Deep in Memory
Jiangsu Performing Arts Group Deep in Memory
Dates:December 08-09, 2018
Deep in Memory is a dance drama of relatively independent but interlinked plots written based on the 1937 “Nanjing Massacre” under the theme of witnesses’ memories from the perspective of Chinese-American writer Iris Chang’s exploration on the Massacre. Despite differences from character to character, there is a same message: this work is in memory of all the sufferings and pains experienced by China in the name of peace.
Iris Chang serving as a clue, witnesses’ memories of the holocaust are set out in Deep in Memory along the main line of real historical figures: John Rabe, Minnie Vautrin, LI Xiuying and Shiro Azuma.
History Consultant: ZHU Chengshan
Literature Consultant: LUO Huaizhen
Playwright&Chief Director: TONG Ruirui
Executive Producer: MENG Zhiheng
Composer: GUO Sida
Choreographers: HE Tao, LI Hongjun
Set&Lighting Chief Designer: REN Dongsheng
Set Designer: WANG Lifeng
Costume Designers: Akuan, LI Yuduo
Projection Designer: HU Bo
Hair Style Designer: XU Bin
Props Designer: HONG Liang
Choreographer Assistants: QIN Xi, YUAN Weiyu
Presented by Song and Dance Drama Theatre of Jiangsu Performing Arts Group, Jiangsu Soul of Dance Art Theatre Co., Ltd.
Iris Chang: TANG Shiyi
LI Xiuying: QIN Xi
Shiro Azuma: QU Jicheng
John Rabe: HU Xingdong
Minnie Vautrin: SONG Fei'er
Japanese Right-winger: PAN Cong
Shiro Azuma's Mother: GAO Chengcheng
Shiro Azuma's Foster Mother: YUAN Weiyu
Aged LI Xiuying: HUANG Ying
11 years ago, I made a dance drama titled Nanjing 1937. It's my first dance drama, but after long years it still has a place in my heart. Because I think this part shouldn’t be beried in silence: Nanjing Massacre, a pain in the depth of the national memory, ought to be staged in an artistic form to let younger generations know the history, how horrible dehumanization in the war is, and how compassion shines through.
So, I thought of creating Deep in Memory 11 years later. It doesn’t have a linear structure as Nanjing 1937 does, but takes Iris Chang as a clue to show how some witnesses of the Nanjing Massacre such as John Rabe and Minnie Vautrin, survivors, reporters and confessors recall the history and Japanese right-wing forces deny the history; rape, massacre, witness, confession and denial are chosen as keywords to constitute relatively independent but interlinked plots to convey the same message from different angles. Different expressions in the parallel space make the dance drama look more lifelike, and produce strong artistic effects by comparison. Behind each plot are individual memories spreading to collective memories and humans’ shared memories.
Jiangsu Performing Arts Group
Founded in September 2001, Jiangsu Performing Arts Group Co., Ltd. is one of China’s largest comprehensive artistic groups. At present, it has 11 performing arts troupes (covering 12 art forms), one stage design centre, and three theatres.
Since the establishment of the Company, it has successively performed a series of excellent repertoires, winning hundreds of international and national awards, such as the Peking Opera Rickshaw Boy, Kunqu Opera The Peony Pavilion, Large-scale folk song and dance performance What a Beautiful Jasmine, Yangzhou Opera WANG Zhaojun, Wuxi Opera Pearl Tower, drama Century Rainbow, Pingtan Memorize the South with Ancient Rhymes in the Tang and Song Dynasties, etc. The Company has created and performed the drama Maple Woods, which won the 14th "Wenhua Grand Award". In accordance with market demand, the Kunqu Opera 1699 - The Peach Blossom Fan has been developed into 10 versions with different styles, winning the national "Five-One Project Award" and "Wenhua Special Award". The modern Peking Opera The Elegant Red Gauze Scarf successively won Modern Drama Gold Award at the fifth China Peking Opera Festival and Wenhua Excellent Drama Award. The Journey of Love Choir won the National Choir Competition Silver Award and six gold awards in the International Choir Festival. In recent years, the Company has created and performed Kunqu Opera The Dream of Nanke, musical dramas Fleeting Clouds and The Splendid Library, Peking Opera Soul of the Sea, opera The Grand Canal, among others.