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Collection Ceremony: Farewell My Concubine, The Beijing Opera in 3D
Thursday, May 29, 2014
The Presentation Room, Charles E. Young Research Library (11348 YRL), UCLA Library
On Thursday, May 29, 2014, the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library invited the community to participate in a special collection ceremony for Farewell My Concubine, The Beijing Opera 收藏儀式 霸王別姬（京劇）during the U.S. premiere of this 3D/panoramic film. "Farewell My Concubine" has played a new role in the overseas promotion of Beijing Opera art and the background research of globalization. This premiere was recognized by the Chinese diplomatic department as "a major cultural project to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States."
The first Chinese film using native 3D technology to capture the art of Beijing opera, "Farewell My Concubine: The Beijing Opera," starred 74-year-old famous Beijing opera artist Shang Changrong and promising opera actress Shi Yihong. The film was shot as an opera, and combined traditional Chinese culture with modern 3D technology to "create an immersive new experience for the audience." "Farewell My Concubine: The Beijing Opera" is the first of several Beijing operas planned to be filmed in 3D, and it took a Beijing opera theater in Shanghai more than a year to finalize the production.
The play tells the story of Xiang Yu, the self-styled "Hegemon-King of Western Chu" who battled for the unification of China with Liu Bang, the eventual founder of the Han Dynasty. In the play, Xiang Yu is surrounded by Liu Bang's forces and on the verge of total defeat, so he calls forth his horse and begs it to run away for the sake of its own safety. The horse refuses, against his wishes. He then calls for the company of his favorite concubine, Consort Yu. Realizing the dire situation that has befallen them, she begs to die alongside her master, but he strongly refuses this wish. Afterwards, as he is distracted, Yu commits suicide with Xiang Yu's sword.