Chongqing - With the rapid development of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, the Chongqing Singing & Dancing Troupe has collaborated with dancers from Sichuan to create an updated version (2.0) of their classical dance drama Du Fu. This collaboration aims to promote the Bashu Cultural Tourism Corridor, which is a cultural and tourism initiative that seeks to integrate and showcase the unique cultural heritage of the Sichuan and Chongqing regions in Southwest China.
Du Fu, the famous poet of ancient China, traveled extensively throughout Sichuan and Chongqing during his lifetime. His poetry has left an indelible mark on Chinese literature and culture. After 1260 years, the Chongqing Singing & Dancing Troupe decided to trace the poet's footsteps and collaborate with China's top creative team to create the country's first dance drama about his life. On April 28, 2016, the debut version of the dance drama Du Fu was staged in Chongqing to critical acclaim.
In July 2022, the Chongqing Singing & Dancing Troupe invited chief director Han Zhen, Zhou Liya, and executive director Li Chao to return to the rehearsal hall to refine the dance drama Du Fu. Two months later, its upgraded version has been successfully premiered in Shanghai, garnering both box-office success and critical acclaim.
On February 25 and 26, the classical dance drama 2.0 version of Du Fu made its New Year debut at the Shi Guangnan Grand Theatre in Chongqing to a packed audience that gave the performers a standing ovation. The production featured a collaboration with dancers from Sichuan and showcased the unique cultural heritage of both provinces. The success of the dance drama is a testament to the enduring influence of the poet's work and the richness of Chinese culture.
According to the Chongqing Singing & Dancing Troupe's spokesperson, the Du Fu debut featured a cast and crew, of whom 80 percent were from Sichuan and Chongqing. This collaboration represented a joint effort between the two cities to create a unique product that showcased their cultural heritage. Among the 20 performers from Sichuan, seven were dancers, and four were stage design professionals.
"I am from Zigong, Sichuan, but Chongqing is also my hometown," said Tan Xiaoli, a dancer who participated in the production. She has been a part of the "Sichuan-Chongqing Family" for over two years and expressed that her emotional connection to the production has grown stronger with each performance in Sichuan. "As an artist, I look forward to participating in productions that showcase the Chengdu-Chongqing theme, and I hope to travel with it to every county and district in the region."
Starting in April, the dance drama will embark on its first nationwide tour of 2023, starting from Shaanxi, Henan, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces. This tour aims to promote the Bashu Cultural Tourism Corridor and showcase the unique cultural heritage of Sichuan and Chongqing to audiences across the country. It is a testament to the enduring influence of Du Fu's poetry and the richness of Chinese culture.
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