Sunday, March 22, 2009
I've written about this dance before - YuJi, the beloved concubine of Xiang Yu, King of Chu (232 - 202 BC), knows that there's no way they can win the battle, surrounded as they are by Liu Bang's forces. It's such a heroic act of love that she kills herself with his sword, but the suffering of her lord must have been complete upon losing her. So many stories like these have become legends in their own right, and it's fascinating to study them.
My favorite segment of this dance is when YuJi fondly recalls serving her lord tea, in happier times. Portraying her in this moment was a joy and also difficult - her love and devotion to her king is absolute, and every movement and expression must convey this to the audience. I am alone onstage, but I hope that everyone could see that he was right there with YuJi, in her heart. This photo, taken during one of my performances, is where she hears Liu Bang's troops approaching; fear overtakes her.