1990 - La Mama, NYC
Costumes: Sylvia Taalsohn
Digitally Sampled Voice: Naomi Tarental
Dian Dong, Hikari Baba, Susan Chia, Chao-Hui Chou, Marcia Plummer, Yoko Yamanaka, Chikako Yamauchi, Paul D. Hays, William Petroni, Osamu Uehara
Rise Of The Phoenix is choreographed by H.T. Chen is based on the court of the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi in China, who seduced and murdered her way to power. Tzu Hsi was the late emperor’s second concubine, and ruled from 1864-1908 as regent for the boy emperor, who was only 5 years old when the Emperor Hsien-Feng passed away. The men in the Forbidden City, China’s capital, were selected from among China’s best scholars to act as minister for the court. However, to insure their loyalty to the Empress and not their own families, they were castrated and turned into eunuchs. The women in the court, who were also selected from China’s best, were either ladies-in-waiting to the Empress, or concubines for the prince. Tzu Hsi’s long rule spanned the bloodiest civil war (the Boxer Rebellion) as well as a series of foreign wars.