A moral imperative

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Chinese film director Zhang Yimou will premiere the second season of the stage production, 2047 Apologue, which combines technology and traditional Chinese folk art, at NCPA this June.[Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Director Zhang Yimou continues to explore the relationship between man and machine in the "second season" of his concept stage show, 2047 Apologue. Chen Nan reports.

It has been more than 30 years since Zhang Yimou's directorial debut, Red Sorghum, won him international acclaim, including a Golden Bear for Best Picture at the 38th Berlin International Film Festival in 1988. Since then, he has enjoyed great success with global blockbusters such as House of Flying Daggers and The Great Wall and, more recently, he has just returned from the United States, where Boston University bestowed upon him an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during the venerable institution's 145th Commencement on May 20.

But, when the now-renowned Chinese filmmaker recalls that big break back in 1988, what makes him proud is that the movie was met with almost unanimous praise, especially from the audiences.

"The feedback of the audience is crucial," says the 66-year-old Zhang in Beijing. "I want to communicate with them through my work."

Last June, Zhang was able to enjoy a much closer interaction with his audience when he returned to the world of live performance, premiering his pioneering stage production, 2047 Apologue-a production he calls a "conceptual show"-at the National Center for the Performing Arts.

The show combines the latest technology, such as laser lighting and robots, with traditional Chinese folk artists, including Qiu Jirong, a crossover Peking Opera artist and musician, Wu Tong, who plays the sheng (a traditional Chinese wind instrument).

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