Play from Guangzhou's Tianhe district performed in Shanghai Updated: September 21, 2023

An original stage drama entitled Tian Xia-Zhang Kaifeng Zhuan - or The World-Biography of Zhang Kaifeng - was performed on Sept 16 at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in East China's Shanghai.

The play was created by the Tianhe district folk literature and art association - located in the Tianhe district of South China's Guangzhou city. It was adapted from NetEase's online game Tianxia, with Zhang Kaifeng, an NPC at Tianxia 3 that was launched in 2008, as the main character.

It takes the ancient Chinese book Shanhaijing, or The Classic of Mountains and Seas - which is a major source of Chinese mythology - as the background.


A scene from the play at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. [Photo/Information Times]

The play draws its inspiration from classical dance, national folk dance, modern dance and contemporary dance. When it was written, a number of young choreographers were invited to join in the creative process.

"The addition of more young choreographers injected more original power into the work," said Jia Donglin, the play's dance director.

"The integration of traditional martial arts and swordplay into the movement design and dance choreography of the roles in the play lends these traditional arts a new life on the modern stage," Jia added.

Deng Guangyuan, the play's chief director, was enthusiastic. "The play explores more possibilities for the cross-border integration of games and drama," Deng said.

The play debuted at the Guangzhou Opera House in June 2022.