Contemporary acrobatics enhance classic Chinese love story

Ma Yue
Contemporary acrobatic show "The Butterfly Lovers" will premiere in Shanghai next month, kicking off an international tour to European countries when conditions allow.
Ma Yue

Contemporary acrobatic show "The Butterfly Lovers" will premiere in Shanghai next month, kicking off an international tour to European countries when conditions allow.

Known as China's "Romeo and Juliet," the folk tale of butterfly lovers has been adapted into various art forms like film, opera and dance.

The plot of the acrobatic show still centers on the two young lovers Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. They long to be together, but against their family's wishes.

The pair are eventually reincarnated as butterflies after death to carry on with their romance.

Contemporary acrobatics enhance classic Chinese love story
Ti Gong

The show is presented by Guangzhou Acrobatic Arts Theater.

"In my opinion, 'The Butterfly Lovers' is not just telling the well-known Chinese story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai," said director Zhao Ming. "It also focuses on the transformation process of a butterfly from breeding to cocoon breaking and soaring, and praises the eternal power of life."

Presented by Guangzhou Acrobatic Arts Theater, the performance will be a combination of acrobatics, dance, drama and magic show. The dramatic tensions will be expressed in a unique way by skillful acrobatics performers.

"The Butterfly Lovers" will conform to the traditional Chinese aesthetics and innovatively involve contemporary stage elements. Audiences will get to see a "ballet on the shoulders" when the female performer snuggles up to the male performer's shoulders and completes ballet movements.

Contemporary acrobatics enhance classic Chinese love story
Ti Gong

Audiences will get to see a "ballet on the shoulders" during the show.

After the Shanghai premiere, the acrobatic show will tour around the country and visit Wuxi, Chongqing, Changsha, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Shenyang, Taiyuan and Nanjing.

The show is also part of the ongoing "Show Life in Shanghai" project presented by the Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival. According to the center, "The Butterfly Lovers" will visit European cities for some 50 performances in 2023 if conditions allow.

Contemporary acrobatics enhance classic Chinese love story
Ti Gong

An agreement has been reached in Shanghai for "The Butterfly Lovers" to visit European cities for 50 performances in 2023.

Performance info

Dates: November 12-13, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-880 yuan
Venue: SAIC Shanghai Culture Square

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