at Sadler's Wells
Featuring 24 live performers with magnificent costumes, an 80 piece traditional Chinese orchestra and breathtaking projections, this spectacular and mystical production of Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage tells a story of Chinese monk Xuanzang (602-664), who travelled the Silk Road across China on a pilgrimage to India, visiting Buddhist holy places and discovering sacred scriptures. As the world's first traditional Chinese musical drama, Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage is epic in scale and themes, combining music from China's Han, Uyghur, Kazak and Tajik ethnic groups amongst others, and featuring exotic instruments such as zither, Chinese harp, dulcimer and eagle flute. It is a celebration of the diverse but connected cultures found along the legendary Silk Road. Xuanzang perseveres to achieve his goal through challenges and reflections on his personal spiritual journey. With a storyline based on Journey to the West, one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature from the 16th century and best known in English-speaking countries in Arthur Waley’s translation Monkey, Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage is a fully-staged multimedia spectacular. With beautiful and intricate costumes and stunning scenography, this show will fire the imagination with its evocative colour and dramatic power. Presented outside China for the first time, Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage is a unique musical journey into the soul and culture of China and the East. The China National Traditional Orchestra (CNTO) is a state-level performing arts institution founded in 1960 and funded by the Ministry of Culture. Members of CNTO – comprising an orchestra of traditional instruments and a chorus – are highly-esteemed musicians both at home and abroad. Surtitles in English.