I’m Chinese, admittedly a western-raised one. I’m clueless to the story of The Peony Pavillion. I wonder if I ever caught the story as a child, maybe in one of the countless Hong Kong production films that I watched. I do remember plenty of ghost stories, there’s a fascination in ghosts and spirits, I might have seen an interpretation of this?
Anyway, it’s one of the most famous tales in China, their equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. To sum it up – here’s an extract from The Guardian (by Judith Mackrell):
Its story is based on China’s equivalent of Romeo and Juliet: a 16th-century story of passion pitted against impossible odds. In contrast to Shakespeare’s red-blooded narrative, however, Peony Pavilion is told through a rarefied language of colours, symbols and visions. The ballet’s heroine, Liniang, falls in love only in a dream, and the tumultuous effect this has on her…
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