Date: January 13, 2011
Location: Nine Theater, Beijing.
Salome, originally a French play by Oscar Wilde, has been reinterpreted as a modern dance drama by a group of talented Chinese artists and brought on stage for the first time this evening at Nine Theater in Beijing. Playwright Liu Jie (刘杰) faithfully structured a series of coherent, dreamscape-like scenes and executed change of scenes with fluidic care. Tan Shaoyuan (谭韶远), an exceptionally gifted visual and set designer, projected a plethora of imageries onto multiple scrims hung from the grid all over the stage. Some images were either highly stylized tape-recording of the stage performance (in rehearsal) or delayed projection of the cotemporaneous stage activity, as if to intensify the drama with both real and projected action. Costume designer He Xiaoxin (和晓欣) provided the dancers with a gamut of dresses and wearables that accentuated the body fluidity of the female dancers on the one hand and, let exposed the muscular masculinity of the male dancers on the other. Han Jing (韩婧), Liu Ye (刘叶) and Tang Yupei (唐瑜珮) were the dynamic trio of female dancers who each danced a significant solo representing Salome’s famous dance. The confluence of Han’s gymnastic athleticism, Liu’s sensual impulsiveness and Tang’s general fluidity supplied Salome with such a vivid stage spirit that Wilde’s morbid ending was merely a footnote to Salome’s eternal triumph. The only letdown was the lack of original music; other than a few sensual ballades, the score seemed to gravitate towards slow-stepped milonga music.