Sinology Sunday: Tang Dynasty female musicians’ Night at the Museum

To fit the Tang Dynasty standard of beauty, the performers from Zhengzhou Song and Dance Theatre wore sponge cushion body suits and stuck cotton in their mouths.

Henan TV’s Spring Festival Gala has been making waves online for its creative dance performance that showcased the best of Chinese culture. Titled Tang Dynasty Banquet 唐宫夜宴, it showcases 14 female musicians passing several renowned artefacts as they make their way to the palace.

(Clicking on the third icon from the right turns off the danmaku)

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Sisters Who Make Waves Season 2 premieres today

Michelle Chen, An Youqi (singer), Chen Xiaoyun, Alan Dawa Dolma (singer), Chen Zitong (singer),

Hugely popular variety show Sisters Who Make Waves is already back for a second season, and has brought in notable singers and actors Na Ying, Cecilia Cheung, Zhou Bichang & Wang Ou among others as contestants (full list below). The variety show releases 1 episode every Friday at 12pm (CN time), and should be up on Hunan TV’s official Youtube a few hours later.

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Yu Zheng joins Zhang Ziyi as judge on I Am An Actor

Season 4 of I Am An Actor features Zhang Ziyi, Yu Zheng and director Derek Tsang (Soul Mate, Better Days) as the main judges, and actors Zhang Songwen (The Bad Kids), Hao Lei (Sheep Without A Shepherd) and Li Chengru (who is known for being too honest on Tencent’s acting show) as the coaches. To be honest, I’m more interested in the drama and constructive criticism that will be coming from the judge’s corner. Out of the 33 contestants, I’ll be watching out for the talented Liu Duanduan (Joy of Life) and Li Meng (The Bad Kids).

The variety show premieres tonight.

Season 2 of Attention Actors premieres on Tencent

Patrick Shih (Someday or One Day) x Ren Min (Held In The Lonely Castle)

Season 2 of acting competition Attention Actors features directors Chen Kaige, Zhao Wei and Guo Jingming from Season 1, and new joiner Derek Yee (Sword Master), who seems to be playing the role of the harsh (honest) judge.

Select contestants: Ren Min, Wang Churan, Guo Xiaoting, Wen Zhengrong, Huang Mengying, Liu Ruilin, Li Xirui, Zhang Ming’en, Zhang Yijie, Lou Yixiao, Wang Zhi, Cao Jun, Dong Siyi, Lamu Yangzi, Yan Zidong, Meng Ziyi, Ma Su, Myolie Wu, Zhang Yue, Li Zhinan, Huang Yi

Best stages from Sisters Who Make Waves

Sisters Who Make Waves is a show that relies on the charisma and personality of the big sisters, so I wasn’t too fussed by the shoddy camerawork for the performance stages.

Up first is Ning Jing, Aduo and Cindy Yen’s Orchid Grass. This cover is stunning, and the empowering lyrics (different from the original) are a perfect representation of the performers:

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30 actresses and singers join girl group reality show

Ning Jing

Now this is my type of show! Woman Like Me / Sisters Who Make Waves 乘风破浪的姐姐 (lit. translation) is aimed at forming a mature-age girl group, and I am loving all the contestants (full list below) and producer Huang Xiaoming after watching the first episode.

The variety show airs every Friday at 12pm on Mango TV, and will be up on YouTube shortly thereafter.

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Youth With You 2: Lu Keran appreciation post

Remember the attractive pink-haired leader from the androgynous group Acrush three years ago? She got even more attractive. This is an appreciation for Lu Keran, leader and lead dancer of Fanxy Red (the revamped version of Acrush) and the embodiment of the undefined and unlimited X factor of girl group survival show Youth With You 2.

Lu Keran exudes a sensuality that can be defined as neither masculine nor feminine, but uniquely hers. She is confident but sensitive, childish but mature beyond her age, traditional but a rule-breaker, sweet but aloft. In every performance she’s in, she is able to mend her style to fit the song without ever losing her uniqueness. The only thing that defines her is perhaps her intro to the song No Company, “if you try to define me, you’ll find no company.”

I know iQiyi videos doesn’t let you watch it embedded but this is really my favorite performance of hers yet and probably my favorite performance of the season so far: 

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Youth With You 2’s Rule Breakers Photoshoot

Kiki Xu Jiaqi is my #1 visual for the show.

Everyone looks amazing in this “new rules” photoshoot for the current top nine of girl group competition Youth With You 2. I’m guessing the inspiration is rule-breaking high school mangas like Crows Zero to go with this season’s theme of not defining girl groups.

Although they aren’t currently my ideal nine, this group of nine will still be my favorite lineup for a competition idol group by far and I love them all so much.

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Dance drama Farewell My Concubine stuns on TV

Artist Liu Beili designed the stunning sets for the show

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.

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