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Chinese drama staged in NY

China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-13 10:44

NEW YORK-The Chinese music drama Overlord was staged on Thursday at the Asia Society in New York.

The drama is a music-focused, interdisciplinary performance created by pipa (a four-stringed Chinese lute) player Yu Bing, who is joined by an ensemble of some of the most talented young musicians in China, playing both Chinese and western instruments.

Overlord is inspired by two traditional Chinese Pipa masterpieces: Ambush on All Sides and King Chu Doffs His Armor. It tells the life story of the Chinese warlord Xiang Yu and uses music to explore his inner world at different moments of his life.

Unlike other film and traditional Chinese opera adaptations, Overlord avoids focusing on retelling the whole life story of Xiang Yu. Instead it attempts to find the humanity inside this complex figure, who is usually portrayed as a ruthless leader, a notorious killer and a gruesome enemy.

"By exploring what Xiang Yu was thinking and feeling in the important moments of his life through music, what we really want to present are the emotions everybody goes through in daily life, such as happiness, anger, sadness, and panic," said Yu.

When asked whether traditional Chinese music and the ancient Chinese story would be difficult for foreigners to appreciate, Yu said: "Music knows no borders and emotions are universal."

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