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Blossoming realizations about living

Updated: 2024-05-13 07:33 ( China Daily )
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In the dance drama Blooming Life, the mother dreams of a fictional country in Chinese mythology, where everyone has pure white skin and hair. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A dance drama set in Guangzhou tells the story of a mother with Alzheimer's and her son who struggles alongside her, Cheng Yuezhu reports.

For the past year or so, Beijing-based choreographer Fei Bo has been living in the "city of flowers" — Guangzhou, Guangdong province — creating a dance drama about the vibrant blooms that add color to life.

While working at the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble, he has become familiar with the trees and plants that grow in the yard. To him, flowers are not just decorative but are quiet yet unwavering companions that symbolize various sentiments and convey different ideas.

Along with the creative crew, Fei decided to center the production on the relationship between a mother and her son, setting it in a tiny flower shop in Guangzhou.

Directed by Fei, written by Wen Fangyi, a playwright and teacher at Nanjing University, and produced by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble, the dance drama, Blooming Life, premiered on April 26 at the Guangzhou Opera House as the closing performance of the theater's seventh women's art festival. It was performed for a second time on April 27.

The moving story unfolds with the hardships and drudgery faced by the protagonists. The mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and the son grapples with pressure from working as a landscape designer while navigating his mother's confusion discerning between reality and delusion. As snippets of past memories emerge, the son recalls his mother's life and the care and nurturing she once gave him.

"I've never felt the need to focus on grand subjects to emphasize the significance of a production," Fei says.

"To me, sincerity is paramount. I hope that our work is able to touch the audience, so that they believe the story, see its authenticity and understand its messages."

The crew visited hospitals and nursing homes to understand life with Alzheimer's disease, and they also consulted experts to learn about the disease's stages and symptoms.

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