Photo Flash: First Look at CONFUCIUS, Making U.S. Debut in NYC, D.C. This Winter
China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) returns to the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center this winter with Confucius, a new dance drama performed by the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater. The production will make its American debut January 5 - 8 at The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, followed by a January 13 - 15 engagement at The Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. The production is directed and choreographed by Ms. Kong Dexin, a 77th-generation direct descendent of Confucius. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the production below!
Confucius is a part of CAEG's Image China cultural exchange initiative, which seeks to introduce traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world. Since its inception in 2009, Image China has presented works at performance venues across the globe, including Lincoln Center in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and stages throughout Europe and Australia. Recent productions include Dragon Boat Racing, The Legend of Mulan, and the acclaimed American debut of the Peking Opera star Zhang Huoding.
With traditional Chinese music, opulent costumes, and expressive choreography, Confucius tells the story of the legendary scholar's journey through the kingdoms of Zhou Dynasty China, and his quest to instill codes of ethics, honor, and benevolence among the empire's rulers. Told in six sections, "Inquiry," "The Chaotic Time," "Out of Food," "Great Harmony," "Mourning for Benevolence," and "Happiness," the dance drama's structure reflects the inner and outer struggles of Confucius in expressionistic passages of dance and song, through one of the most turbulent and significant periods in China's history.
Confucius had its world premiere in 2013 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, and has since played throughout Asia, Europe, and Australia. Critics have described the production as "a cultural calling card for China" (The New York Times), "incredibly beautiful... brought to life by some of the most exquisitely talented dancers... a wonder to behold" (Arts on the AU), and "Impressive... stunning stage design, talented young dancers, and brightly-colored, flowing costumes" (Beijing Review).
Said Zhang Yu, President of CAEG, "Confucius is one of the most enduring and influential figures in the long history of Chinese culture. We hope that this dance drama, performed with artistry and grace by the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater, will engage the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere and bring the story of Confucius to life in unexpected and exhilarating ways."
The cast of Confucius includes Hu Yang ("Confucius"), Tang Shiyi ("Concubine"), and an ensemble of 55 performers. Confucius is directed and choreographed by Kong Dexin, who is herself a 77th-generation descendent of Confucius. Confucius is written by Liu Chun, with music direction by Zhang Qu, scenic and lighting design by Ren Dongsheng, costume design by Yang Donglin, and makeup design by Jia Lei.
Ticket prices range from $22 to $167 (plus a $3.50 facility fee) and can be purchased online at davidhkochtheater.com/Season-Tickets/16-17-Season/Confucius. Confucius then plays a limited run at the Kennedy Center Opera House (2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC) January 13 - 15. The performance schedule is January 13 and 14 at 7:30PM and January 15 at 1:30PM. Ticket prices range from $30 to $150 and can be purchased online at www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/RRXAG.