Zhejiang Drama Troupe performed a stage paly, A Date with XU Zhimo, about the love story of XU, an early 20th-century romantic Chinese poet, at the Auditorium in East Campus. Despite the drizzly weather, many came to enjoy the poetic vibes.
On the stage, with beautiful lighting and backdrop, a few young people, sometimes seriously, sometimes humorously, read XU's poems and performed his love story.
The cast photo of A Date with XU Zhimo. Image by Art Center, Academic Affairs Office.
The first act started with two witty street interviews: "Do you know XU Zhimo?" and "'Softly I am leaving', can you say the next line?" The audience expressed their views regarding the poet.
Accompanied by the poetry reading I Have a Love Affair, XU's arranged marriage to ZHANG Youyi, and later the meeting and fall-in-love with LIN Huiyin, the first female architect in modern China, were told vividly.
In the second act, the love affair between XU and LU Xiaoman, a beloved cultural figure, including their first meeting, their fall-in-love, and their brave resistance against feudal society to get married were shown.
The final act described the distress of XU and LU's post-marriage life. In November 1928, XU wrote down his most famous poem Taking Leave of Cambridge Again–"Softly I am leaving, / Just as softly as I came; / I softly wave goodbye / To the clouds in the western sky."
"Fare thee well! Fare thee well! / In that farewell grows her sweet sorrow– / Sayonara!" With the touching poetry reading, the performance came to an end and the audience broke into a stormy applause.
One still during the play. Image by Art Center, Academic Affairs Office.
The audience were fully immersed in the story and their minds cannot help going with the storyline. XU's classic poems and his correspondence with LU and LIN delineated a pure idealist, who was longing for love, freedom and beauty.
As director LI Bonan said, "I want to show the poetic life of this talented man through spiritual communication between his poems and audience's heart."
Students in the audience had learnt Taking Leave of Cambridge Again before in their high school textbook, and now they felt they were reliving the poet's life.
"The poem can be so vivid," LI, a student in the audience, exclaimed after watching the performance.
In recent years, the University of Science and Technology of China has attached great importance to the culture and art education of students and has continuously introduced high-level and high-quality performances, which bring teachers and students a unique artistic feast and create a rich campus art atmosphere.
(Writen by DUAN Qingrong, edited bu HU Dongyin, USTC News Center)