Goddess of Luo River Also Wins Accidental but Inevitable Popularity after Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty

Henan's dance dramas centering around traditional Chinese culture, including Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty in the Spring Festival and Lotus Pool in the Lantern Festival, constantly go viral, becoming one of the most popular cultural phenomena this year. The two programs were created by Zhengzhou Song and Dance Theater. It will perform Goddess of Luo River in Wuhan Theater on December 15, making its appearance for the "Night of Wuhan". The creators told reporters that they integrated traditional culture with down-to-earth expressions, so the popularity was accidental but inevitable.

Programs Based on Tombs of the Han Dynasty and Things Around People

Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty generated a huge buzz early this year, being thought historical and interesting. The performers dressed in Tang-style costumes, but they were like genial girls around us, innovating on the basis of what has worked in the past.

Goddess of Luo River, with Ode to the Goddess of the Luo River as the core, was inspired by famous poems such as Cao Zhi's The Quatrain of Seven Steps, A Beautiful Woman, and Floating Alga, Cao Pi's Lotus Pool, and Zhen Fu's Tang Shang Xing. Tong Ruirui, general director and choreographer of the program, said that she had not only read texts but also gone to the site of tombs of the Han Dynasty to see the patterns on brick walls and portraits on bricks, so she had been inspired to create the sword and drum dance in the program.

Yi Xingyan, who played the Goddess of the Luo River, said that she had to imitate the actions of figures on the bricks and restore the Han dance of beating time to the song with her feet, which was a big challenge to a green hand of this dance.

Performers played young boisterous eunuchs in Goddess of Luo River, similar to young active maids in Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty. The performance of the eunuchs indicated that public clamor can melt metals, serving as a connecting link between the preceding and the following of the program. Wang Peng, director of the artistic creation department of Zhengzhou Song and Dance Theater, said, "Artistic creation based on traditional culture should be down-to-earth, bringing things around us onto the stage. Otherwise, it will be beautiful but unintelligible to audiences."

Accidental but Inevitable Popularity

Being the lead dancer in Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty and acting as Lady Zhen in Goddess of Luo River, Yi Xingyan feels that she gets more performance opportunities in 2021. In her opinion, Chinese traditional culture has always been popular but the market of dance dramas with Chinese elements develops rapidly over recent years. "I'm delighted to act those roles with different historical backgrounds and individual characteristics. Each part of Chinese traditional culture has irreplaceable charm," she said.

Sun Shujie, Party branch secretary and director of Zhengzhou Song and Dance Theater, revealed that the theater was founded in 2004 and first launched A Tale of Shaolin inspired by warrior monks. It launched Goddess of Luo River that is graceful and tragic in 2010 and later Serve the Country with Fidelity whose main role is Yue Fei. Before the popularity of Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty, the theater has explored the creation of classic and beautiful works on the basis of Chinese culture for over 10 years.

Chen Lin, the writer and director of Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty, thinks the popularity of this drama is accidental and also inevitable. “The dance drama becomes popular because Chinese people have cultural confidence,” she said.


Copyright by Zhengzhou Municipal Tourism Administration