XI’AN, May 2 (Xinhua) — Wearing ancient costumes and ornaments, young performers weaved silk and danced to cheerful music, attracting tourists’ attention in a leisure park in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
They were acting out the scenes of women making silk clothing depicted in court ladies preparing newly woven silk, a traditional Chinese painting of beauty made by Zhang Xuan in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
The painting freeze-frames three scenes of pounding, sewing and ironing the silk — key processes in producing clothes in ancient times.
It reflects the beauty of costumes and makeup and the prosperous silk-weaving industry in the Tang Dynasty, said Liu Yuanyuan, associate professor with the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts.
Liu said that the labor scenes in the painting were common for women in ancient China, as the newly woven silk, which was hard and yellow, had to be brewed and bleached in boiling water, then hammered with wooden poles before being sewn into clothes.
On top of replicating figures and scenes in court ladies preparing newly woven silk, the production team also incorporated six additional dancers in the performance.
Their costumes are designed on the original fashions of ladies in the painting, with elements of current trends added in ornaments to grace the traditional culture, according to the production team.
The live performance has gone viral online while becoming increasingly popular offline. The topic hashtagged with the show’s name raked in a total of 3.19 million video views on the popular Chinese short-video social media platform Douyin.
“It seems like those beauties in the Tang Dynasty are coming down from the painting,” said one of the top comments.
In recent years, many creative forms have been adopted to inject impetus into ancient paintings and traditional culture.
In one case, a flash mob was organized by over 70 students and teachers at the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, transforming two paintings in the Tang Dynasty into theater performances.
In Shanghai, a micro drama connected palace music with tea culture, aiming to deliver the elegance of the palace tea ceremony.
The drama was inspired by noble ladies in a painting of the Tang Dynasty, said the show author Yao Yuan, adding that he completed the script with interpretations of two vacant seats in the painting and other clues.
On Feb. 26, a dance performance at the Henan Lantern Festival gala went viral online. Blending augmented reality tech, the show presented the audience a visual tour, in which the dancers represented female musicians depicted on Tang tri-colored pottery at a banquet during the Tang Dynasty.
“Thanks to these innovative forms, traditional culture is not only being visualized and liked, but has become the source of cultural product innovation,” Liu added.