The Ah-Lan Dance 2019 Gala Show
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With great pleasure we would like to announce that the 2019 Ah-Lan Dance Gala Dance Drama is coming soon!
We will offer an exciting program for our 2019 Gala Show on January 26th and January 2th from 3-5pm at the De Anza High School Performing Arts Theater in Richmond.
The 2019 Gala dance show is a entirely devoted to a dance drama taking place in Republican-era China in the early years of the 20th century. This new story about the power of love in a time of change was written by creative director Ah-Lan and newly choreographed by Ah-Lan with assistance from Chinese dance teacher Yang Yang.
During China’s Republican Era, the owner of an embroidery workshop and his wife (who ruled the workshop with an iron hand) adopted an orphan child, who was called Niu Niu. She was a bright child, and from an early age she often helped the family with many tasks. Once, on a market day in the village, and Niu Niu and the other embroiderers from the workshop went to the market to sell their crafts.
The market was very lively: There were martial arts and Peking Opera performances as well as candies, embroideries, fabrics, antiques, and all kinds of food for sale, but what most caught Niu Niu’s attention were the kites. She badly wanted one of the beautiful kites, but she could not afford it. The kite seller, taking pity on Niu Niu, gave her a kite to play with. But just as she was playing happily, the workshop boss and his wife came back and saw her, and they cursed Niu Niu for playing rather than working hard at selling their embroidery.
Niu Niu had studied embroidering from an early age, and she worked at her embroidery from morning until night. Changgong (this name means “servant”) Xiao Qiang, an orphan boy, was also raised as an indentured servant by the workshop owner and his wife, and he grew up together with Niu Niu. The two little innocent children became good friends. Even as she toiled at her embroidery, Niu Niu couldn’t forget the joy that the kite had brought to her that day in the market, and she dreamed that she could fly out of the workshop compound, like a kite, and fly free into the sky… The boss’s wife found Niu Niu daydreaming instead of paying attention to work, and became was very angry. The boss’s wife beat Niu Niu with a cane, but seeing this, Xiao Qiang blocked her from the blows with his body. From this moment on Niu Niu felt love in her heart for Xiao Qiang.
Niu Niu and Xiao Qiang quietly fell in love and they yearned for a bright future together. But one day Niu Niu’s fellow workers brought astonishing news: For a rich bride price, the boss’s wife planned to marry Niu Niu off to a rich man. Niu Niu and Xiao Qiang, shocked at the fate before them,tried to escape, but the boss’s wife caught them and tied them up and so Niu Niu was forced to make ready to marry. This time the kindly embroidery women helped Niu Niu and Xiao Qiang escape, and they cleverly planned to have a man put on a bridal costume and pose as Niu Niu at the wedding ceremony.
On the day of the wedding, as the boss’s wife was happily counting the money from the bride price, she found that the bride on the sedan chair looked a bit strange. When she opened the bride’s red veil, she discovered that the “bride” was in fact a man, and that Niu Niu and Xiao Qiang had already escaped.
With the help of the trees of an enchanted forest, Niu Niu and Xiao Qiang finally escaped and made their way to the steppes of northern Shaanxi. The people who lived there had heard of their struggle, and as encouragement to this couple who had finally found happiness, gave Niu Niu and the former servant Xiao Qiang their heartfelt blessings.
With countless stories such as this from then on, the Chinese people were finally able to cast off the ancient burden of feudalistic ideas of marriage, and were free to pursue true love. And with countless stories such as this, women finally gained the right to choose happiness.