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October 21, 2021

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Ancient tale travels thousands of years into future

A classic love story is converted into soft science fiction in the contemporary ballet “White Snake • Revelations,” which the Beijing Dance Theater will present in November at the Shanghai International Dance Center.

The original love story dates back to the late Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). Scholar Xu Xian saves the life of the White Snake Lady, who, in gratitude, turns herself into a beautiful mortal, falls in love with Xu and marries him. The couple lives happily by Hangzhou’s West Lake until the monk Fahai arrives, who insists that humans and immortals cannot marry and splits the couple apart.

In this contemporary version, Xu and the White Snake meet in an artificial intelligence world thousands of years in the future. Xu is no longer a human being, but a bionic android developed by an advanced system Fahai.

The White Snake, however, maintains her memory about their romance that has lasted for cycles of life. She tries to awaken Xu’s soul, which is naturally against Fahai’s will, as the supreme system once again stands in their way.

According to choreographer and director Wang Yuanyuan, the production aims to examine the search for classical humanism in a world driven by cold technology and sophisticated calculations.

“Everything we have in this current world is already beyond my imagination as a child,” said Wang. “So I can’t help thinking what the future will be like… In a world dominated by overwhelming technology, can human beings still maintain their memories and all the softness in their hearts?”

People are invited to the dance center to find out whether the White Snake can win back her lover from Fahai in the future world.

Dates: November 5-6, 7:30pm

Tickets: 80-680 yuan

Venue: Shanghai International Dance Center, Grand Theater

Address: 1650 Hongqiao Road


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