Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay celebrates Chinese New Year through the arts with its fifth run of Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts. From 23 February to 4 March 2007, the 10-day festival will present a wide variety of programmes featuring talented traditional and contemporary Chinese artists from the local, regional and international arts scene.
“This year marks the fifth year since we started Huayi-Chinese Festival of Arts,” commented Mr JP Nathan, Director of Programming, The Esplanade Co. Ltd. “Over the years, the festival has become a focus of the Lunar New Year celebrations for the community while introducing audiences to a wide range of quality works by Chinese artists. For Huayi 2007, we invite our audience to grow with the inclusion of more experimental works that will expose them to different artistic expressions.”
Theatre and Dance-
This year’s line-up showcases a range of contemporary and traditional performances that are highly accessible yet subtly challenging. Stan Lai returns with his third production to be staged in Huayi with Secret Love In Peach Blossom Land. One of the most famous plays in modern Chinese theatre today, it was also adapted into a film starring Lin Ching-Hsia, which won the Golden Horse Award in 1992. Two theatre groups, one staging a contemporary love story Secret Love and another a traditional Hokkien opera comedy Peach Blossom Land, are booked into the same venue for rehearsals at the same time! Amdist much squabbling emerges a bittersweet tale of yearning that has touched the hearts of audiences over the last twenty years. The contemporary presentation will be enacted by Performance Workshop from Taiwan while well-known opera troupe Ming Hua Yuan Taiwanese Opera Company performs the Hokkien opera. In A Touch of Zen, traditional Shaolin martial arts is woven into a contemporary theatrical spectacle combining elements of revenge and enlightenment to tell a story of an orphan in search of his identity. In the performance, drums, music and Kung-fu come together in a delightful dramatic display.
Two contemporary plays will also be presented by local theatre company The ETCeteras and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. Both explore marriage in different ways. Local group The ETCeteras debut of Game Play traces a decision that a couple arrive at - to play a game that allows them to have affairs for 100 days without consummation. Written and directed by Lim Hai Yen, the play stars local actors like Nick Shen and Dongli 88.3 DJ Lin You Yi. Its plot examines the issues of fidelity and human nature, and will keep audiences guessing till the end. In Dating my Ex-Wife, acclaimed Shanghainese director He Nian takes a look at a divorced couple who still have feelings for each other. The question of whether they will or will not end up together will have audiences riveted. For a more challenging experience, The Honan Opera Troupe of The National GuoGuang Opera Company Taiwan presents Testing the Wife! an experimental theatre piece of Chinese Yu opera that uses vocals and contemporary music to create an evocative soundscape. This is coupled with modern versions of traditional operatic costumes and dramatic sets, which are juxtaposed with the traditional movements of Yu Opera, blending the old and new to create a completely unique performance. Dance enthusiasts will enjoy B.O.B*- The Final Cut, which traces how communication impacts movement. B.O.B’s founder Dick Wong, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent choreographers and dancers, collaborates with another Hong Kong leading choreographer and dancer Yuri Ng and homegrown talent Ricky Sim to create a work that explores human communication and resulting expressions. This work will make audiences rethink the relationship between language and movement.
This Huayi acclaimed pianist Sa Chen, who is one of<