It's a real musical feast - a theatre event in Shanghai that shouldn't be missed.
During 1920s and 1930s, as the largest colonial port in the Far East, Shanghai experienced a rough-and-tumble era that give birth to a multitude of heroes. What does destiny hold for hero Xu Wenqiang and the heroine Feng Chengcheng in such a time? The Bund is still crowded with people and vehicles, and the Huangpu River is still pouring its way day and night. However, the smell of gunpowder seems to be lingering. It seems to be only yesterday when the love & hate story and the battle between justice and evil were still haunted in the city of Shanghai.
In the 1930s, Shanghai was facing both internal and external difficulties. Disappointed with patriotic movements which made him imprisoned, Xu Wenqiang was determined to make a rise in life out of hunger for fame and wealth in Shanghai after being released. By accident, he saved Feng Chengcheng, the beloved daughter of Feng Jingyao, the top in the Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Later he and Ding Li, a poor young guy, became friends sharing each other’s fate. A complicated yet unforgettable love triangle hits the three young people. With the help of his previous lover Fang Yanyun, Xu Wenqiang wins recognision by Feng Jingyao and gradually achieves some success in the city. However, when Feng Jingyao colluded with Japanese invaders to kill our compatriots, Xu’s patriotism deep inside was awakened. Eventually, national resentments, brotherhood and romantic delicacy were all staged in the land of Shanghai.
YUN FENG THEATRE
JDF (Shanghai) Enterprise Development Co., Ltd. is China’s Musical Corporation (hereinafter referred as JDF). Consisting of musical professionals from China, America, Japan, and Korea, JDF is devoted to the production and operation of “Shanghai Bund”, the very first musical play which is now on Yunfeng Theatre. If you are keen on musical play, please join us with your passion and dream.
Yunfeng Theatre is tastefully furnished with ornaments peculiar to Old Shanghai, such as dazzling marquees, wooden revolving doors, quaint showcases, antique counters, etc. It is said that Yunfeng Theatre is rebuilt in imitation of theme theatre, everywhere of which will be full of characteristics of Old Shanghai, like nostalgia, modern and exquisiteness. The gorgeously-decorated lobby with pendent lamps, revolving stairsteps, classical furniture, and particularly made-to-order antique counters, is a real eye-popper to reproduce a picture of Shanghai in 1930’s. In addition, Yunfeng Theatre will be entitled with “JDF” to regain its new life.
Shanghai Bund has created its musical style by using the composition techniques of European musicals and combining the theatricality of western musicals with Chinese cultural characteristics. After years of study on the musical languages, the musical Shanghai Bund combines Chinese pronunciation habits with diversified western music. The orchestration is based on modern orchestra with classic music added to both, which has created magnificence and rendered the inner world of sorrow and desolation in the musical. The musical themes of five heroes and heroines generate musical moods of different styles as the drama unfolds, highlighting united yet contrasted aesthetic features of the music.
The 1930s has left us numerous unforgettable songs, such as Rose, Rose, I Love You, Evening Primrose, Shanghai in the Night, The Wandering Songstress and so on. These timeless songs are tactfully integrated into the plot of the drama, and are interpreted in theatrical ways. The artistic charm of Chinese culture is also vividly presented in this musical. For example, the Chinese musical instrument Pipa is used to interpret Chinese culture and reflect the Eastern artistic verve.
By digging into the Chinese classics and traditional culture, blending western artistic expression with Chinese musical art form, the musical Shanghai Bund has been created as a classical musical with local Chinese characteristics. From singing skills, musical composition to musical arrangement, everything has been highly customized with a global vision to fully interpret the glamour and humanistic connotation of Chinese culture.
This musical shows the cultural landscape of Shanghai in 1930s from the unique perspective of choreography. The flower girls selling flowers in the streets, the rickshaw drivers running in a hurry at dusk, graceful dancing girls in the brilliantly illuminated Parliament Night Club, Gang’s battles in the darkness--- all these provide special fodder for the dances in this musical.
The dances in Shanghai Bund integrate the choreograph of modern dancing, Jazz, tap dancing and ballroom dancing, as well as solo dancing, Pas de deux and group dancing. Combined with Qipao, axes, round silk fans, abacuses and rickshaws, the choreography shows the unique scenarios in a time when the East met the West in 1930s in Shanghai. The decadent Parliament, the dancing girls in Qipao, dancing and flirting with round silk fans in hands, the interesting “Abacus dancing” by hustlers and the arrogant “Axes Dancing” by the Axe Gang would all be performed on the stage of the musical.
As the largest colonial port in the Far East in 1930s, Shanghai was then a complicated place of Sino-foreign co- habitation with distinctively identifiable features. For example, Chinese robe, Qipao, Chinese tunic suit, Chinese blouse, mandarin jacket and felt cap, western suit, trench coat, overall, wedding dress, long skirt, formal dress and bowler hat, and so on---- all of which reveal the style unique to old Shanghai in 1930s.
The costumes of the musical have been created by adding fashionable elements to these features in an artistic and conceptual way, serving a visual feast of technology and contemporary art with the most updated stage technology and most advanced performing machinery design.
The Hi-tech Holographic projection and stage scenery are combined as a mixture of genuine and false scene, bringing traditional stage craft to a new dimension with a special scene and atmosphere. When gradually maturing and penetrating into the whole world, the musicals nowadays are exploring the new connections between actors, stages and audience. With the evolvement of various dramas, the creation of musicals is also developing a much freer environment, which has resulted in musical plays representing new theme and trait of the new era as trend setters of musicals.
The scenic design of the musical Shanghai Bund focuses on the comprehensive application of diversified elements to highlight the artistic color and glamour. Based on the complex projection technology by using LED lighting and programmable lights, the complex projection system projects the fractal images to display a visual “symphony” which is composed of pieces of “fragmented notes”, a 3D illusion that realizes an interaction among stage actors, virtual images and audiences, providing a shock to the audience’s audio and visual enjoyment in the virtual stage.