A sophisticated, stylised and lyrical opera, The Peony Pavilion meant for the connoisseurs rated as one of China’s best-loved classical operas was staged at the Capital's Sirifort auditorium on December 12.
The legendary play has been brought to India by Swati Bhise, artistic director of BraviaSadir Theatre Festival Production who is an acclaimed Bharatnatyam dancer and choreographer. Her aim is to promote art and culture between the two neighboring countries and develop friendly relations between the two nations.
The peony love attracted an audience which included corporate honchos, bureaucrats, distinguished members of Delhi society and young students from art and cultural institutions in Delhi.
Swati Bhise, said, “Art is the finest way to bridge the cultural gap between two great powers. Theatre and Art give us a deep understanding of the existing political, social and economic conditions of a country. It also gives an insight into the thought process of an entire ethnic group. This is a perfect platform to go global and continue our own personal growth and get better understanding of different cultures. I am happy that it was so well received in Mumbai and Delhi. The audience is evolved and understands sophisticated art forms such as Opera”.
The Peony Pavilion showcased a complicated love story which was set in the last days of the Southern Song Dynasty, which lasted from 1127 to 1279 AD. It is hailed as the “mother” of a hundred opera forms.
In its original form, the play, traditionally performed as a Kunqu opera, which is one of the oldest styles of Chinese theatre, runs for 20 hours and has 55 scenes, has been brought down to a 90-minute performance of key scenes without compromising on its essence. The play was staged by 18 performers, all from mainland China. It was translated by Joanna Lee, an American-Chinese who has spent a lifetime on operas.