US Premiere of the Classic Chinese Dance Drama Mulan with Thunderous Applause — Danced out Grandeur of China and Built Cultural Bridge


On the evening of September 23, local time in the United States, the Chinese heroine Mulan has made a stunning appearance at the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston. The dance has shown the China’s legendary tale and demonstrated the new atmosphere of Chinese literary and artistic work. Averagely every ten minutes, the audience burst into thunderous applause. This is the first performance of the Chinese dance drama Mulan in the United States, and has attracted many overseas audience.


Stage Photo of Mulan

The charm of the art has broke cultural barriers and touched people’s hearts. More than 50 dancers showed the unique oriental charms to the overseas audience with their majestic and magnificent dances. At the curtain call, the applause and cheers lasted for 15 minutes, which has fully expressed the enthusiasm and love of the Chinese art from more than 1,600 audiences at the scene.

Huang Ping, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in New York, Shang Jiyuan, the Cultural Counsellor of Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York, Michael Thomas, the Chairman of the New England Higher Education Commission, and Tweed Roosevelt, the Chairman of Roosevelt College of Long Island University, watched the show and spoke highly of them.

Huang Ping said: "this is not only a show, but also a bridge, bridging people to people relations between China and America, and promoting bilateral exchanges." Tweed Roosevelt from the Roosevelt family also said: "I’m very excited to see such a wonderful show! I plan to do something I've never done before, which is to watch the show again tomorrow! ”

Mulan is a world-class Chinese cultural IP. The American audience is quite familiar with it as back in 1998, Disney has filmed the cartoon Mulan and in 2020, the Disney live-action movie Mulan was released worldwide, so that the Chinese heroine has a higher degree of recognition all over the world.

The dance drama Mulan has gathered China’s first-class creative team, jointly produced by China Ningbo Performance & Arts Group, China National Opera House and Wuhan Huangpi District Government, and has won the Lotus Award for Dance Drama, China's highest award for dance.

Mulan has really made themselves known outside of the circle, gone out of China to the world, and withstood the test of time in the market. Since its premiere at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in 2017, the show has been staged nearly 100 times in China, and word of mouth continues to ferment. This time, Mulan, as a part of China Arts and Entertainment Group's Image China cultural exchange initiative, will be performed in Boston and Washington for 6 consecutive performances.


Huang Ping, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in New York, communicates with the cast and crew of Mulan

“Mulan is a young girl, but she has to disguise as a man.” Accompanied by subtitles, the legendary story of Hua Mulan taking the place of her elderly father in the army for family devotion, facing death unflinchingly for loyalty and falling in love with the army general Wei for love was emotionally interpreted by the dancers. Hao Ruoqi, who performs in the title role, said “though we had to overcome lots of difficulties like jet lag and were physically tired , we were very excited and didn’t expect the American audience to be so enthusiastic, I was really flattered.”

The deeper the spirit of the mind is, the greater the art’s atmosphere will be. The heroism, family and national sentiments and human glory expressed in the show are also recognized by the overseas audiences. Rick and his wife watched the show together. He said: "It will definitely not be bad to be played on the repertoire of the Wang Theater. This performance of Mulan made me feel too surprised! The level of Chinese dancers is really high! The actor's costumes and stage design are also very Chinese, I really hope the crew will perform a few more shows in Boston!” Steve said: “Mulan's performance clip on the battlefield is very wonderful and deserves full praise. The dance drama expresses the yearning for peace, which is the common pursuit of mankind, and it also deeply touched me. ”

It’s worth mentioning that the set design for Mulan includes a revolving circular stage with a diameter of 15 meters and a weight of 7 tons, which breaks the limitations of the time and space, as well as creates more scenes for a single stage. When it spins rapidly, the revolving stage intensifies the fierce battle scenes and the audience feels like they are in a battlefield; while when soldiers fall down one by one, the circular stage will spin again, showing how soldiers imagining reuniting with their families. "I’ve been to China before and it has such a long history, in my impression Mulan is very traditional, so I didn't expect the stage of dance drama to be so modern! I was really surprised!” Michael Thomas told the reporter.


Curtain Call of Mulan

Nowadays, the pace of China’s culture going global is speeding up and overseas market is paying more attention to the Chinese traditional culture. The Chinese national art has distinct cultural characteristics and oriental aesthetics, and has a strong attraction and centripetal force. Lin Hong, the Chairman of Ningbo Performance and Arts Group, said: "Ningbo is an important port city for culture going global and has been producing many high quality masterpieces in recent years. We expect the show plays a positive role in the exchange and mutual appreciation of civilizations between China and the United States, and further enhance the dissemination and influence of China's excellent traditional culture. ”(Reporter Xiaohang Li from Ningbo Daily)

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