Premiere New York Premiere
Country of Origin China
Description Raise the Red Lantern marks the Next Wave Festival’s first presentation of a production from mainland China. That in itself is cause for celebration. But what makes this occasion even more remarkable is the synergy behind it: the merging of the highly disciplined classicism of the National Ballet of China with the arresting visual imagery of acclaimed film director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, House of Flying Daggers). Cinematic flourishes—a procession of red lanterns, startling uses of slow motion, beautifully modulated lighting—support the fine dancing; contemporary ballet heightened by elements of ancient folk and classical Chinese forms.
Adapted from the eponymous novella by Su Tong, Raise the Red Lantern tells the tragic tale of a young concubine in 1920s China, sold by her mother into a life further tainted by avarice and suspicion. The movie captivated audiences with its spectacle, unrelenting beauty, and raw emotion. This magnificent production, augmented by four live musicians performing on Western and Chinese instruments, holds fast to the film’s poignancy as it exploits the inherent drama of dance.