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Famous artwork inspires dance

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2021-11-25 08:02

Choreographers Zhou Liya and Han Zhen instruct performers at a recent rehearsal in Beijing. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Choreographers Zhou Liya and Han Zhen were among those who jostled among the gathered masses back then. "We squeezed through the crowds and tried to get as close as possible to the painting," they recall vividly. "It is extremely rare to see a painting, which is nearly a thousand years old, so intact."

In early 2020, they were commissioned to create a dance piece by the China Oriental Performing Arts Group, the Beijing-based company they work for. They initiated the idea of choreographing a dance piece based on the seminal artwork.

"The painting is full of detail and it's amazing," recalls Han. "When we started to associate it with a dance piece, all the memories of seeing the painting in 2017 came rushing back so vividly.

"It feels like embarking on a journey back to the Song Dynasty, which cannot be described in words. We are deeply moved by the painting."

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