The renowned Kunqu Opera, developed under the Ming dynasty, is one of the oldest prevalent forms of Chinese Opera. It evolved from the Kunshan melody and dominated Chinese theatre from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The opera, characterized by its dynamic structure and melody, combines song and recital as well as a complex system of choreographic techniques, acrobatics and symbolic gestures. Often cited as the “mother” of a hundred opera forms (including the Peking opera), Kunqu was recognised as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001.
The Kunqu Opera will be performing their widely acclaimed play, the Peony Pavillion, which explores the themes of love, life, death and forgiveness. It flits between the realm of dreams and reality and includes song and recital as well as a complex system of choreographic techniques, acrobatics and symbolic gestures.