January 5 – 7

Soaring Wings

China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) will present the New York premiere of a new dance drama Soaring Wings by the Shanghai Dance Theatre (SDT). The production is about “the bird of good fortune” – crested ibis and the interdependence between human beings and nature. The story, focusing on issues of environmental protection for these international preserved rare bird species, is written by Luo Huaizhen, composed by Guo Sida and directed and choreographed by Tong Ruirui.

Centuries ago, human beings lived in harmony with these birds – reserved, elegant, sacred and noble, yet also sensitive, vulnerable and occasionally distant. With modernization and urbanization though, the living environment of crested ibis began to deteriorate and in the middle of the 20th Century, it was declared that crested ibises were endangered species.

In May 1981, Chinese scientists accidentally discovered seven wild crested ibises in Yang County, Shaanxi Province and today, in China, Japan, Korea and eastern Siberia, with increasingly conscious and careful protection, the population of crested ibis has been growing as an auspicious sign.

With traditional Chinese music, opulent costumes, and expressive choreography, Soaring Wings stars Zhu Jiejing and Wang Jiajun, both principle dancers of SDT. Since its premiere on October 7, 2014, the show has presented nearly 200 performances around the world, and been honored to receive many awards in China.

Soaring Wings is a part of CAEG’s Image China cultural exchange initiative, which seeks to introduce traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world. Since its inception in 2009, Image China has presented works at performance venues across the globe, including Lincoln Center in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and stages throughout Europe and Australia. Recent productions include Confucius, Dragon Boat Racing, The Legend of Mulan, and the acclaimed American debut of the Peking Opera star Zhang Huoding.