Burn the Music, an immersive Kunqu Opera, draws its story from the Chinese history of Anxi army, from the Tang dynasty. Instead of reproducing history, the artists perceive this as a chance to discuss a common topic — what do you do when the ambition is hard to fulfill? Do you go for it anyway, or just stay put and make peace with it? With the fragmented stage design and the change of relationships when people are watching the Chinese Opera, the show breaks the limitation of time and space, bringing this city under siege back into the theatre. Decades and years pass, and the guards’ hair turns silver as they still fight for the city. What do you think when you see them? Are you as confused, determined, depressed, or even thrilled as they were? Yet, they are right there in front of you. When these feelings intertwine, that’s when you write your own story and find the answer.

The crew of Burn the Music is made up of under- and post-graduate students in NACTA (National Academy of Chinese Theatre Art), who devoted themselves to creating experimental Chinese Opera, trying to find a way for traditional art to revive and thrive in this new era.

Written and Directed by: He Shiyu
Produced by: Zhao Xiangdong
2021, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA)

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This post was written by Written and Directed by He Shiyu, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA, 2021), China.

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