Choreographer Wang Yabin presents her new dance drama 'The Lady from the Sea'
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's "The Lady from the Sea" is opening to Shanghai audiences in the form of dance drama this weekend.
Commissioned by the Shanghai International Dance Center Theater, the work is directed and performed by the theater's associate dancer and choreographer Wang Yabin.
"The Lady from the Sea" is Wang's latest feminist-themed creation, portraying the undercurrents beneath a peaceful life by looking into the heroine's love, desire, confusion, struggle and self-awakening.
Ibsen's original play centers on a lady called Ellida, daughter of a lighthouse-keeper, who grew up where the fjord meets the open sea. She is married to Doctor Wangel who has two daughters from his deceased wife.
Ellida is restless and troubled by a former romantic attachment with a sailor. Wangel, fearing for Ellida's mental health, invites Arnholm, his daughter's former tutor and suitor to Ellida, in the hope that he can help Ellida.
In the dance adaptation, Ellida believes that her marriage is not based on free choice. She is estranged from Wangel and his daughters. She fears, but at the same time aspires to the unknown future she sees in the sailors. Whenever concerned, she goes to the strait to clear her mind. Eventually, she makes her own choice.
Often referred to as "the father of realism," Ibsen was one of the most influential playwrights of his time. Unlike the social satire represented by "The People's Enemy," in "The Lady from the Sea," Ibsen shifts focus for the first time from social issues to the lonely, rich and struggling inner world of individual human beings.
Wang's dance version of the classic play does not contain a single word, but relies entirely on physical bodies to show the complexity in Ellida.
Norwegian pianist and composer Ketil Bjørnstad and young Chinese composer Zhang Xiaochen created music for the dance.
Dates: November 11-12, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-580 yuan
Venue: Shanghai International Dance Center
Address: 1650 Hongqiao Rd