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Modern take on ancient poet
By Li Anlan

THE life of China's great Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) poet Du Fu will be presented as a musical drama this weekend at the Shanghai Drama Arts Center.

Du (AD 712-770) is often called the "poet sage" and "poet historian," who left behind 1,500 works. Many involve morality and history and are included in standard textbooks. He is considered one of China's greatest poets, along with Li Bai (AD 701-762).

The work will be staged by the National Theater of China as part of the Shanghai International Contemporary Theater Festival which started this week and will go through December 9.

Directed by Zhang Guangtian, "Du Fu" the music drama doesn't only tell the story of the poet, who failed the imperial examination in tumultuous times, but also explores his approach to poetry.

It is an experimental production, which its director Zhang categorizes as a kind of "materials' drama."

The actors and actresses will be actors without imitating, who push forward the change of time and space.

The show features Chinese and English dialogue with Chinese and English subtitles.

The Shanghai International Contemporary Theater Festival, starting 2005, features the most modern productions every year and serves as a platform for worldwide art communication. Theater troupes from around the world present their works. Details are available at the festival's official website at www.actfest.com.

Date: November 10-11, 7:30pm

Venue: Studio D6, Shanghai Drama Arts Center, 288 Anfu Rd

Tickets: 150-280 yuan

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