The variety show, “A Wondrous Landscape of Qingming – Adventures on Qingming Festival 2022”, produced by HNTV, recreates the gathering of literati in the Song dynasty. The audience are guaranteed a visual feast on the beautiful mountains and rivers in springtime, while the show gives new meaning to this festive season.
“Missing My Beloved on Qingming Festival”
“Missing My Beloved on Qingming Festival” combines elements from pingtan (Chinese folk art part of the Chinese narrative musical tradition and intangible cultural heritage) and Kunqu Opera to recreate the farewell scene of talented scholars and beautiful lasses. In this lyrical prose, pingtan artists intonate melancholic romances in a garden with a touch of nostalgia.
Song: “Missing My Hometown on Qingming Festival”
The song “Missing My Hometown on Qingming Festival” expresses the eagerness of migrants to return home, resonating with the night drinking scene of artists SU Shi and MI Fu.
In “Missing My Hometown on Qingming Festival”, a song by LI Yugang, the lyrics evoke nostalgia through the prism of Zhuangzi’s “Essay on Seeing Things As Equal”. It is combined with real-life countryside landscapes to highlight Chinese family traditions and heritage inheritance.
Dance: “Petals Dance in the Gust”
As the most valiant poet and the most poetic general of the Southern Song dynasty, XIN Qiji put his emotions into writing and fought enemies on horseback. Known for his passionate poetry, he was dubbed “a heroic poet”.
The dance pays homage to Xin Qiji’s poetry, interweaving the three stages of his life – youth, middle age and twilight years – to capture the ups and downs of his fate and his profound concern for his country and people.
Dance: “The Blue Birds Sing for Spring”
With its lustrous color and lightweight form, the blue bird wan auspicious and divine creature in Chinese mythology, and was regarded by posterity as a messenger of good tidings. In his poem “To the Tune of Silk-Washing Stream”, Southern Tang emperor LI Jing wrote, “Blue birds bring no news from beyond the cloud; in vain the lilac blossoms knot my sorrow in the rain.” LI Shangyin, a Chinese poet and politician of the late Tang dynasty, also versified the feathered creature, “To the three fairy hills it is not a long way. Would the blue bird oft fly to see her on their height?”
Inspired by the tale of the blue bird, Chinese artist YANG Wu choreographed this dance by reproducing the mystical creature taking to the sky and bringing forth a vibrant spring scene.
Song: “Cold Food Festival”
By capturing the quintessence of Qingming folk customs, the show highlights some of the gems of Chinese food, such as qingtuan (green dumplings made of glutinous rice and Chinese mugwort or barley grass), qingmingguo (a variant of qingtuan) and sangza (deep-fried noodles in a twisted pyramid shape). The Chinese people have placed their prayers and wishes in these delicacies and endowed them with the cultural meaning of their times. Such a strong interconnection between culture and diet has been perpetuated and passed on in many ways from generation to generation.
Dance: “A Journey of Music”
“A Journey of Music” illustrates the busy farming scene during the Qingming season.