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Legendary heroine Mulan dances at Kennedy Center

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-10-01 07:54

A scene from Chinese dance drama Mulan, which was performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on Friday. Three more performances were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Zhao Huanxin / China Daily

Hao, an actress with the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, said there might be a thousand Mulan's in a thousand people's eyes, but there are things common to the audience however they are culturally and geographically different.

"I think the love and peace as emanated from Mulan is understandable and accepted both in China and the United States," she told China Daily.

At the center of Kennedy's Opera House is a "circular turntable", 15 meters in diameter and 7 tons in weight, which serves to break the limitations of time and space and create more scenes for a single stage. 

It is where the fierce battles are fought, newly drafted men depart their loved ones, weary soldiers dream of reuniting with their families, and Mulan and General Wei get to understand each other better throughout her military journey.

Lisa Richards Toney, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, said what impressed her most was not just the ferocity of the warrior spirit that Mulan is presenting, but the love of humanity.

"I think that is a universal message that we all can aspire to all across the world," she said. "It's also a testament to women, because you know, we've got the X and the Y, or the yin and the yang quite well; we have that warrior, and we have that love."

Before the premiere, Li Baozong, general manager of China Arts and Entertainment Group, which presented the dance drama as part of its "Image China" show series, said the Mulan story is being presented on the stage in a new way, but will evoke similar feelings as it does in China.

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