Cross Encounters presents: A friendship of life and death

A friendship of life and death is the first ever Chinese Opera physical theatre piece to be presented in Australia. Cross Encounters invites you to experience a dramatic exploration of the bonds of friendship and commitment shown through a unique physical theatre collaboration inspired by a famous ancient Chinese story.

Drawing upon a Ming dynasty story Yang Jiao’ai Lays Down His Life for the Sake of Friendship from our rich heritage, a small ensemble of performers brings to life a journey of companionship and devotion. Come and participate in this bold attempt in an under explored area, which crosses cultural bridges and meeting points in theatre making.

The possibilities and dynamics of the human body and interaction are central to this piece. The performers will use movements and rhythmic relationships to build up the atmosphere and explore the themes through different resonations. The Chinese opera element is highlighted by the presence of the dramaturg and guest vocal artist. Music will play an important part and there will be remarkable cross-cultural presentations between guitar and pipa, creating a visceral experience for the audience. The dynamics of the cross-cultural elements converging toward an unexpected encounter makes it a truly innovative work.

💐This production is supported by Melbourne Fringe Festival. Special thanks to Maxine Zhang.

🌟 And a warm welcome to our guest artist, Rui Chen! 🌟A master o of Kunqu opera, he’s redefining classical Chinese opera on the international stage. Don’t miss this extraordinary event!

Cross Encounters’ guest artist Rui Chen

We hope you enjoy this distinctive cross-cultural journey!

Book your free ticket via
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We’re excited to announce that our current production A friendship of life and death was selected from among numerous applicants to be one of the grant recipients of Melbourne Fringe Festival 2023.

More information will be released soon. Please Keep up to date with more information by following us on our web and social medias.