We’re finally blessed with a recorded version of dancer-choreographer Yang Liping’s dance drama Under Siege: Farewell, My Concubine 霸王别姬：十面埋伏 . The experimental dance drama, using Peking Opera and martial arts elements to tell the tale of the suicide of Xiang Yu and his concubine Lady Yu after a bitter defeat is absolutely stunning. The dancers for this shortened TV version are Li Xiang, Liu Jia, and Zhu Feiweng.
Yang Liping specifically chose a male dancer to play the role of Concubine Yu not only as an homage to the Peking Opera traditions, but also to portray Concubine Yu as a yet-to-be-reincarnated soul without the bounds of gender, life, and society, a raw spirit waiting for fate’s decisions.
Flipping ‘eck, I nearly had a heart attack of some kind. Looks like I have a new avenue of inquiry to pursue. I’m not huge on dance because it doesn’t really speak to me; mostly, I appreciate the virtuosity involved, with rarer moments of actual connection (like Akram Khan’s Giselle, for example). Thanks in advance for all the fun you’ve introduced, here, as I discover what is UP with this Yang Liping of whom you write.
Woah, thank you for sharing. Yang Liping is amazing.