Dance Drama: Shaolin in the Wind
Performed by Zhengzhou Song and Dance Troupe, Henan Province
Published by Peninsula Audio-Visual Publishing House, 2007
Medium: 1 DVD-9
DVD regional code setting: All
Picture format: NTSC, MPEG-2, Color
Subtitle: Chinese / English
Run time: 110 minutes
The first modern dance drama meets martial arts spectacular and retells an old story: a scholar-turned-warrior-monk, trained at the legendary Shaolin Temple, seeks to avenge the murder of his lover at the hands of marauding bandits.
This play is about a legend of a young military monk. Tian Yuan, a scholar, and Su Shui encounter the bandits. Su Shui falls into the hand of the bandits, while Tian Yuan goes to Shaolin to pursue martial arts. After several years, the bandits again intrude the Central Plains. Knowing Su Shui is cruelly killed by the bandits, Tian Yuan is so wrathful as to lead other military monks to fight against the evil bandits. It's a struggle between justice and evil. The tragic love story makes the play really touching.
An Old Tale Told in Contemporary Mode
Shaolin in the Wind is a poignant love story. Its main characters are the star-crossed lovers Tianyuan and Sushui, separated during a warring invasion. Tianyuan is badly injured and nursed back to health by the monks of Shaolin Temple. Unbearable yearning for his sweetheart, who is in the hands of the enemy, compels him to fanatical study of the martial arts. Years later, the lovers are reunited, but all too briefly as Sushui sacrifices herself in order to save Tianyuan from the enemy. Incensed with grief, Tianyuan leads the Shaolin monks in expelling the enemy. He thereafter dedicates himself to Buddhism and the martial arts.
The drama combines Chinese kungfu and terpsichorean arts with elements of China’s original 3,600-year-long Central Plains culture, whose hub was Henan Province. Its choreography is inspired by traditional Henan folk dances and its music by folk songs, ditties and opera airs played on the suona, a kind of trumpet, the stringed sanxian and other instruments endemic to the region. Stage designer Huang Kaifu pays personal homage to Shaolin Temple in his stage scenarios. They encompass reproductions in actual size of the stone lions at the temple entrance, pagodas that mark the final resting place of venerable monks and the drum and bell that summon monks to their morning and evening prayers. The stage backdrop is a giant image of the beatifically smiling face of Buddha. Shaolin monks display their martial excellence upon an artistic sprawl of rocks at the rear of the stage. The ethos of battle is skillfully conveyed by state-of-the-art lighting techniques in various glowing shades of red. Alternating beams of red, yellow and gray express the protagonists’ emotions as the plot progresses. At the play’s climactic ending the rocks split and emit a white light that intensifies into a blinding glare, signifying the supremacy of the sun over darkness.
Martial Arts and Dance
In China, dance and martial arts have long been closely related. The Chinese characters for 'martial arts', 'dance' and 'shamanism' come from the same root. The physical language of martial arts and physical aesthetics of Chinese dance share an inherent consistency. During the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, martial arts were actually a form of dance. Its integration with dance is not only seen in traditional Chinese opera, but also in contemporary dance.
Shaolin in the Wind is a grand dance drama combined Kung Fu, folk dance and ballet with amazing stage set and astonishing stunts performed by monks from the Shaolin Temple, home of Chinese martial arts, and the cream of the Zhengzhou Song and Dance Troupe. Shaolin in the Wind integrating martial arts with the poetry and lyricism of classical dance. The coexistence of dichotomies like tenderness and strength, power and beauty, tension and relaxation reveals the breadth and depth of Chinese culture. Zhang Zongcan, executive editor-in-chief of Dance magazine, defines it as: "The first drama to fuse dance and martial arts."
商品名称：舞剧《风中少林》演出：河南郑州歌剧院br /> 介质：DVD