Cultural Exchange


International Masters Collaboration Series (2019-now)

Photo by:An Rong Xu。

Chen Shi-Zheng

Born in China, Chen Shi-Zheng is a New York based opera and film director, and the first Asian American drama artist to receive the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. His directed works span the fields of music, drama, dance and film. They also transcend the national border consciousness in culture and contribute to the diversification of art. He has been praised by Western critics as a “genius and master.” He has pioneered a cross-cultural and multidisciplinary form of drama, working with world-class opera houses and festivals to create more than 30 works. His most famous works include the landmark 20-hour Kunqu Opera "Peony Pavilion,” which has been called "one of the most important cultural events of the 20th century" and which promotes Kunqu Opera as "the world's intangible cultural heritage."

Poster courtesy of The Shed.

Musical Drama ‘Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise’

From June 22nd to July 21st, 2019, the new musical project "Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise” held its world premiere at The Shed Art Center in New York. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, with the honorary support of the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation (BCAF), “Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise” is a futuristic kung fu musical that was co-conceived by the Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng and the "Kung Fu Panda” film screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. The musical is the result of global cooperation by a professional team, featuring songs created by the Australian musician Sia, original production design concept by Hong Kong artist Tim Yip, choreography by British choreographer Akram Khan, and martial arts choreography by the Hong Kong master Yuen Woo-Ping. This musical is a key project of the BCAF 2019 International Masters Collaboration Series, and BCAF will support the future cooperation of the project in China.

"Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise" tells a magical story about the extension of human life in Flushing, a Chinese community in New York. The play is inspired by the ancient symbolism of Chinese dragons and phoenixes. When they are combined, they create a pure and powerful yin and yang energy. This work is a modern myth about life, revenge, resurrection and transcendence. The show combines The Shed's incredible architectural design and stage technology to create a fascinating presentation of future life through ritualized martial arts, dance, original songs, amazing costumes and spectacular visuals. In this original work, a series of wonderful martial arts movements designed for the high and flexible spaces of the McCourt Theatre will be displayed in front of, around, and even above the audience.