China’s classic dance sensation The Legend of Dunhuang will make its Australian debut at Gold Coast’s The Star on Friday 28 to Saturday 29 September.

Audiences will be taken on a journey back in time to experience the artistic and culturally significant piece of China’s history. The blend of classical Chinese and modern dance has been produced by the famous Gansu Dance Troupe, with the performance being renowned for its detailed backdrops of breathtaking sceneries, Buddhist art and colourful costumes used to capture the tale of friendship, humanity and harmony.

Set in Dunhuang, a city in North West China’s Gansu Province during the Tang dynasty, the dance acts as a moving account of Dunhuang’s history as the viewer sashays between the ancient and modern worlds. Gansu Dance Troupe’s director Lu Jinlong says the dance classic explores the international relationships of ancient China developed through the Silk Road where thousands of towering Buddha statues adorn the Sanwei Mountain and intricately detailed murals cover the walls of the Mogao Caves. “Dunhuang as a city is a sort of bridge that connects the East and West and The Legend of Dunhuang is like a museum of the Dunhuang culture,” says Mr Jinlong. “The beautiful poses in the paintings are the inspiration for the choreographers and this combined with the contemporary costume design style creates a mix of the ancient and modern worlds.”

Inspired by the traditional culture of Dunhuang with subtle contemporary elements, the classic Chinese dance story follows a wealthy Persian merchant Yunus who becomes lost in a swirling dust storm in the middle of the Gobi Desert. He is rescued by the beautiful Yingniang and her father Shenbi Zang, a frescoes painter. The production was revitalised for its inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in turn celebrates the magnificent cultural splendours, presenting ancient China to its modern audiences with a new flair.

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