Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mime Bizot excited about living dream with “nan guan” dancer 20 years after reading “Peony Pavilion”

By Nancy T. Lu
Imagine exquisite “nan guan (southern pipe)” music playing on the stage. “Nan guan” dancer reprising the classic opera role of an official’s daughter Tu Li-niang appears and not long after, so does a French mime cast as dream lover and scholar Liu Meng-mei. Romance from the Kun opera “The Peony Pavilion” unfolds dramatically without words like a dream

Philippe Bizot, a French mime very excited about collaborating once more with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra although with a big difference, revealed that he first read a French edition of Tang Hsien-tsu’s “The Peony Pavilion” about 20 years ago and became totally fascinated then with the love story.

“Little did I know at that time that I would be living my dream today,” he said while showing a look of contentment. “A full-length production of ‘The Peony Pavilion,’ possibly in two parts or even more, is what I would like to work on next.”

At least a week of close interaction with “nan guan” performer Cheng Hsin-i is paving the way for the awaited actual performance at the Zhong Shan Hall in Taipei at 7:30 p.m. on April 24.

Chung Yiu-kwong, the director of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra (TCO) and the featured conductor, said during a rehearsal of the exquisite “nan guan” music: “This concert program is in keeping with our goal of showing the diversity of the orchestra.”

“Mime as personified by Pierrot with a tear in his eye is all about emotions,” said Bizot, making a comeback after working with performers with challenged hearing during the Taipei Deaflympics. “And the emotions of mime are universal.”

“I have always performed in silence,” pointed out Bizot. “But I now do mime to ‘nan guan’ music. I listen closely. I love it when the notes fade so beautifully into a whisper.”

The “Floating Musical Notes” program will also feature sheng player Kuo Hsiu-jung, erhu artist Yang Xue and violinist Tu Ching-yun.

Yang Xue will be the soloist during the performance of He Zhan-ho and Chen Gang’s “Butterfly Lovers Concerto for Erhu and Chinese Orchestra.” Sheng player Kuo Ksiu-jung will perform Qian Zhao-xi’s “Tian Mountain Rhapsody for Sheng and Orchestra.” Tu Ching-yun will play the violin solo part in Ravel’s “Tzigane” (arranged by Qu Chun-quan).

For tickets to “Floating Musical Notes,” call tel. 02-33939888

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