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Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

‘King Yu’ coming to the National Centre for the Performing Arts


Da Yu, or Yu the Great, is one of China's most well-known ancient heroes. Founder of the Xia Dynasty (C.2070-C.1600BC), Yu is credited with building a system of irrigation canals which reduced flooding along the Yellow River and other water ways in ancient China.

On Wednesday night, the Anhui Huagudeng Song and Dance Theater will bring the story of how Yu dedicated himself to these efforts as well as his romance with his wife to the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing in the form of dance drama King Yu.

One of the key projects supported by the China National Arts Fund, the dance drama debuted in September 2016. It was staged more than 60 times in local theaters before making its way to the NCPA.

According to ancient Chinese historians, Yu spend 13 years of his life working to control the frequent floods which plagued China at the time. On at least three occasions he passed by his home, but was too busy to enter and rest.

"Few people today know that Yu's health was heavily impacted by the work he carried out. His feet were completely covered with calluses so he limped when he walked. That's why at later sacrificial ceremonies to Yu there is a dance called The Step of Yu," the drama's scriptwriter Feng Shuangbai told the Global Times Saturday.

Director Wang Ge explained that he hoped to humanize the legendary figure.

"For thousands of years, people have seen Yu as a god instead of a human being. I hope to use this drama to show that he is the same as us."

Global Times

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