China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) will present the US premiere of a new dance drama Princess Zhaojun by the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater (CNODDT). Direct from China, this production brings back to life the real story of one of China’s most important heroine Wang Zhaojun who sacrifices her comfortable palace life to get peace on the turbulent border of northern China. It is written by Yu Ping, composed by Zhang Qu, and directed and choreographed by Kong Dexin.
Centuries ago, the Xiongnu had constantly invaded the territory that today stands as China's Inner Mongolia region, and threatened the northern border of Han Dynasty. During the period of Emperor Yuan (49BC-33BC), Huhanye Chanyu, monarch of the Xiongnu, expressed his wish to establish friendly relations with Han Dynasty. The emperor decided to make peace with Huhanye through marrying off his daughter. The princess refused the arrangement, and Wang, bored with palace life, offered to go instead. To Wang's surprise, she fell madly in love with Huhanye and did her best to serve as a good queen and build up friendly ties with the Han Dynasty.
Thrilling and emotional, sumptuous and stunning, this dance production had its world premiere in 2016 and has since toured throughout China. In 2017, it performed in National Auditorium of Mexico as a closing performance of “Year of Chinese Culture” in Mexico and won wide acclaim. Critics have described the production as “the audience were fascinated by the history, the costumes, the scenery and the dance”(El Universal),“unparalleled aesthetic quality”(AEscena) and “Princess Zhaojun conquered Mexico”(CIO.tv)
Princess Zhaojun 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 Soaring Wings, Confucius, Dragon Boat Racing, The Legend of Mulan, and the acclaimed American debut of the Peking Opera star Zhang Huoding.