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China’s first concert drama by a traditional chinese orchestra celebrates diverse cultures

This content is sponsored by Image China: Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage

Do you know what a hobez is? How about an eagle flute or muqam? They are just a few of the fascinating historic instruments that Buddhist monk Xuanzang encountered during his travels from China to India along the legendary Silk Road.

Join the China National Traditional Orchestra (CNTO) for the US premier of Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage, the stunning multimedia concert drama, at the Kennedy Center Opera House January 25th through 27th.

Telling the true-life story of Buddhist monk Xuanzang (602-664) and his 17-year pilgrimage from China to India, the performance showcases the diverse yet connected cultures of the two countries along the Silk Road. The story is brought to life with an 80-piece traditional Chinese Orchestra, 24 featured performers, striking large scale projections and elaborate costumes.

The production blurs boundaries and connects acting with playing musical instruments, vividly telling the story of Xuanzang’s journey to ancient India, while showcasing the past and present of Chinese music. By boldly combining music performances and acting on the same stage, the show integrates organically instrumental music and culture into the plot, showcasing the diversity, inclusiveness, history and rich heritage of Chinese traditional music.

“The year of 2019 happens to be the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. The US premiere of Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage will be of great significance to promote the culture exchange and emotional connection between two countries. I believe that US audiences will be greatly impressed by this landmark production about the history of Chinese national music.” said Xi Qiang, Member of CPPCC/CPC; Secretary, CNTO.

Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage is part of Image China, a high-level cultural exchange program presented by China Arts and Entertainment Group that introduces traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world. The presenter, China Performing Arts Agency, is part of China Arts and Entertainment Group, and is associated with the Chinese Ministry of Culture.