Confucius: Review, Pics, Video


The strength of Confucius, a 90-minute dance piece featuring 60 performers from the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, is not found in its efforts to present Confucian philosophy and biography, nor even Chinese history and culture, none of which is especially illuminating. The show’s strength lies in its visual splendor and gymnastic choreography.

Making its American debut this week at Lincoln Center , the piece premiered in Beijing in 2013, conceived by Kong Dexin, its elegant 34-year-old director and choreographer. One could argue she was born to do this show. Ms. Kong is a direct descendant (a “77th generation descendant”) of Confucius (in Chinese known as Kong Zi, or Master Kong), the teacher and philosopher who lived 2,500 years ago.

Full review at DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Liu Haidong to see it enlarged.


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

3 thoughts on “Confucius: Review, Pics, Video

    1. To answer your question, the production makes it very clear in myriad ways that they are trying to present Chinese history. I’m the one calling it a dance piece. The producers call it a “dance drama.”
      Here is a caption in the show as an example of its history lessons: “In the chaotic time, the Lord of the State was muddle-headed and drowning in the company of beautiful women. The Lord asked Confucius how to rule the State but then ignored his suggestions. The officials, crafty and fawning, knew only how to conspire against each other.”
      I can’t even begin to understand the thinking behind your second sentence, which in a mere six words manages to be ignorant, inaccurate, gratuitously insulting, silly and misspelled.

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