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Dance drama ‘The Awakening Lion’ to compete for Wenhua Awards at 12th China Art Festival

2019-May-23       Source: Newsgd.com

‘The Awakening Lion’, a distinctive Lingnan folk dance drama, will be staged at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center between May 26th and 27th, competing at the 16th Wenhua Awards for Professional Theatrical Artworks during the 12th China Art Festival.

[Photo: Nanfang Plus]

‘The Awakening Lion’, a distinctive Lingnan folk dance drama, will be staged at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center between May 26th and 27th, competing at the 16th Wenhua Awards for Professional Theatrical Artworks during the 12th China Art Festival.

The first large-scale dance drama in China themed around the Cantonese lion dance, ‘The Awakening Lion’ is the only stage play to have been selected from the province to form part of this year’s China Art Festival.

[Photo: Guangzhou Song and Dance Theater]

On May 19th and 20th, the drama was staged at the Friendship Theater, to an audience of about 2400 including students from Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, overseas students as well as residents from Baiyun District.

Villagers from Sanyunli of Baiyun District were deeply touched by the show, because the drama, set against the backdrop of the Opium War in 1840, tells the story of a Sanyuanli lion dance troupe battling against the invaders during the late Qing dynasty.

[Photo: Guangzhou Song and Dance Theater]

Chen Hongjun, a researcher from Guangzhou Museum, explained that the drama combines several uniquely Lingnan cultural elements, such as the Southern Lion Dance, Cantonese Music and Opera.

In 2018 ‘The Awakening Lion’ by the Guangzhou Song and Dance Theater won the "Dance Drama Award" at the 11th Lotus Award, the highest dance award in China.

[Photo: Guangzhou Song and Dance Theater]

About Guangdong lion dance

In China, the lion dance has a been performed for more than 1,000 years and has different styles across different regions.

The Guangdong lion dance is from the southern branch, a traditional folk art combing dance, music, and martial arts. Performed on special occasions, such as the new year or at the launch of a new business, the traditional art form is popular not only in the country but also among overseas Chinese, according to China Daily.

Chinese audiences feel connected to the lion dance particularly because wherever there are Chinese, there are lion dances to celebrate the traditional festivals.

In 2006, the Guangdong lion dance, also known as "Xingshi", was listed on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Register.

[Photo: 12th China Art Festival]

About the 12th China Art Festival

The 12th China Art Festival, the country's top-level cultural and artistic event, kicked off in Shanghai on May 20th and will last till June 2nd.

The event will see a total of 51 outstanding stage plays from across the country playing in 19 theaters across Shanghai as well as the Wenhua Awards ceremony (for professional theatrical artworks) and the Qunxing Awards (for amateur artists and community culture), Xinhua reports.

The festival, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Shanghai municipal government, also features exhibitions of fine arts, calligraphy, seal carving, photography as well as expositions of performing arts and creative industries.

Author: Monica Liu

Editor: Simon Haywood

Editor: Monica Liu

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