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Newly Created Acrobatic Drama "The Butterfly Lovers”

Contemporary Acrobatic Show

How I wish I could be entwined with you for all this life,

Till the imposed death sets us apart!

The most unsurpassable love the world has ever heard

Was but brief moments of snuggling up against your shoulders

The Butterfly Lovers

Co-produced by Publicity Department of CPC Guangzhou Municipal Committee &

Guangzhou Municipal Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism Bureau

Created & Presented by Guangzhou Acrobatic Arts Theatre Co., Ltd.

Storyline, Image and Philosophy

Assuming the form of acrobatics, the show presents the classic love story and in the meantime ingeniously integrates an image of love (Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai's transfiguring into butterflies) and a Chinese traditional philosophy (Zhuangzi dreaming of becoming a butterfly), thus carrying on the folklore of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. To put it simply, the poignant love story of Liang and Zhu is presented in a succession of breathtaking acrobatic moves when the settings, emotions and images are unfolded one after another.

The entire show is pregnant with images, which are elusive, unpredictable and romantic. And it conforms to the traditional aesthetics of Chinese culture. Liang and Zhus relinquishing their earthly life and transcending into two fluttering butterflies brings about so wonderful a hallucination that one cannot tell where he is, whether in a dream or in this world. The loving butterfly couple keep each other company. With the lapse of time, they were frequently seen in the countless Chinese ink wash paintings of landscapes and ancient books in the typographic printing. Now, they appear in childrens textbooks, passing on the story to the present and making it a classic. Love will always flourish, be it allowed or not. It is the genuine love from deep within the heart that has made the butterfly lovers unforgettable! Out of nowhere kindles the fervent love, which smoulders and blazes. The love that people dying for also revives them. And for that reason, love stories are chanted generation after generation.

Years have passed and times have changed; matters of life and death scurry like a mirage!

A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Acrobatic Show

The Butterfly Lovers

After Journey to the West (a Wenhua Grand Prize winning show) and the Legendary Swordsmen, we present the audience a brand new contemporary acrobatic show The Butterfly Lovers. The team that has been working on this extravagant show conglomerates a group of top-notch artists in the country. They are Zhao Ming (chief director)Yu Rongjun (playwright), Ning Genfu (art director), Qin Liyun (stage designer) and Li Ruiding (costume designer) and etc.. They have been working collaboratively to relate the traditional Chinese folklore by means of multiple art forms ranging from acrobatics and dancing to drama in the hope of remodeling this Chinese classic.

The show Butterfly Lovers presents the doleful love story and in the meantime ingeniously integrates an image of love (Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtais transfiguring into butterflies) and a Chinese traditional philosophy (Zhuangzi dreaming of becoming a butterfly). Throughout the show, an image of love, namely butterflies in pairs, is foregrounded and hold dear to. An analogy between Liang and Zhus love story and butterflieslife cycle is perfectly stricken up. Being the epitome of love, a butterfly has to go all the way through the process of breeding, incubating and struggling before they break through the cocoon and flutter their wings freely. The life story of a butterfly is presented on multiple levels and from different angles. As a result, a tension is formed and audience can have a better comprehension of the meaning of life.

The show is centered around the love story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai with the supplement of the butterflies breaking through cocoon and stretches all the way to the modern city life. In the meantime, the show reaches out to the profound image of Zhuangzi dreaming of becoming a butterfly, which brings forth more food for thought and consequently renders the story more mysterious and intricate.

By the use of acrobatics and a multitude of other artistic forms, Butterfly Lovers is endeavoring to achieve the depth and scope of the literary art in a completely different form——flexible and strong limbs of acrobats. It is a pure artistic expression with an extreme tension. During the past two years, Guangzhou Acrobatic Arts Troupe of China has created a multitude of original programs like group dancing with fans, umbrella juggling, pole climbing, bar juggling, writing brush juggling, funny box squeezing, to name just a few. All these programs are sure to be an eye-opener to the audience. For the first time ever, the audience will see ballet on the shoulders, which is the vivid depiction of the two lovers’ entwinement with each other when the female performer snuggles up against the male performers shoulders alluding to the two butterflies keeping each other company.

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