Call of snow

Updated 2017-03-30 11:31:29 China Daily

Peacock of Winter, choreographer-dancer Yang Liping's latest production, is the artist's reflection on life. Photos provided to China Daily

Yang Liping will present her latest dance production, Peacock of Winter, in Beijing soon.

Winter is dancer-choreographer Yang Liping's favorite season.

“When big snowflakes fall, everything seems quiet and peaceful,” says Yang.

The season has also inspired her latest work, Peacock of Winter. It will be presented in Beijing from April 26 to May 2.

“I guess the reason why I like winter so much is that the season fits my current life,” says Yang, who's approaching 60. “From birth to death, this work is my own reflection on life.”

Yang, a practitioner of Chinese folk dance, is from the Bai ethnic group of Southwest China's Yunnan province. She has won national awards and toured the world with her dancers.

Peacock of Winter is derived from Yang's choreography production, titled The Peacock, in which she used four seasons to tell the story of the journey of life.

The 2012 work has been staged more than 100 times in China.

“We want to go deeper to talk about death with this new production,” says Yang.


Peacock of Winter features a dreamlike set design by Oscar-winning artist Tim Yip.

“Death is unpredictable and it means doom. But the fear of death is unhealthy. I am prepared for it and I am not worried.”

She and set designer Tim Yip have highlighted a peacock's colors in the performance.

The Oscar-winning designer, who is best known for the martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, constructed the set with white feathers falling softly like snow onstage.

With dancers moving fast, the feathers can fly around and keep falling. The dancers will wear huge, dense skirts for the shows.

Young dancers, including Wu Ya, Pan Yu and Yan Jin, will share the stage.

In one corner of the stage, Cai Qi, Yang's 18-year-old niece, who is considered the heir apparent to her legacy, plays the role of “flowing time”.

Having performed with Yang since childhood, she will spin onstage in this work, symbolizing the clock.

“Yang takes her productions as an important part of her life,” says Wu, a former dancer with Guangdong Modern Dance Company, who performed in The Peacock, and was one of the leading roles in Yang's war-theme production Under Siege in 2015.

“She has a clear vision for her work.”


Peacock of Winter, choreographer-dancer Yang Liping's latest production, is the artist's reflection on life.

Peacock has come to define Yang since she won national recognition for Spirit of Peacock, a work she both choreographed and performed in 1986.

“Peacock is a symbol for good luck, happiness and beauty. I have displayed its vitality, elegance and nobility in my work. In Peacock of Winter, I try to show the decay and rebirth of a peacock. It's about looking back, meditating and finally setting yourself free,” says Yang.

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