Picture Perfect: The Embroidery Girl Debuts in Boston

By David Li, photos by John Tsou, bostonese.com

Boston, May 29, 2013, — Imagine you have worked so hard for months to put together a grand dance show that features dozens professional dancers from China. When the show time finally came and ended with thunderous applause by a sold out audience at Boston’s John Hancock Hall, how proud and relieved you would feel. You could see it from the smiling face of Ke Ke, artistic director of Angel Dance Company, at end of the show in the evening of May 26.

Agis Center for Arts and Humanities and Angel Dance Company presented the traditional Chinese dance drama The Embroidery Girl at John Hancock Hall. The award-winning dance show features music by Hang Zou, choreography by Jiwen Zhang, and costume design by Rui Li. The production is conducted by Min Zhao. The Embroidery Girl’s US tour also includes performances at the Hindu Temple Society of North America in Flushing, NY on May 24, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC on May 31 and June 1, and The Plateau Club in Sammamish, WA on June 4 and 5.

According to the organizers, the story of the Embroidery Girl took place in the final years of the Qing Dynasty and the early years of the Republic of China. It tells about a tragic love story of a girl who loved the art of embroidery and later became a master of Suzhou Embroidery. By reviewing the emotional experience of the Embroidery Girl, the master of Suzhou Embroidery, and a painter named Ming Xuan, the dance drama portrays the image of a contemporary Chinese woman who was fighting against the feudal ethical codes and pursuing the liberation of women.

It took Wuxi Musical Drama Theatre three years and a remarkable financial investment to complete the creation of the dance drama. The theater made its debut in Wuxi after four-month-long intense rehearsals, and won the Outstanding Drama Award at the 7th Jiangsu Music and Dance Festival. The drama brought together such talents as experienced director Zhao Ming, “new generation” composer Zou Hang, multiple award winner for stage design Zhang Jiwen and internationally renowned costume designer Li Rui, as well as a group of outstanding young performers, including Tang Chenglong, Zhang Yazhu, Liu Xin and Mi Xia, etc.