The richest beauty comes from a striking, beloved bird as The Boch Center Shubert Theatre debuted the Shanghai Dance Theatre’s ethereal and historical tale, Soaring Wings: Journey of the Crested Ibis in Boston from January 11 and 12. The show is part of China Arts and Entertainment Group’s Image China and has been touring all over the world since 2014. A few of Image China’s featured past performances include The Legend of Mulan, Confucius Dragon Boat Racing, and the Peking Opera. Click here for more information about Boch Center’s upcoming events.
With elements similar to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Soaring Wings is a majestic celebration of nature’s harmony with man and how delicate that relationship can be. From harp-infused, mystical rhythms and horn-infused intensity composed by Guo Sida to the distinct, elegant choreography by Tong Ruirui, Soaring Wings delivers a stunning portrait of love, camaraderie, and what comes of neglect in a tree-lined utopia.
Written by Luo Huaizhen, directed by Ton Ruirui, and starring Zhu Jiejing and Wang Jiajun, Soaring Wings is part love story, part environmental awareness, and part historical account of the Crested Ibis, China’s sacred bird of good fortune, from its first appearance centuries ago to what has become of them today. The simple and beautiful setting under a low hanging, multi-branched tree entangled with a mist covered lake is a vision to behold and prefaces the grace and charm of these spectacular birds as a group of explorers look on. Wearing intricately detailed, lacy costumes accented by a feather plume and dainty red slippers, the dancers move in simultaneous elegance. They joyfully chirp, prance, float, twinkle, and expressively cock their head while outstretching their wide, magnificent wings under streaming, multi-colored lights.
Zhu Jijng and Wang Jiajun possess an instant, sweet fascination with each other as man and bird. Their intimate dance and the radiant joy they exude from each other is a captivating centerpiece of the performance. Divided into three parts, the stark contrast between the warmth and jarring indifference that develops in its characters and the symbolic relevance of a floating, single feather drives this altruistic tale. As visually stunning as its universal message, Soaring Wings: Journey of the Crested Ibis embodies the power of kindness and the importance of harmony in an ever changing world.