The Legend of Mulan told at Lincoln Center

Updated: 2015-03-06 11:41

By Amy He in New York(China Daily USA)

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The Legend of Mulan told at Lincoln Center

The Legend of Mulan, the classic dance drama being performed by the Hong Kong Dance Company, takes the stage at Lincoln Center in New York. Performances were scheduled for March 5-8. HONG XIAO / CHINA DAILY

The Legend of Mulan, one of the most recognizable folktales in Chinese culture, came to Lincoln Center with the Hong Kong Dance Company's first performance of the classic outside of Asia.

The story is about Hua Mulan, a peasant girl who disguises herself as a man to join the army in her father's stead. She fought in the army for a decade before giving up her position and retiring. The story has been retold in various formats, with Disney's animated version being the most notable US adaptation.

"The classic Chinese story of Hua Mulan is familiar to most of us. Artists, in particular, have a penchant for this tale, because the universal values embedded in it enable people from different cultural backgrounds to find their own perspective of appreciation," said Yang Yuntao, artistic director of the Hong Kong Dance Company, in a press conference prior to the show's debut on Thursday evening.

"In capturing its poetic spirit, the Hong Kong Dance Company transforms the narrative voice into dance movement and pays meticulous attention on the aesthetical effect of the dance," he said.

The Hong Kong Dance Company will put on four performances through March 8. Founded in 1981, the dance troupe is supported by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and was created to promote Chinese dance.

"When choreographing the dance, I am most impressed by the spiritual congruity between the bodily semantics of Chinese dance and the Mulan tale," Yang said. "Chinese dance is distinct from ballet or modern dance and is, in fact, an embodiment of the traits of various forms of art."

Chinese dance is a combination of traditional dance with Chinese opera, as well as martial arts and ballet, he added.

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