Going To Space: Farewell, My Concubine - The Movement of the Martyr

Broadway Baby chats to the talent behind Farewell, My Concubine - The Movement of the Martyr, a show that incorporates "martial dance", a fascinating mix of martial arts and modern dance.

The Chinese verse of ‘Gaixia’ recalls the last moment when Xiang Yu expresses his deepest feelings for his land, his beloved concubine and his steed. “The Martyr” is a fictional character to be interpreted through the choreographers use of metaphor.

Tell us about your show

A breakthrough Chinese classic that combines the elements of sword-play, martial arts, opera and contemporary dance that tells the undying love and devotion between Xiang Yu (King of Chu) and his concubine (Yu Ji) as well as towards his land.

The role of “The Martyr” is a breathtaking, metaphorical interpretation of this classic Chinese legend.

Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?

We searched through many locations in Edinburgh and Charles, director of TheSpace, gave us the best advice and service. SpaceTriplex (V38), a unique large black box theatre, is ideal for us as it allows interaction with our audience. It is located at the hub of the festival, where Hill Place meets Nicholson Street.

Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?

Performing at Edinburgh Fringe allows to see and hear an amazing variety of performances, with crowds from all over the world gathering to do one thing: enjoy the arts.

What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?

Farewell, My Concubine-The Movement of the Martyr stylishly pairs aesthetic elements and “martial dance” – the perfect marriage of dynamics, strength and grace. This is something you can’t see anywhere else.

How did you create your show?

The story is based on a classic Chinese legend, taking place during a rebellion to overthrow the Qin Dynasty. Xiang Yu and Yu Ji choose to end their life in a magnificent but tragic way, which we have recreated with inspiration from our choreographer.

The Chinese verse of ‘Gaixia’ recalls the last moment when Xiang Yu expresses his deepest feelings for his land, his beloved concubine and his steed. “The Martyr” is a fictional character to be interpreted through the choreographers use of metaphor.

Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?

Lee Wushu Arts Theatre (Malaysia) was founded in 1998 with a mission to develop Wushu as an art form.

We have strived to create “martial dance”, a blend of dance and martial art aspects, developed professionally with a troupe that has been invited to perform in various venues in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK and many more.

If your show does well in Edinburgh, what do you want to do with it next?

We would love to be invited to different festivals around the world, to spread our message and mission to the world through cultural exchange and art. We are ready for the next big challenge and new milestones.

Production Company: Lee Wushu Arts Theatre

Venue: SpaceTriplex: BIG (Venue 38)

Dates: 24-29th August 2015

Times: 11:20am-12:05pm

Twitter Handle: @Lee_Wushu

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now