Chinese zebras run free in UK

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-26 17:33:01

Students from Beijing's Zhongguancun No.2 Primary School perform in the UK. Photo: Courtesy of Xiao Ying

Students from Beijing's Zhongguancun No.2 Primary School perform in the UK. Photo: Courtesy of Xiao Ying

Young dancers promote Wild Zebras in Edinburgh on August 13. Photo: Courtesy of Xiao Ying

They may be the youngest performers to take the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the London Coliseum, home to the English National Opera. A total of 134 students from Beijing's Zhongguancun No.2 Primary School presented their interpretation of a Chinese fairy tale to UK audiences on August 11. Part of the China-UK Cultural Year, kicked off by Prince William in early March, these students aged 8 to 12 staged their dance drama Wild Zebras at the London Coliseum as the first part of their UK tour. 

The drama - originally created by Zhang Jigang, deputy director of the Beijing Olympics' opening and closing ceremonies - tells a universal story of friendship, love and peace.

At a reception before the London performance, Minister Counselor of the Cultural Section at the Chinese Embassy in the UK Xiang Xiaowei told media that as an important part of the Chinese Culture Season in the UK, Wild Zebras and other Chinese cultural events were aimed at promoting cultural exchange between the two countries.

Set in the distant Animal Kingdom, Mother Bear, the kingdom's ruler, wants to make a magic coat from 100 wild zebra's skins. Having previously attainted 99 skins, Mother Bear only needs one more. Red Fox helps her capture a wild zebra, but the poor animal is released by the kind-hearted Zebra Girl.

"It is a story that can be shared by the whole world without worrying about language or cultural barriers. Everyone can see love and courage in Zebra Girl, who is willing to sacrifice her own life to save the wild zebras," said Jiang Tao, one of the organizers for the drama's UK tour.

"The entire orchestra is also made up of the dancers' classmates. So the whole performance is completely presented by students," he added.

On August 13, the student troupe also performed at the Playhouse as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Global Times

Posted in: Theater

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