The creative-minds behind Beijing's opening ceremony at the 2008 Olympics aim to wow audiences once again with a new show, called Opera Warriors, which premiers in Canada tonight at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

The show features a mix of modern dance, acrobatics, and martial arts. Theatre experts say the performance has both modern and traditional elements.

"You have those people that are performing authentic Beijing opera movements — the jumps, and the gestures — but in a way that people really understand modern dance," said Steven Siyuan Liu, a film and theatre professor at UBC.

He previewed the show in China and says even those who are not fans of opera will enjoy the performance.

"It's not one of those shows that have long aria's and singing and all that."

Opera Warriors tells the story of three martial artists in 20th century China, following the ups and downs of their career and love life.

Cultural exchange

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Opera Warriors, which was designed by the creative minds behind Beijing's 2008 Olympic opening ceremony, premieres in Canada on January 5 and 6. (Huajin Dance Drama Ensemble)

Liu says Opera Warriors' world tour not only gives the performers a chance to show off their skills, but also to exchange cultural knowledge with others. The team went to Goh Ballet, a youth ballet ensemble in Vancouver, Monday.

"They had a great session with the ballet dancers and had great exchange of different art forms," said Liu.

The inclusion of modern elements is a sign of the times, he added.

"We see this combination of modern theatre and modern dance and being designed by this great team of designer[s] and that really shows where China is right now."

Opera Warriors is showing twice in Vancouver, on January 5th and 6th at 8:00 p.m.at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.

Watch the trailer below:


To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Opera Warriors mixes dance and acrobatics.