Thank you to everyone who supported the 2010 production of QiXi! Please visit our Support us page and donate so that we can make next year’s production even better. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list for updates about other CFAS events including next year’s production.
QiXi: A Chinese Love Story is a dramatic reenactment of the story of Niulang(牛郎) and Zhinu(織女) – the cowherd and celestial weaver princess, whose forbidden love caused the creation of the Milky Way.
In the summer of 2009, the Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS) was invited by Millennium Park to present a site-specific spectacle in four acts in honor of the 7th Eve Festival, Qi Xi(七夕 pronounced “Chee Shee”), also referred to as “Chinese Valentine’s Day,” which is held annually on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.
The event begins with a colorful procession of lion dancers, musicians, ribbon
dancers, and all other performers who move between sites throughout the park between
acts. Millennium Park was simply a perfect backdrop for this story. Our story opens at Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, representing the Heavenly Court. At the northern end of the Park, Wrigley Square fountain basin serves as the sacred pond where the cowherd and weaver princess meet while the two Towers of the Crown Fountain at the southern end of the park dramatically enhance the separation of the two lovers. The final scene takes place back at the Cloud Gate, again representing the Heavenly Court.
The QiXi production is a complete Chinese fine arts spectacle. Chinese opera singers play the roles of the Jade Emperor and Empress while traditional dancers star as the Cowherd, Weaver Princess, and other members of the Heavenly Court. Martial artists act as both soldiers sent from Heaven to retrieve the Weaver Princess and as the Milky Way. Musicians both Eastern and Western are on hand to play parts of the soundtrack. In the final act, all performers return to Cloud Gate for a spectacular finale where the smallest child dancers form a magpie bridge for the lovers to reunite.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
A total of 200 performers from 7 different performing arts groups collaborated with the Chinese Fine Arts Society to produce this event. Nina Chen, the Chinese Fine Arts Society Artistic Director, adapted the story and coordinated the collaboration. Choreography was provided by Jin Qiu Yue.
Performing groups in 2010 included: All Star Kung Fu, Championship Martial Arts, Chicago Chinese Cultural Center’s Lion Dancers,Little Star Dance Troupe, Desiree Ruhstrat Violin Studio, Skyland Chinese Opera Troupe
COLLABORATING WITH THE ADLER PLANETARIUM
For the 2010 reprisal, CFAS is pleased to partner on this project with the Adler Planetarium, who hosted a special topic mini-exhibition of their largest Chinese celestial chart throughout the summer in anticipation of the spectacle performance. A presentation about the connection between the Qi Xi myth and astronomy took place at 1:30 PM on August 15 at the Adler (1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago) and included performance excerpts.
Download a press release about QiXi and the Adler Partnership.