Ancient Silk Road revived on stage


A scene from “New Silk Road.” File photo

For many modern Chinese people, the Silk Road, an ancient trade and culture network that for centuries connected the East and West from China to the Mediterranean Sea since the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), is just a series of routes on a map.

Yet thanks to both Chinese and foreign dancers, the life in ancient Chang’an and thriving market places in Rome has been brought back to life on stage as seen in “New Silk Road,” a multimedia dance performed at the opera house of Luohu Culture Palace on Dec. 29.

The three-part performance unveiled ancient culture and trade routes from the bustling market of Loulan, a commercial hub on the Silk Road where all manners of people traveled through the thriving city.

The performance opened with stories of the Chinese General Zhang Qian riding west and monk Xuan Zang embarking on an 18-year journey along the Silk Road that led him to India. It then portrayed how Italian traveler Marco Polo overcame obstacles to visit China during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and ended with Zheng He’s seven maritime voyages that helped to build the famous Marine Silk Road 600 years ago.

In the last part titled “New Silk Road Dream,” the dance rolled history into an ever-changing modern society where the “era of the camel” is replaced with international freighters and high-speed rails.

“We blend the dance performance with technology such as AR and VR so that the audience can feel the geographic and economic changes on the ancient and modern silk roads,” said Carolina Eveson, director of the stage performance.

“The Silk Road is much more than just trade routes. It is a blending of East-West cultures and a bridge for international civilization and friendship,” said Eveson.

The group has been invited by Plovdiv in Bulgaria to attend the China-Central East Europe Culture and Trade Exchange in 2017.

The “New Silk Road” was sponsored by the Shenzhen publicity special fund.




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