The musical dance epic Road to Revival premiered at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 20. The event was a part of ongoing celebrations commemorating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Representatives of workers, farmers, urban dwellers and migrant workers in the capital city marveled at the performance with loud applause.
The performance was the third epic gala to celebrate the National Day, following East Is Red that debuted in 1964, and Song of Chinese Revolution that was first performed in 1984.
The show, which consists of a prelude and five acts, chronicles the Chinese national struggle for independence and development beginning in 1840 when British imperialists waged the Opium War against China.
The prelude, My Homeland, depicts the peaceful lives of Chinese people. Act One, Tribute to Our Land, focuses on the history between 1840 and 1921, the year the Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded. Act Two, Elegy to Those Who Shed Their Blood, goes on to recount the CPC-led revolution that created the New China.
Meanwhile, Act Three, Portrait of the Pioneers highlights Chinese people's efforts to rebuild their country in the first three decades after the founding of the New China in 1949.
Act Four, The Song to Reform and Opening Up showcases the achievements China has made since it adopted its reform and opening-up policy in 1978. And the final act, Ode to China, offers a vivid picture of today's China.
Zhang Jigang, Chief Director of the epic event, said it took the production team almost a year to make the 2.5-hour show—involving 3,200 performers—a success.
Zhang was pleased with the results. Since October last year, he noted, the cast have "modified the programs repeatedly and rehearsed hard."