The Ah-Lan Dance 2022 Gala Show is Coming!
Princess Wen Cheng: A dance drama in four acts, telling the story of a brave young girl from Tang Dynasty China who marries a Tibetan prince in a marriage of political convenience and goes on to build a bridge of friendship between China and Tibet.
Act 1: Tibet Seeks a Marriage
The Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty was a peaceful and prosperous age. Young Li Xueyan, the daughter of the Duke of Jiangxia County, was different from girls of her age: She was curious about everything, and was skilled in music, chess, calligraphy and painting. She would sneak out without a chaperone to ride horses and shoot arrows, study, and learn medicine.
At that time, the Tang empire and Tibet often had territorial disputes and border clashes. The Tibetan prince Songtsen Gampo, having been refused a marriage into the Tang imperial family, personally assembled 200,000 Tibetan soldiers and began a campaign to attack Songzhou in the Tang territory.
Act Two: The Princess is Married Off
Hoping to avoid war, the Tang emperor Taizong decided to choose a princess among the nine daughters of a distant branch of the family to marry off to the TIbetan prince. The Tang imperial family was thrown into a panic, as they did not want one of their daughters married off to Tibet. The mothers forcibly summoned the princesses back, and came up with endless reasons that they should not be married off. Li Xueyan knew that if she went to Tibet to be married she would never be able to return to her hometown and family, but for the sake of harmonious relations between the Tang dynasty and Tibet, she resolved to embark on the road to the Himalayan kingdom and an unknown future.
Tang Taizong conferred on Li Xueyuan the title Princess Wen Cheng and gave her to Songtsan Gampo in marriage. Songtsen Gampo’s Prime Minister Lu Dongzan traveled to the Tang Dynasty to welcome his new relative.
Act Three: The Road to the High Plateau
In the first month of the fifteenth year of Zhenguan (AD 641), Princess Wen Cheng and her party left the Tang capital of Chang’an for the snowy plateau. Over nearly three long years on the road, Princess Wen Cheng climbed mountains where the snow never melted, endured harsh weather, and passed through inaccessible and barren land. She went through untold hardships, escaped from wild animals, and dearly missed her mother and father.
Fortunately the good Prime Minister Lu Dongzan accompanied her, and the lovely Tibetan girl Dawa taught her to speak Tibetan and introduced the customs of the Tibetan people along the way.
Act Four: A Revered Life in Tibet
In Tibet, Princess Wen Cheng’s life was happy, as was her marriage to Songtsan Gampo. To help her overcome he homesickness, Songtsan Gampo built buildings in the Tang Dynasty style, and built the Potala Palace for her.
Princess Wen Cheng personally taught the Tibetans how to use looms to make fabric and how to grow crops. She helped cure Tibetan peoples’ illnesses, and she taught them Chinese. Even up to now, more than a thousand years later, the Tibetan people devoutly revere Princess Wen Cheng, thanking her for giving her life to bring great changes to the lives of the Tibetan people.
Dance Drama Dress Rehearsal schedule is here.
Ballet and Wugong Dress Rehearsal Schedule is here.
Theater Tech rehearsal schedule is here.