, and was also presented at the 10th BESETO Theatre Festival in Korea last year.

 

Annexes

  • Annex 1 – Synopsis of Ba Wang Bie Ji 
  • Annex 2 – China Blue Sky Modern Drama Troupe
  • Annex 3 – Production and Cast List
  • Annex 4 – Biographies of Artists