Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Silk Road

We had the chance last week, thanks to connections in DC and Beijing, to take in a performance put on at the Kennedy Center by the Gansu Dance Theater. The production was the company's rendition of a story of love and intrigue along that famous trading route that connected Asia, Europe, and points in between for many, many centuries. Here is how the promotional materials described the program...

Inspired by the magnificent Dunhuang frescoes, the award-winning classical Chinese dance drama
Silk Road is performed by Gansu Dance Theater. A tale of the friendship forged between the Chinese people and peoples of various countries along the Silk Road in the time of the Tang Dynasty, Silk Road follows master fresco painter Zhang, his daughter Yingniang, and Persian merchant Yunus.

Dunhuang is a city out in Gansu Province, an area in China's desert northwest that is home to some of the most famous frescoes in that part of the world. This past summer, we had the chance to visit the Yungang Grottoes in Datong, a place much closer to Beijing that also is quite an attraction due to its historic caves (click here and here for some of what we wrote about the experience).

After seeing the performance, which we all enjoyed (even if I myself have no idea what really transpired in the story line!), there now is the beginning of a movement to make Dunhuang the next major stop on our ongoing tour of China. Yes, Des, it will be the desert, and it will be summertime...But something tells me Julie and especially Z (our resident northwest China fanatic!) may now be driving the train!

~Steve

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