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Showcase 2012: Legends

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Published on Apr 16, 2012

Choreographed by: Andrew Shim, Faith Villanueva, Kara Li, Lauren Lee, Simon Ho, Stefanie Chen, Sydney Jiang, Tria Smothers

Performed by: Alex Zhu, Alice Ji, Alice Zhang, Amy Flis, Amy Lin,
Andrew Shim, Anna Qiu, Audrey Hu, Chandra Swanson, Cynthia Wang, Dayvid Le, Faith Villanueva, Gene Eng, Gina Au, Jackie Sun, Jeanette Du, Jenny Hu, Jenny Su, Jie Wang, Kara Li, Katie Vo, Lauren Lee, Linda Li, Melody Chan, Mengya Wu, Mengyou Wu, Phil Lin, Rebecca Xu, Remi Sun, Selina Chen, Simon Ho, Stefanie Chen, Sue Liu, Susan Wang,
Sydney Jiang, Teresa Zhang, Tianyu Shi, Tria Smothers, Tyler Bray,
Victor Shih, Wendy Xiao

In our finale performance tonight, Duke Chinese Dance presents "Legends", a collection of four dance vignettes featuring different stories and myths. Through these short dances, we hope to bring to life the diversity and vitality of China's cultural history.

The Yi legend of Ashima and Ahei: The Yi people of China tell a story of a girl as beautiful as gold and a strong, warm-hearted, kind, clever, honest, and brave man from the mountains. Ashima, the heroine of the epic, epitomizes the finest qualities of the Yi people: diligence, kindness, honesty and a love of life. During the course of the story, Ahei, the hero, braves the elements, three tigers, and a singing contest to be with his one and only love.

Tale of the Andai Dance: On the Horqin Grassland on Mongolia, there once lived a father and his sick daughter, who was stricken with an unknown disease. Helplessly, the father sang a mournful song to express his sadness, which drew the curiosity of nearby villagers. Theycouldn't help but shed tears at this sight and joined the old man in his song and dance. To everyone's surprise, the daughter quietly rose, cured of her illness. This dance we bring you tonight is inspired by this legend; an Andai dance with silk scarves that carries deep religious and social significance for the Mongolian ethnic group in China.

The Fragrant Maidens: The Fragrant Maidens tells the story of a young maiden from the Xinjiang region of Western China that was courted incessantly by the Qianlong Emperor. It's said that she had a beautiful, alluring scent that the Qianlong Emperor fell in love with. The Qianlong Emperor did everything in his power to make her fall for him, even going as far as building her an oasis and bazaar outside her windows. The young maiden at first refused his advances, but she eventually relented and came to love him as well.

The Flying Aspara: In the Dunhuang Caves live paintings of beautiful maidens called Apsara, female spirits of the clouds and waters in Buddhist mythology. They are youthful and elegant, and superb at the art of dancing. This is the dance of the Apsara.

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