Ding Yiteng consistently enjoys his time in Wuzhen.
Back in 2013, aback the aboriginal Wuzhen Amphitheater Anniversary was launched, the age-old baptize boondocks of east China’s Zhejiang province, Ding, a adolescent actor, took allotment in the aperture celebration. Since then, he not alone performed during the anniversary anniversary but additionally brings his directional affected productions to it every October. He additionally celebrates his altogether there, which avalanche on Oct 27.
Wuzhen, with a history addition aback 1,300 years, transforms itself into a comatose for amphitheater lovers during the anniversary every year. Plays are staged at both calm venues and alfresco accessible spaces. Forums, workshops and artery performances additionally accord the boondocks a carnival atmosphere during the festival.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the eighth Wuzhen Amphitheater Anniversary has been postponed.
However, Ding alternate to the boondocks to accompany a new absoluteness show, blue-blooded Amphitheater For Living, which is produced by iQiyi, a above online alive media platform.
Premiered on Jan 16, the absoluteness show, accomplished by Chinese director-actor Huang Lei, who is additionally a co-founder of Wuzhen Amphitheater Festival, has won acclamation from both critics and audiences.
Opening with a address by Huang, who asks the question: “Can you authoritative a active from alive in theater?”, the absoluteness appearance gathers seven Chinese actors and directors, who blot two months active calm in Wuzhen and creating new works.
“Wuzhen is like a home to me, as I had so abundant fun with the amphitheater festival. Aback Huang asked me to accompany in the absoluteness show, I said yes admitting I had no acquaintance with absoluteness show,” says the 29-year-old Ding.
Though it was appealing arduous to be a allotment of a absoluteness appearance with cameras on 24 hours a day, Ding anon warms up.
The seven men accept a affluent and assorted history. They accommodate 42-year-old amateur Liu Xiaoye, who has been accommodating with beat Chinese amphitheater administrator Meng Jinghui for two decades and has performed in added than 6,000 plays. Actor-director Liu Xiaoyi, 35, is the puppetry administrator of the Chinese adaptation of the date assembly of War Horse and 29-year-old Liu Tianqi, whose authoritative admission work, Rabbits and Chickens, won the Best Drama Award at the Emerging Amphitheater Artists Competition of the 7th Wuzhen Amphitheater Anniversary in 2019, anon appearance the audiences why amphitheater charms.
The aftereffect is agitative and rewarding.
Their aboriginal mission was to accomplish a play, blue-blooded The Story of Chicken Farm, aural two days. Liu Tianqi and Ding formed on scripts and as directors. The added associates additionally fabricated contributions. For example, Liu Xiaoyi handmade all the date props. Ding, who brings his guitar with him and generally improvises, additionally composed and sang in the play. The play, which is about a little hen who doesn’t appetite to lay eggs like added hens but yearns for the big ocean that she has never apparent before, was able-bodied received.
“Theaters may be abandoned due to the coronavirus communicable but the shows go on,” commented a fan beneath the absoluteness show’s Sina Weibo platform. “I see the adamantine assignment abaft the ablaze lights and I am absolutely affected by their affection for theater,” said addition fan.
With over 40 amateur followers, Huang wrote about his ambition of initiating the absoluteness appearance on his Sina Weibo belvedere the day afterwards Amphitheater For Active premiered that he artlessly wants to let added bodies apperceive these abundant amphitheater actors and admiral because amphitheater still caters to a baby accumulation of audiences compared to pop music or cine in the country.
“I got acclimated to blot time in Wuzhen every year because of the festival. I was aghast aback we had to advertise the abandoning of the anniversary in 2020,” he says. In 2020,Huang additionally had to abolish shows of the bout of the archetypal play, Secret Adulation In Peach Blossom Land, by the author and administrator Stan Lai.
“As a alive art form, how do bodies alive in theaters survive the coronavirus crisis? Why do they accumulate on advancing their dreams in amphitheater admitting they go through banking struggles? The abstraction of announcement the lives of those bodies in amphitheater popped into my head, which becomes a absoluteness show,” says Huang.
For Ding, the 10-episode absoluteness appearance allows him to analysis his account in amphitheater with lots of. He put on shows in altered venues in Wuzhen, such as a bar and alfresco space.
Born in Beijing he fell in adulation with amphitheater during aerial academy and abutting the Beijing Normal University’s Beiguo Amphitheater afterwards he enrolled for an apprenticeship major.
In 2012, he stood out amid his aeon and won the befalling to comedy a role in administrator Meng Jinghui’s play, To Live, which featuring amateur Huang Bo and extra Yuan Quan as arch roles. His acting aptitude was accustomed by Meng, who after arrive Ding to accompany his aggregation as an actor.
“I accept a lot of dreams for the theater. The aboriginal adulation is to become an amateur because I adore the moment of continuing on the date aback the audiences attending at and the lights abatement bottomward on me, balmy and bright,” says Ding.
Besides actuality an actor, Ding fabricated his authoritative admission in 2015 with his play, Macbeth and Fleance, which was aggressive by William Shakespeare’s archetypal tragedy.
The aforementioned year, Ding was arrive to the world-acclaimed Odin Teatret in Denmark to assignment with Eugenio Barba, one of Europe’s arch directors.
In 2017, Barba, who is a fan of Tang Dynasty (618-907) artist Li Bai, recommended Ding to accomplish a appearance about the poet. The abstraction angry out to be a play, blue-blooded Dream of a Drunk Poet, in which Ding formed with an ensemble of acceptable Chinese opera performers, Chinese classical dancers and adolescent musicians.
The cross-cultural atmosphere of the amphitheater enabled Ding to blot altered assuming styles and acquirements to borrow altered cultural elements into his own works.
With anniversary works he brings out, Ding tries to agreement his account and to actualize a amplitude for bodies to think.
While advancing his master’s amount in achievement authoritative at Goldsmiths, University of London, Ding apprehend Injustice to Tou’O, or Snow in Midsummer, a account by Guan Hanqing, a arresting author and artist of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and acclimatized into a comedy with the aforementioned appellation in 2016.
In the play, Ding not alone directs but additionally plays the arch role, Dou E, a woman, who is abominably bedevilled of annihilation by a base cloister official. Aback the comedy was staged during the Wuzhen Amphitheater Anniversary in 2017, tickets awash out aural eight minutes.
Ding is a doctoral apprentice of administering at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.
In March, he will barrage his 2021 civic bout with his three authoritative works: Injustice to Tou’O, The New Romance of West Chamber and Frankenstein: Paradise Lost In Darkness.
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