Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a kung fu musical conceived and directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and commissioned for The Shed's 2019 opening season, will have its world premiere engagement June 22 - July 27 in The McCourt (preview performances June 22 - 26). Co-conceived by Kung Fu Panda screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise features movement choreography by Akram Khan; an original score by composer, musician, and producer The Haxan Cloak including arrangements of songs by Sia with additional remixes by composer, musician, and producer Arca; an original production design concept by Tim Yip; and martial arts choreography by Zhang Jun.

"Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise is a modern fable of transformation-two teenagers finding the courage and strength to overcome the forces of greed and power," said Alex Poots, artistic director and CEO of The Shed. "These are themes that run deep in Sia's songs, brought magically to life by Chen Shi-Zheng, our creative team, and an incredible cast."

"There likely isn't a fight sequence in movies, television, or theater that is not based on the traditional martial arts. Now is the time to reimagine the art form for a new era," said Chen. "Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise transforms iconic Chinese images, movement, and philosophy into a contemporary American setting. It is a saga that combines spirituality, animism, and human emotion to explore generational shifts of culture and ideas."

Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise blends an immigrant story of survival and transformation with a mystical exploration of the dualities between life and death, fire and water, old and new. Chen Shi-Zheng integrates a vocabulary of martial-arts movement with music and storytelling to create a groundbreaking new style of immersive theater performance.

The story begins at the House of Dragon, a secret sect in Flushing, Queens, whose kung fu warriors protect the Dragon Spring, an elixir of immortality. Lotus, the daughter of Grandmaster Lone Peak, rebels against her strict upbringing and falls in love with Doug Pince, a charming billionaire. Lotus is too blinded by love to realize Doug's true intentions. After she gives birth to twins, Lone Peak issues a prophecy: Doug will be stopped by a legendary force. Separated at birth, Lotus' twins must eventually come together to face their day of reckoning, when the fabled Dragon Phoenix will rise.

The Shed's commission is the first stage production for screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, whose films include the Kung Fu Pandatrilogy. It is also the first experience with scoring for live performance for The Haxan Cloak, who composed new music and remixed four songs written by singer-songwriter Sia-"Bird Set Free," "Out There," "Courage," and "Lullaby"-into an entirely original soundtrack. Two additional Sia songs, "The Greatest" and "Chandelier," remixed by Venezuelan artist and producer Arca, contribute to the powerful instrumental and vocal score.

Preview performances of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise run June 22 - 26. The commission opens on Thursday, June 27, and continues through July 27, with performances at 8 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays and matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm. Tickets to Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise are available at and (646) 455-3494.

Located on Manhattan's west side, where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, The Shed commissions original works of art, across all disciplines, for all audiences. From hip hop to classical music, painting and sculpture to literature, film to theater and dance, The Shed brings together leading and emerging artists and thinkers from all disciplines under one roof.

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From This Author Sarah Hookey

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