Chinese dance troupe brings 'Butterfly Lovers' to Seattle
The Beijing Academy of Dance brings selections of Chinese classical dance to Seattle Feb. 27-28.
'The Butterfly Lovers'7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $25-$70 (877-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org).
Remember the Barbra Streisand film "Yentl"?
Well, Western theater does not hold the monopoly on forbidden love.
In the "The Butterfly Lovers," a Bejing Academy of Dance production that will be performed at the Paramount Theatre this weekend, a beautiful and wealthy young woman falls head over heels for a handsome young man — and he with her.
Only, just like in "Yentl," this "he" is a woman in disguise. And in the Eastern Jin Dynasty period (265-420 A.D.) such liaisons were barely heard of, let alone tolerated.
This ardent romance is portrayed in an act-long, colorfully staged production by the Bejing Academy, a relatively new troupe (started in 1987) that combines traditional Chinese performance forms with modern stage influences.
The first half of the program is devoted to such shorter works as "Emperor Qin Shihuang Calls on Troops," which sports a score by famed modern Chinese composer Tan Dun; "Singing while Treading," an homage to an ancient dance form of the Han people; and "Lotus Flowers in June," in which "the whole stage seems to be transformed into a large lotus pond with blooming lotus flowers competing to show off their beauty."
Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.