November 03 - November 05, 2018
Ellen Stewart Theatre | 66 E 4th Street; 2nd Floor
Saturday at 8:30PM; Sunday at 3PM; Monday at 7PM
Run Time: 70 Minutes
By Visual Expressions
Directed by Hua Hua Zhang
Inspired by a classic Chinese poem, Tian Wen is an experimental puppetry performance featuring living sculpture, stylized movement, and live music. The individual pieces - or dreams - explore the differences in feelings, concerns, and behaviors between East and West that Hua Hua Zhang has observed during her artistic journey in America.
In the piece's magical dreamscape, powerful images abound: beautiful lanterns, a mysterious balloon, a stunning bird that both agitates and inspires, rocks and skeletons that thrillingly come to life. Through these images, many themes are explored, including loneliness, competition, compassion, self-reflection, as well as the balance between love of self and love of other. Taken together, these powerful and evocative dreams grapple with difficult questions we face in modern times.
“[Hua Hua] pulled a vulnerability out of me that I’m not used to experiencing..."
–Bonaly review of White Nights
“Theater, dance, pantomime, and visual art combine to offer a well-calibrated interdisciplinary experience. Hua Hua Zhang tells the coming-of-age story with honesty, openness, and candor indicative of great wisdom and maturity.”
—Rhonda Moore for thINKingDANCE
“Zhang's art is a modern interpretation of puppetry. Her contemporary style blends the essence of East and West and gives every audience a unique feeling.”
–Dan-Yu Tang for Metro Chinese Weekly
Artistic Director, Puppet and Set Designer & Co-writer: Hua Hua Zhang
Production Manager & Stage Manager: Adam Danoff
Composer: Cory Neale
Co-writer: Michael Cocchiarale
Lighting Designer: Federico Restrepo
Cello: Nan-Cheng Chen
Hua Hua Zhang, Adam Danoff, XingXin Liu, David Regan, Travis Draper, Jeanne Lyons, Nai-Ni Chen
About the Artists
Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director Hua Hua Zhang, Visual Expressions is committed to using Asian and Western puppet art to explore universal themes and ideas through visual cross–cultural expression using theatrical performances and educational programs.
It is our mission to broaden our audiences’ and students’ perspectives and open their hearts by sharing, appreciating, and embracing both the many differences and similarities among our cultures.
Hua Hua Zhang graduated from The Beijing Academy of Performing Arts and received many awards for her work in China. She received her MFA degree in Puppet Art from the School of Fine Arts Department at the University of Connecticut. She was featured as a solo performer with "The Gate" for 13 years, performing all around the world.
Find Out More At their website!