“Dream Seeker,” the first show produced by the Shenzhen Opera and Dance Theater, will debut in town this month.
Set against the backdrop of Shenzhen’s miraculous rise from a fishing village to a modern metropolis, the four-act dance show follows the lives of a group of young migrants as they strive for a successful career and scramble to find their true love in this new city. Going through life’s ups and downs, these trailblazers never give up their dreams, and achieve a lot as they witness the changes of the city and people around them.
The leading cast of “Dream Seeker” performs a dance during the news briefing for the show. File photos
In line with modern, simplistic aesthetics, the dance show depends largely on the expressiveness of the dancers to tell a story that relates to Shenzheners, said Fei Bo, general director of the show.
A choreographer with National Ballet of China and known for such works as “The Peony Pavilion,” Fei said that everyone on the cast is passionate about the show and can relate to it, because “every artist is a dream seeker trying to find their unique expression.”
U.K.-based stage designer Wang Jing, known for such works as “Dog Charm” (2016) and “Hamlet” (2016), has drawn inspiration from Shenzhen’s modern architecture for the show. “I use a lot of building blocks in the stage set. While certain parts are vivid and realistic, the overall effect is impressionistic and modern, which echoes Shenzhen’s quality of being young and modern,” she explained.
Award-winning Yaron Abulafia from Israel serves as the lighting designer for the show.
Yaron Abulafia in the news briefing for the show.
A visual artist specializing in painting and sculpting at first, Abulafia now works to bring out a story with light. “Having heard about the stories of Shenzhen, I was impressed to see its miracle with my own eyes. Shenzhen itself is a dream coming true. This show about a group of young people letting hope and imagination lead their lives is not only connected to Shenzhen, but it is a universal story that relates to all human beings,” he said.
As lighting is the last thing being designed, after everyone else has finished their job, Abulafia said he has not much to reveal at this stage, but ensured that “it’s a strong story with powerful characters.”
Scriptwriter and choreographer of the show Xu Rui is a professor with Beijing Dance Academy who has twice won the Wenhua Award, a top national award granted by the Ministry of Culture.
Music is provided by Liu Tong, known for his scores for the 2009 movie “City of Life and Death” and Zhang Yimou’s show “Impression Liu Sanjie.” Costumes are designed by Yang Donglin from China Opera and Dance Drama Theater, who has previously showed his talent on dance dramas like “Confucius.” Hu Tianji serves as the multi-media effect designer.
Posters show five performancers.
Apart from a talented crew, the show also boasts a stellar cast, headlined by Wenhua Award winner Li Xing, and young talents Li Yanchao, Zhang Yashu, Yu Jianwei and Feng Haoran.
“Neither completely Chinese folk dances nor purely ballet, the show has its distinctive style,” said Qian Qiang, vice director with the city’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Administration. Qian, who has watched the rehearsals, also revealed that the show reminds him of jazz at times.
Scan the QR code to buy tickets:
Time: 8 p.m., Nov. 21-24
Tickets: 180-880 yuan
Venue: Shenzhen Grand Theater, Luohu District (罗湖区深圳大剧院)
Metro: Line 1 or 2 to Grand Theater Station (大剧院站), Exit B