Raise the Red Lantern - ballet

by Rain October. 24, 2008 1556 views

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so, I'd read about this probably in September, when I first arrived in Korea

then, with everything going on, settling in & work… I forgot about it, and especially since the perfomance seems to be happening in Seoul (which is a long 50-min. subway/bus ride from where I live)

but, I started seeing banners of the show hanging all over my city… and after a bit more research, I found out, the National China Ballet had requested a contract of three different performing venues, and it turned out, one of the venue is about 20 min. walk from my appartment!!!!

so, I already knew Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) did a film on the story in 1991. But more research told me, not only is the performance based on the film, Zhang is still the director, since this ballet production had started in 2001

so, tonight, after a long week of work, I rushed to Aram Nuri Arts Complex, and sat excitingly with the rest of the Korean audience (by sitting on the 2F balcony, I noticed a cute thing that a lot of the ladies had dressed up in accordence to the event… with bright red coat, red scarf & red hat ^Q^)

the show started, I was mesmerized by the orchestra, and was lucky to catch a glimps of how they imitated Mahjong sounds by shaking abacus…interesting!!

clearly, the bright contrast is Zhang's signature, it had showed strongly in the costumes of the three concubines

and, I loved the lighting, and stage setting… there was a shadow-play behind a huge paper screen that I especially liked.

however, my most favorite part is at the very end (ironically it's the saddest part of the story) …when the excusioners holding huge wooden bars walked along a white screen, and slapped against it, making loud percussion sounds and leaving red paint on the screen …. I really thought the concept was artistically conveyed…

overall, I really liked the performance, and it made me want to started watching Zhang's previous films again!!

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