Dates: January 10-13, 2019
Stage play The Last Warrior Elephant is a co-production of the Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group and Shanghai Puppet Theatre with HE Nian as the director. The play is the important repertoire for Shanghai Puppet Theatre to present at the 12th China Art Festival.
In November 2018, The Last Warrior Elephant was performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 6th Golden Magnolia Shanghai International Puppet Festival at the Shanghai Oriental Art Centre. Set in the Anti-Japanese War period, the play tells how a teenager, who grows up with a little elephant, lives in harmony and defends the motherland during the war.
The Last Warrior Elephant is a family play full of fun, and “a legend about humanity and the elephant in the war.” The stage play is co-produced by Chinese and foreign teams, which use the latest multimedia technology for overall visual art presentation to reveal the harmonious relationship between man and nature/animals and tell the Chinese story in an international view.
Adapted from SHEN Shixi's popular novel of the same title, the stage play The Last Warrior Elephant is set in Xishuangbanna in China's southwestern Yunnan province during the Anti-Japanese War, where elephants have long been consecrated.
Bo Nong Ding, a Dai orphan, saves the newborn elephant Ga Suo with his companion Kun Ge. Therefore，the boy and the baby elephant develops a mutual trust and profound friendship in the course of domestication. However, the expanding invasion of the Japanese forces poses a huge threat to the Da Luo village on the China's border. Bo Nong Ding finally determines to come to the front line with Ga Suo to combat the enemies and defend their homeland. Now they are not only friends, but also comrades-in-arms.
The story, set in the flames of the war, unfolds with the growth of the child and the baby elephant, conveying a theme of harmony between human beings and elephants. With dramatic ups and downs, lifelike elephant puppets, and alternating light and shadow, the stage play evokes profound sympathy with loyalty and harmony and arouses people's familial and national sentiments peculiar to the Chinese people.
MG Performing Arts Group
MG Performing Arts Group (SMG Live) is a subsidiary business group of SMG. It is an industry leader which links business services such as performing arts, theatre management, artist management, arts education, marketing and investment. SMG Live has presented over 10,000 performances annually over the past six years. In 2012, it was named as a national advanced unit in cultural system reform. In 2013, it was named as one of the 30 best national cultural enterprises. In 2014, it became one the three best performing companies in China.
SMG Live owns or manages 17 professional theatres with a combined total of 12,300 seats between them - 45% of the overall seating capacity in center Shanghai’s theatre Market. Its portfolio of theatres it owns includes Shanghai Majestic Theatre, Shanghai International Dance Center,Shanghai Lyceum Theatre, Shanghai Art Theatre, Shanghai People’s Grand Theatre and ET Space. SMG Live also owns 7 professional theatre companies including Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe, Shanghai Dance Theatre and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center. It has produced over 300 live stage works including many award-winning pieces like the poetic drama Red Clouds In the Horizon and dance theatre Crested Ibis. SMG Live is also one of the leading companies in commercial theater products like musicals and long-running shows. It has successfully produced Chinese versions of the musical Mamma Mia! and Cats; ERA---Time Travel, a multimedia acrobatic fantasy; and immersive theater production Sleep No More, Shanghai. SMG Live’s work also encompasses professional performing arts training centres, performing arts brokerage services, theatrical design centres and ticketing services.
With years of practice with quality projects, SMG Live has gained rich experience and resources in project financing, marketing and sales, theatre management and international copyright cooperation. It aims, by focusing on producing first-class works, combining its resources, being based in Shanghai with nationwide influence, is to become the largest, most influential live performance and entertainment industry platform.
Shanghai Puppet Theatre Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Puppet Theatre was founded on June 1st, 1960. Its mission is to bring fun to children’s life. After 50 years’ development, the Theatre owns a first-class ensemble including playwrights, directors, performers, costume designers, stage designers, and puppet makers. It also owns an exhibition center and a gallery in Ciro’s Plaza, 388 Nanjing Road West, Shanghai.
The Theatre cooperates with the Shanghai Theatre Academy in the establishment of the first undergraduate programme in puppet performance in China, with a systematic scheme to train talent, which lays the foundation for the development of the Theatre.
For decades, the Theatre has created a number of outstanding and popular productions. The repertoire covers an extensive range of subject matters, from ancient myths to modern science fictions, from world-renowned fairy tales to contemporary fables. Shanghai Puppet Theatre's productions include Monkey King Subdues White Bone Demoness,Ne Zha’s Encounter with Tau, The Marvel of Puppetry, Concerto in Spring, The Little Match Girl, Interesting Stories in the Forest, Shadow Play, The Little Mermaid, Mulan, and Nvwa Mends the Heavens. The Theatre has received domestic awards such as “Artistic Brilliance,” “Gold Lion,” and “Gold Magnolia,” and been awarded “Best Traditional Show,” “Best Artistic Creation,” “Poetic Performance,” “Best Visual Effects,” and “Special Gold Spark” at various international puppet festivals.
Shanghai Puppet Theatre is best at rod puppet. Also it stages a variety of shows including shadow puppet, hand puppet, and body puppet. The diversity of its repertoire, the extensive themes it covers, and the modern stage presentation contributed to the unique Shanghai puppetry.
59 Productions is an award-winning team of creative people that makes imaginative work for audiences of all kinds. The company’s designers, writers, directors, architects, animators, visual artists and technologists work together to produce artistic work in a range of disciplines. From architectural projection mapping to exhibition design; from VR experiences to events; from theatrical design to technical consultancy, 59’s team combines art and technology to tell amazing stories.
Led by directors Leo Warner, Mark Grimmer, Lysander Ashton and Richard Slaney, with the company’s New York branch led by Ben Pearcy, 59 are world-leading specialists in design for cultural events, the go-to team for generating creative and technical ideas to realise ambitious artistic projects.
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