2017 Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley festival will be held from May 5 to 22. As one of China’s most influential drama festivals, Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley aims to intensively present classic and quality dramas with a global vision and its inclusive city spirits this year. Meanwhile, the Drama Valley will further implement its preferential policy by continuing its “ticket price cap of RMB380” and vigorously generalizing the student tickets to offer real privileges to the public and make the Drama Valley a festival belonging to the masses.
Since this year marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Chinese drama and the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, 2017 Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley will center on the historical and cultural connotation of Jing’an District in line with the development traces of the era to constantly improve the brand influence of the Modern Drama Valley. The festival this year is themed as “Jin”, which literally means “brocade” in Chinese and is often extended to mean “flourish”. Since it sounds similar to “Jing”, the theme also has the implied meaning of “International Jing’an, a Blessed Place to Realize Dreams”.
Adding “Luster” to an International Jing’an
The Modern Drama Valley this year is composed of three major parts: Exhibition and Performance of Famous Dramas, “Yixiju Drama Appraisal & Selection”, and Civilian Theater. In the first part, totally eighteen excellent domestic and foreign dramas will be performed and exhibited. They will be divided into six series, i.e. Celebrating the 110th Anniversary of Chinese Drama, International Vision, Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Return to the Motherland, Popular Theater, Adaption of Famous Dramas, and Quality Small Theater. The festival concentrates excellent dramas and notable stars. It is professional and authoritative with considerable ornamental value and popularity. Most of the performances will be debut in Shanghai and even in China.
Yixiju Drama Appraisal & Selection is one of the most influential drama awards in the Chinese-Speaking community. It wins wide public praise especially for its justice and authority in drama appraisal and selection. The award-winning works this year will still be finalized through several rounds of selection by drama professionals and members of arts commissions, and published at the Award Ceremony of Yixiju Drama Appraisal & Selection to be held on May 22.
The Civilian Theater, another important part of Shanghai？Jing’an Modern Drama Valley, will present more colorful contents than previous years. The activities include Masters’ Lectures, Urban Drama Carnival, Collection of Original Dramas about Jing’an Stories, Dramas into Communities, with an aim to perfectly connect the communities and civilians with dramas to deepen people’s understanding about the rich history and culture of Jing’an while making them feel the charm of dramas. The Off section represented by Urban Drama Carnival will cover the whole business district in West Nanjing Road in the form of joint exhibitions of buskers to inject cultural connotation into this commercially developed area.
Intensively Presenting Classic and Quality Dramas to Salute the 110th Anniversary of the Birth of Chinese Drama
2017 Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley continues combination of traditional classics and international vision, and a win-win result of arts and market in drama selection. In the Exhibition and Performance of Famous Dramas part, totally eighteen excellent domestic and foreign dramas will be performed through cooperation with the seven major theaters in the district— Majestic Theatre, the Theatre of Shanghai Theatre Academy, Daning Theatre, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, Shanghai Art Theater, Shanghai Centre Theater and The A.S.K. Compared with 2016 Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley, the festival this year highlights such major themes as celebrating the 110th anniversary of Chinese drama and celebrating Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. Besides, presence of world-class artistic masters adds luster to the 2017 event.
The play series for Celebrating the 110th Anniversary of Chinese Drama are quite eye-catching. The first show is Kuangbiao, cooperatively created by the famous director Tian Qinxin and Shanghai Theatre Academy, which tells the little-known spiritual journey and emotional experiences of Tian Han, a founder of Chinese drama. And the leading role of the drama Tian Han is starred by the capable young actor Jin Shijia; Fang Xu, a man good at scriptwriting, directing and acting, will put on two famous works by Lao She, i.e. the classic monodrama All My Life and the comedy featuring typical Beijing flavor and British humor Two Horses; The Premier of Qing Empire, a large-scale original historical play co-produced by the famous director Wang Xiaoying and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre will also be performed.
The play series of International Vision have gathered many a master. The greatest modern dancing master Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who is still an active performer on the stage now, will lead Belgian Rosas Dance Company to China for the first time and she will personally perform Fase, a work that made her famous and shocked the dancing circle; Dominique Mercy, former Art Director of Pina Bausch’s dance company and Josef Nadj, a contemporary French choreography master will together put on a dance drama Petit psaume du matin; The Mother, an adept work of Vilniaus Mazasis Theatre (VMT) of Lithuania adapted on the basis of Gorky’s novel, will also be put on.
