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''The Peacock'', A Dance Drama by Yang Liping

Due to overwhelming response, a limited number of tickets in the Stall/Circle ($260-$480) and a limited number of box-seat tickets with restricted view ($160) would be available for sale at the box office of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre from 10am onwards on the day of each of the performances.  Each patron can purchase a maximum of two tickets per transaction while stocks last.

Venue Date & Time Price
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$480, $380, $260, $160
The Peacock, A Dance Drama by Yang Liping Trailer

About the Programme


The dance drama The Peacock is in four parts: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  It is a story about maturation, human nature, living and love as well as the interplay and fusion between life and cosmic forces.  Each character in the dance drama represents different facets of human nature - light and enlightenment, dedication and sacrifice, fear and stubborn greed – which are all common features of Man.  Human weaknesses are revealed time and again in the complex and painful entanglements faced by the characters in the drama, yet in the end, through dedication and love, they find the answer to life in the rotation of the seasons.  This is at once a story about a peacock and more so an allegory for humanity.  An ancient allegory on the surface, it is nonetheless aptly relevant to the vulnerable, conflicting inner soul of us today.  In it we find love and hatred, crime and punishment, infatuation and disorientation, jealousy and vanity, forgiveness and repentance, enlightenment and coming to terms…



Freedom is an inborn quest.  Man tries to break free from cages visible or invisible, but can they escape from the laws of nature?


Spring: Budding life

Wild flowers are budding in the forest.  Nature is quietly waking from its lull.  A peacock comes out in spring and dances an ode to youth, pristine and free.


There is a solo dance by Yang Liping called The Spirit of the Peacock.


Summer: The exuberance of youth

In the forest, rich flora is blooming and celebrating their prime in life.  Our heroine (Yang Liping) enters in her glorious dress and dances to the music of Peacocks in Love.  Life nourished by love blossoms out like the exuberant summer.  But the peacock couple’s happiness is soon marred, when the beautiful dress rouses the jealousy of the crow.  The very image of darkness, the crow descends into the peacock community with the intention of snatching the beautiful female.  The male peacock (Wang Di) fights it for dear life.  The theme of Peacocks in Love reappears, only this time with the tragic tone of separation and death.


Autumn: After maturation is sacrifice

When prosperity has reached its zenith, the next inevitable phase is decline.  Time is a witness to life's joys and sorrows.  The desolation of autumn sets in like life's misery, with the ode of pristine lyricism replaced by struggles for selfish gains and vain glory.


Winter: The calm of nirvana

It is nothingness in the grey sky and stillness on the lake in the frigid cold.  Life dances with the gods in the wind, while the enlightened soul passes calmly from life to death amidst the snow.  It is winter; our heroine expresses her grief for her lover in a slow dance of sorrow.  The peacock spirit, once freely flying in the sky, fell to earth and tasted love and hate, freedom and incarceration, and the ordeal of life and death, and is now finally meeting the gods.  The winter peacock has shed its splendid outfit, as if life has settled back to a state of ordinariness from a stint of affluence and opulence. The pure, pristine state of the Spirit of the Peacock returns.


Running time of each performance is about 1 hour and 50 minutes without intermission.

Audiences are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break in the programme.


Creative Team


Yang Liping (Artistic Director / Chief Choreographer / Lead Dancer)

Yang Liping is a native of the Bai ethnic nationality of Yunnan and developed a passion for dance when she was young.  Although never formally trained in any dance academy, she is naturally gifted and, powered by an unusual imagination, she has become the internationally renowned dance artist of today.  She came into prominence with Spirit of the Peacock, which she choreographed and performed herself, in 1986 and was named one of the ten “Persons of the Year” by Beijing Daily in 1988.  Over the years, Yang has been on many artistic exchange tours to various parts of the world, in a bid to promote and explore dance as an art form.  Her notable works include Two Trees, Fire and A Female-dominant World.  Since 2001, she has dazzled the nation with her song and dance spectaculars Dynamic Yunnan - In Search of Shangri-la, Tibetan Myth and Echoes of Shangri-la, and with an evergreen image that she never ages.

As a choreographer and dancer, Yang has taken her inspiration from folk culture, nature, the earth, and various forms of art.  She stays close to her own soil but, in spirit, she is a born transcendentalist. This has won her the accolades as a “dancer poet” and the “spirit of dance”.  Other than the dancer ego, she is also a collector and bearer of ethnic and folk art. In this regard, she has never stopped in her pursuit and as a result, she has made tremendous contribution to these forms.  Her broad vision and open-mindedness have lent her boundless freedom between East-West cultures and contemporary art.  Her career of forty years has shaped Yang to what she is today – a dancer in celebration of Life, an artist who sees the interrelationships between things and therefore is continuously inspired to create the new.


