Around China: Buddhist drama staged on China’s holy mountain

Shanghai Daily
Sep 20,2014

TAIYUAN, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — A Buddhist drama, Encore Mount Wutai, has staged on Mount Wutai, the well-known Buddhist sanctuary in north China’s Shanxi Province.

The drama, produced at a cost of 630 million yuan, or around 90 million U.S. dollars, made its debut in a theater specially designed for the show on Friday night.

The show lasts for an hour and a half, and tells the story of a common man. He does not understand his mother and when his mother dies, he becomes lost, until a monk gives him some direction.

The story is about understanding– a typical Buddhist line of thinking, said theater director Wang Chaoge.

“This is not just a piece of art, it is an illustration of Buddhist ideas and the benevolence of dharma,” she said.

“In China, Buddhism is not just a faith, it is part of our culture, running in the blood of the Chinese people,” she added.

The drama has received support from the monks of Mount Wutai.

Upon entering Mount Wutai, audiences follow a stainless steel and glass path decorated with lines of sutra.

The theater, in the shape of wind chimes, is designed to hold 1,600 people, and features a revolving stage so the audience is able to see several scenes at the same time as the stage revolves.

“With the lights and echoing music, the stage effect is awesome,” said Zhao Weiwei, one of the audience on the first night.

“The drama tells of the confusions of common people who seek solutions and finally make peace with themselves and see hope. The experience may happen to every one of us. I feel my spirit is cleansed to some extent after the show,” he said.

One of the most sacred Buddhist mountains in China, Mount Wutai is the only one that embraces both Hac and Tibetan Buddhism. It has been listed as a world heritage site since 2009.

The mountain is home to 68 temples of different styles, which date back through seven dynasties.

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