The play series for Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Return to the Motherland are enduring works. Perry Chiu Experimental Theatre led by Perry Chiu Woon, a living theater queen from Hong Kong, will put on the Pulitzer Award winning work Night, Mother; The Last Supper by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre will show authentic Hong Kong marketplace flavor to you.
The play series of Popular Theater are very colorful. Cai Zhengren, Chen Shaoyun and Wei Haimin, the leaders of the three schools of Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera, will together perform Qishuanghui for the first time; the popular star Ren Suxi will show her charm again in the love comedy Learning from the Dove; senior actors Han Tongsheng and Feng Xianzhen will show their muscle in A Story in the Office which presents the flavor of classic Russian comedies, and in Sanmei, a 100% acknowledged drama going viral in the drama circle of Beijing.
The play series of Adaption of Famous Dramas recreate classics. Two dramas of the National Theater of China join the series— Leaving, a masterpiece by Director Wang Xiaoying on unmasking humanity and Hongyanhun, a work reviving the heroic spirit of the past times.
The play series of Quality Small Theater are diversified in styles, including fantastic Black Bird by David Harrower and parent-child plays— The Polar Bears Go Up, a sunshine adventure play with fantastic setups, and One Morning I Left, a Chilean ecotour play.
The event introduces dramas from love classics to historical dramas, from pioneer theaters to modern dances, absolutely a drama pageant with numerous stars and exquisite contents.
Offering Preferential Ticket Policies to Improve the Cultural Grace of the City
Against the backdrop of construction of new Jing’an culture, 2017 Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley will still implement the subsidy policy of “limiting the ticket price under RMB380” to encourage more civilians to go into the theaters and enjoy quality drama performances. Meanwhile, the preferential policy is expanded to cover a student ticket price below the public benefit ticket price to get the young generation involved in dramas.
The Civilian Theater part comprises four activities: Masters’ Lectures, Urban Drama Carnival, Collection of Original Dramas about Jing’an Stories, and Dramas into Communities. This part, based on the basic idea of preserving traditional characteristics, adding innovative elements, and promoting diverse social cooperation, aims to achieve “benefiting civilians from dramas” through activities featuring profession, colorfulness, facilitation and online interaction.
The Masters’ Lectures part gathers the drama masters from all over the world in Jing’an, including the famous drama director Fang Xu, the dancer Huang Doudou, the famous living theatre actress from Hong Kong Perry Chiu Woon, the famous French dancers and choreographers— Dominique Mercy and Josef Nadj, Chinese performing artists like Cai Zhengren, Chen Shaoyun and Wei Haimin. It provides an opportunity for the young to interact with the masters, for the audience to communicate with the artists to improve the drama atmosphere and art cultivation of civilians in Jing’an District.
To create the rich cultural atmosphere of “sharing drama performances all over in an international Jing’an”, the Urban Drama Carnival activity will introduce performances of buskers in the Jing’an Temple business district mainly along West Nanjing Road, setting up of landmark devices of the Drama Valley in Plaza 66, a photography exhibition of Li Yan under the theme of “Celebrating the 110th Anniversary of Chinese Drama” in CITIC Square, a showcase physical drama show “Watching Dramas Through a Showcase” in Westgate Mall, and a public space art show in the Cultural Street of Wujiang Road and Meihengtai CBD.
A “Drama Incubation Base” will be set up to collect the literary works about Jing'an online to seek more angles of view of looking upon Jing'an. The base is responsible for selecting excellent themes, organizing rehearsals under professional guidance, and selecting dramas to be performed at 2018 Modern Drama Valley in a bid to effectively incubate, breed and improve mass dramas in Jing'an and create more dramatic works about Jing'an.
In 2016, Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley, jointly organized by Jing’an District People’s Government and Radio and Television Shanghai, witnessed improvement of its brand influence and market reputation and turned into one of the most professional drama festivals in real sense. This year, Shanghai Theatre Academy joins the family of the organizers. It is believed that 2017 Shanghai·Jing’an Modern Drama Valley sees a promising future and will write an important chapter for improvement of the cultural grace of Shanghai.