The following are the milestones in Yang’s artistic career:


The ethnic dance drama, Peacock Princess won a Class One Award for   Performance in Yunnan Province in 1979

The solo dance, Spirit of the Peacock, won a Class One Award for Originality and the First Prize in Performance at the 2nd All China Dance Competition in 1986

The first ever dancer from Mainland China to perform in Taiwan in 1992

Solo dance version of Spirit of the Peacock won the Gold Award at the Dance Classics of the 20th Century in 1994

Participated in the Osaka International Festival, where she was presented the Highest Arts Award by the Osaka International House and was made a Life Member by the Philippine Folk Dance Society in 1997

Taiyangdao (or ‘Sun Island’), a film in which she choreographed and starred, won the Judges’ Prize at the Montreal International Film Festival in 1998

The Artistic Director, Chief Choreographer and star of the ethnic musical spectacular, Dynamic Yunnan - In Search of Shangri-la, with which she won a Gold Award for Dance Poem in 2003

Best Female Lead, Best Choreographer, Best Costume Design and Outstanding Performance at the ‘Lotus Awards’ in 2004

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in 2005

Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of the ethnic song and dance musical Tibetan Myth in 2007

Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of the ethnic song and dance musical Tibetan Myth in 2007

You Bring Charm to the World Award by Phoenix TV in 2011

Participated in the filming of the National Image Building Film Series – Personalities for China, and was named one of the Ten Best Artists by the Ministry of Culture; she also won the first China Arts Award in 2011

2011 Women’s Media Award as a role model for mature women in 2012


Tim, Yip Kam Tim (Art Director / Scenographer ; Costume Designer and Stylist)

Tim Yip is a renowned artist with a multidisciplinary career spanning costume design, visual art, art direction in films and contemporary art, with a special focus on giving interpretations of contemporary Chinese art.  He won the Oscar for Best Art Direction and the British Academy Film Award for Best Costume Designer for his work in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in 2001, which also made him the first Chinese national ever to win these accolades.  Since working on his first film A Better Tomorrow directed by John Woo in 1986, Yip has collaborated with many film directors of international acclaim including John Woo, Ang Lee, Tsai Ming Liang, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Li Shaohong, Chen Kuo-Fu, Chen Kaige and Feng Xiaogang.  Yip has also worked with many renowned Taiwan theatrical groups, such as Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Contemporary Legend Theatre, Han Tang Yue-fu Dance Ensemble, Tai Gu Tales Dance Theater, U Theatre etc.  His artistic concepts have been seen in the Palace Museum in Beijing, Palais de Chaillot in Paris, Festival d’Avignon in France, Opernhaus Graz in Austria etc. with performances that toured China, Austria, France, the US, the UK and Singapore.  His striking costume design and art direction for the film productions Red Cliff and Night Banquet, theatre productions Medea (Taiwan), The Night Banquet and Palace of Eternal Life, and television dramas Palace of Desire and When Oranges Are Ripe have won international attention and approval for their humanism and innovative appeal.


Yip’s efforts to introduce his aesthetic concept of ‘New Orientalism’ have made him an important artist in helping the world understand the beauty of Oriental culture and arts.  His costume exhibition Faces of the Time (2002) was held at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, and then taken on tour to Bourges maison de la culture in France, the Royal Theatre Carre in Holland, and Caixa Forum Madrid in Spain to introduce his concept of beauty in Oriental art to Western audiences.  In 2004, Yip was the art and costume director for the Beijing handover performance at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens.  In 2005, he was invited by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to participate in the China Red Exhibition with a solo installation exhibition.  In 2007, the Beijing Today Art Museum organized his solo art exhibition Illusions of Silence.  In 2010, Yip collaborated with internationally acclaimed theatre director, Robert Wilson, in 1433: The Grand Voyage.  It was followed by a solo exhibition, Summer Holiday, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei In June, the Italian furniture exhibition at the Shanghai Expo, Timeless Time: Form and Spirit in Italian Design, on September 9, and the Timeless Dressing line at a fashion event held jointly by Trends Group and Beijing TV in December the same year.  In 2011, he was the Visual Art Director for DESH, created by Akram Khan, a major star in modern dance from the UK, and his international team.  It won the highly prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.  In late 2012, he did the art direction for the film, Tai Chi O as well as character styling for Feng Xiaogang’s Back to 1942.  In the dance production Peacock, he does the art direction in scenography, visual design and styling.


Gao Chengming (Deputy Chief Choreographer)

Gao Chengming was born in Kunming, Yunnan, in 1956, and is a National Class One Producer.  He is currently Vice-chairman of the Guangdong Provincial Dancers’ Association, a Class One Producer of the Guangdong Arts Research Institute and Head of the Cheng Ming Dance Workshop.  He has choreographed many well-known works including The Butterfly Lovers, Torrents of the River, Ill Wind, An Old Story, The Wujiang Tragedy, The Gold Fan, Sword Finger, Qing-Qing, Who Am I, Guo-Feng, Keeping Watch, Insects Awakening, Swift as the Wind, and several dance dramas.  He is a winner of a Class One Award for Creativity at the Dance Competition of Performing Companies under the Ministry of Culture, a Class One Award for Directing at the 8th Guangdong Arts Festival, a Gold Award for Best Work and another Gold Award for Creativity at the 5th China Lotus Award for Dance.  Gao has toured overseas for artistic exchange, teaching and performance on many occasions.


Performing Group: Yunnan Yang Liping Dance Company




Tickets available from 22 February onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Credit Card Telephone Booking.


Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).


Group Booking Discount: 10% off for every purchase of 4-9 standard tickets, 15% off for 10-19 standard tickets, and 20% off for 20 standard tickets or more.


Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each ticket.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.


Credit Card Telephone Booking     2111 5999

Internet Booking    www.urbtix.hk




Programme Enquiries    2268 7323

Ticketing Enquiries    2734 9009

Credit Card Telephone Booking     2111 5999

Internet Booking    www.urbtix.hk


The contents of this programme do not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The presenter reserves the right to substitute artists and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.


Hong Kong Cultural Centre

10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Enquiries:    2734 2009



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