Home » Interpreting the Spirit of Beidahuang: A Review of the Realistic Drama ‘Heaven·Food’

Interpreting the Spirit of Beidahuang: A Review of the Realistic Drama ‘Heaven·Food’

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“Drama ‘Heaven·Food’: a Tribute to Beidahuang Spirit”
By Ge Xin, reporter of China Culture News in Liaoning

The Liaoning People’s Art Theater recently premiered their latest production, the realistic drama “Heaven and Food,” at the Liaoning Grand Theater. This play, following the artistic style of the “Guandong School of Drama,” beautifully interprets the spirit of the Great Northern Wilderness.

Set against the backdrop of the 1950s reclamation of the Great Northern Wilderness, “Heaven and Food” tells the story of soldier Liu Tianshun and his comrades, showcasing the perseverance and fearlessness of the military reclamation people during that unique historical period.

The performance style of the “Guandong School of Acting” is the heart of this production. By focusing on profound psychological experiences and abandoning traditional conceptualization and facial makeup, the play brings to life vivid characters who resonate with audiences.

Director Song Guofeng explained, “Liaoning drama art draws inspiration from Yan’an’s fiery tradition, blending it with Northeastern regional culture and Stanislavski’s realist approach to create a distinctive performance genre. ‘Heaven and Food’ is deeply rooted in life, capturing the essence of the Northeastern region.”

The creative team behind “Heaven·Food” comprises native Liaoning artists, including screenwriter Chen Guofeng, director Song Guofeng, stage designer Wang Jihou, and lighting designer Guan Zhongkui. The cast features actors from different generations, each delivering a stellar performance that brings the struggle of the Beidahuang people to life.

As the drama gains recognition and is included in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s “2023-2025 Stage Art Creation Action Plan,” the team remains dedicated to preserving the spirit of Beidahuang. Through visits to the Beidahuang Museum and interaction with veterans and youth, the creators aim to educate audiences about the challenges faced by those who reclaimed the land.

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“We hope to continue sharing Chinese stories through stage art and connect audiences with the spirit of Beidahuang,” expressed Tong Chunguang, Party Secretary and Director of the Liaoning Children’s Art Theater.

Audience members, like Ms. Yan from Shenyang, have found inspiration and renewed purpose after watching the production. “This drama has deepened my understanding of the Beidahuang spirit and reinforced my beliefs. I believe everyone can find strength and direction through ‘Heaven and Food,'” she shared emotionally.

“Heaven·Food” is not just a theatrical production; it is a powerful tribute to the resilience and determination of the people who tamed the Great Northern Wilderness, reminding us of the enduring spirit of Beidahuang.

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