China's Legend of the Sun shines on Denver this weekend

The China Nanning Art Theatre is bringing Legend of the Sun to the Buell Theatre this weekend -- for one of only three U.S. stops this tour. The show is an adaptation of a folk story told by the Zhuang people in the Chinese province of Guangxi. The tale of a mother's journey to the sun in search of a better life for her child is told through detailed costumes and hand-painted sets, intricate dances and elaborate music.

"There isn't a lot of talking in this show, so you don't have to speak Chinese to enjoy it," says Annie Guo, communications coordinator for Legend of the Sun. And even without verbal explanations, the performance will serve as a way for Denver to learn more about Chinese culture.

The Nanning Art Theatre, an award-winning troupe based in Guangxi, is putting on the show. Dozens of dancers will be accompanied by the combined sounds of Western orchestral instrumentation and traditional handmade Chinese flutes, fiddles and drums.

Denver was chosen as one of the only American stops -- the others are Chicago and Los Angeles -- for this Legend of the Sun tour because of the Chinese consulate of Chicago's relationship with Mimi Feng, president of Denver's Chinese American Association and publisher of the Chinese American Post. And if the show is successful here, Guo says, it will increase the chance of Colorado hosting more special cultural events from China.

Legend of the Sun will be presented at 7 p.m. June 16 and June 17 at the Buell Theatre, 1101 13th Stree. Tickets are $39 to $120, with a two-for-one ticket special available atticketswest.com by entering the code "LEGENDB1G1". For more information, visit the traveling show's website.

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