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Whiff of 4D scent in physical theater
By Nie Xin

THE 4D fragrance of flowers and plants will infuse four works of physical theater about love, marriage, family and friendship next month at Ke Contemporary Art Theater.

Various scents will be introduced to add olfactory and memory dimension to original works by the pioneering experimental Theater SanTuoQi from Beijing, presented from January 3.

"We are trying to let the body say 'love' through physical theater," says Zhao Miao, playwright, director and founder of the theater founded in 1996.

"When we lose the courage to speak, how can we express emotions about love? After being silent for too long, we suddenly find that deep love is far from us, maybe a light year away," Zhao says.

The original works to be staged at Ke Contemporary Art Theater are "A Light Year," "Flying Love," "Nine Moments" and "Shui Sheng" ("Water Living").

Zhao created "A Light Year" to tell the stories of an ordinary family facing problems in family relations, love relationships and friendships. Difficult situations compel them to think about the meaning of life and death.

This work debuted in Shanghai in 2010, when Zhao and his physical theater first performed in the city.

"Flying Love" can also mean "Must Love," and Zhao sets it in an airline flight and tells three separate stories about a marriage crisis, an unmarried "left-over" woman and a Platonic friendship between a man and a woman.

"Nine Moments" captures people's different physical and psychological expressions in different situations.

"Encountering and separating, getting or losing, feeling numb or crying - in this different situations we express extreme fear, happiness, embarrassment, craziness or slackness. All will be presented on stage," the director says.

"Shui Sheng" is adapted from a bizarre story in Chinese classic literature "Liao Zhai Zhi Yi" ("Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio"), a collection of tales of the supernatural compiled by Pu Songling in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The work that tells about a ghost living in the river water was praised at Theater Golovine in France in July and at the Beijing International Youth Theater Festival this year.

Experimental Theater SanTuoQi features "sad humor" and "brilliant imagination" as it explores the wisdom of "poetic physicality," according to Zhao.

The theater's representative works include "Experiencing Conscience," "War and People," "6:3," "I, II, III," "2008 Romeo and Juliet" and "Journey to the East."

 "Flying Love"

Date: January 3-6, 7:30pm

 "A Light Year"

Date: January 9-13, 7:30pm

 "Nine Moments"

Date: January 12-13, 2pm

 "Shui Sheng"

Date: January 16-20, 7:30pm

Venue: Ke Contemporary Art Center, 613 Kaixuan Rd

Tickets: 50-400 yuan

Tel: 962-388, 6131-3498

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