The Shenzhen dance drama, 「Wing Chun,」 is heading abroad after a successful run in China and will make its overseas debut at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in Singapore with four shows in four days from Sept. 27 to 30.
「Wing Chun,」 a phenomenal dance drama that has taken China by storm since its premiere at the end of 2022, has been applauded by Chinese audiences for providing a brand-new theatrical experience that fuses dance and martial arts.
The drama features two stories that run in parallel and are switched seamlessly, with two scenes alternating on the stage.
One story takes place on a film set, where the theatrical crew of the dance drama 「Wing Chun」 is filming the story of Yip Man, a renowned teacher of the Chinese martial art Wing Chun. The other story depicts how Yip Man goes to Hong Kong to pursue a career promoting Wing Chun.
The drama tells not only the story of the martial art master Yip Man, but also portrays a group of ordinary people who pursue their dreams, represented by the theater crew’s lighting director named Dachun.
In an artistic framework of dual scenes and stories, the creators of 「Wing Chun」 have meshed two intangible cultural heritages – the martial art of Wing Chun and gambiered gauze (Xiangyunsha) – with flair and ingenuity.
With a history of over 200 years, Wing Chun has been cleverly adopted to express the humanistic connotation of Chinese martial arts. Shenzhen local brand designer Xing Lili, who serves as a gambiered gauze consultant for the drama, has provided many creative ideas in clothing, props, and visual effects.
「All the characters in the drama, their hard work, perseverance, courage and dedication, reflect the essence and spirit of Shenzhen, the 『City of Dreams』 and『City of Youth』,」 said Chang Hongji, who plays Yip Man in the dance drama and the chief dancer of the Shenzhen Opera and Dance Theatre.
Feng Shuangbai, the dance drama’s screenwriter and chairman of the China Dancers Association, believes that Shenzhen’s dancers are also 『dream chasers,』 pursuing the perfection of their artistic works.
「These young people in Shenzhen truly immerse themselves in the world of traditional culture. It is their performances that give this dance drama a different take from before, and infuse a unique aesthetic into the dance drama, which is very precious,」 Feng said.
「Wing Chun」 has been on a tour across China since this March, with a craze that has swept across the country, igniting the audiences』 enthusiasm. In June this year, the dance drama also received ecstatic acclaim from foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations in China at the Beijing Poly Theatre.
Marc Hübsch, former Luxembourg’s ambassador to China, praised that 『Wing Chun』 was an incredible performance and it was something he had never seen before.
Carole Hübsch-Tompers, Hübsch’s wife, told Shenzhen Daily that 『Wing Chun』 is a 「masterpiece」 that has touched her heart very deeply. 「I hope that the drama can be exported to the world so that everyone else in the world can see and share it.」