China Performing Arts Agency returns to the Kennedy Center with Confucius, a new dance drama performed by the China National Opera &Dance Drama Theater. The production is directed and choreographed by Kong Dexin, a 77th-generation direct descendent of Confucius.
Confucius is part of CPAA'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 on stages throughout Europe and Australia. Recent productions include Dragon Boat Racing, The Legend of Mulan, and the acclaimed American debut of the Peking Opera star Zhang Huoding.
With traditional Chinese music, opulent costumes, and expressive choreography, Confucius tells the story of the legendary scholar's journey through the kingdoms of Zhou Dynasty China, and his quest to instill codes of ethics, honor, and benevolence among the empire's rulers. Told in six sections, "Inquiry," "The Chaotic Time," "Out of Food," "Great Harmony," "Mourning for Benevolence," and "Happiness," the dance drama's structure reflects the inner and outer struggles of Confucius in expressive passages of dance and song, through one of the most turbulent and significant periods in China's history.
The cast includes Hu Yang as Confucius, Tang Shiyi as a Concubine, and an ensemble of 55 performers. Confucius is directed and choreographed by Kong Dexin, who is a 77th -generation descendent of Confucius. Confucius is written by Liu Chun, with music direction by Zhang Qu, scenic and lighting design by Ren Dongsheng, costume design by Yang Donglin, and makeup design by Jia Lei.
Performance Timing: 90 minutes, with no intermission