The East is Red
Song and Dance Epic — "The East Is Red"
- China Pictorial 1964.12 p.22
During the celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the song and dance epic The East Is Red, was presented at the Great Hall of the People in Peking.
This is a performance of mass singing and dancing with revolutionary content, national and popular in style, participated in by over 3,000 people. It depicts the revolutionary history of how the Chinese Communist Party led the Chinese people in their heroic struggle for more than 40 years. It is a eulogy of the Chinese revolution and also a eulogy of Mao Tse-tung's thinking. The key episodes of the various stages of the revolution are selected to make this revolutionary epic a miniature history of the Chinese people's struggle for liberation and a true portrayal of various nationalities gaining a new lease of life under the leadership of Chairman Mao.
The performance begins with a magnificent prologue in a choral rendering of the song The East Is Red. Close to 100 girl dancers break from their sunflower pattern into a joyous dance against a background of the rising sun, presenting a vivid spectacle of "the sunflower seeks the rays of the sun; the people's hearts turn towards the Communist Party."
The whole performance of The East Is Red is full of the proletarian spirit of daring to fight, daring to win and uninterrupted revolution, reflecting the Chinese people's heroism in working hard, persisting in struggle and carrying the revolution forward. The birth of the Chinese Communist Party, the surging workers' and peasants' movement, the revolutionary storm of the Autumn Harvest Uprising, the red flag fluttering over the Chingkang Mountains, the glory of the Tsunyi Conference, the hardship of the 25,000-1i Long March, the militant life in the sacred revolutionary base, Yenan, the battle scene of anti-Japanese guerrillas, the raging tide of the anti-hunger, anti-oppression and anticivil war movement waged by the people in the Kuomintang areas, and the great march of millions of troops crossing the Yangtse River - all these scenes depicting the historic struggles before the birth of New China are vividly presented to the audience through impressive songs and dances. The scene of celebrating the birth of New China is recaptured in a series of jubilant dances reflecting the great joy of all China's nationalities after liberation. The songs and dances depicting the Chinese and Korean people fighting side by side against the U.S. aggressors and the emancipation of a million serfs in Tibet record the two great struggles of historic significance waged by the Chinese people after the founding of New China, In the scene, Onward March of Our Motherland, the choruses Socialism Is Good, and We Are Marching on a Great Road, and songs and dances like Workers' Dance, Bumper Harvest Song and The Whole People in Arms, express the Chinese people's indomitable will to rely on themselves, to work with a will, to conquer all difficulties and to carry the revolution through to the end.
In the seventh scene, the newly, composed eulogy - Chairman Mao Is the Sun in Our Hearts! - expresses the respect and love of China's many nationalities for their great leader. A glowing portrait of Chairman Mao is reflected on the backdrop. Over 1,000 members of the chorus, together with actors and actresses on the stage playing roles of workers, peasants and soldiers and people of various nationalities sing from the bottom of their hearts: "Beloved Chairman Mao, the Sun in our hearts!... Following you, we have braved the storm; following you, we have shattered iron walls; following you, we have started down a new road in history; following you, we are going to realize the ideals of Communism .... "
In the grand finale, the mass choir, rendering Workers of All Lands, Unite! People of the World, Unite! sings with the great voice of the people of the world united against imperialism. Revolutionary people of various races and in their own costumes march forward arm in arm on the stage singing, "Helping each other and valiantly marching forward.... We will root out imperialism. . . . "
Each scene brings home to the audience the fact that it was the brilliance of Mao Tse-tung's thinking that lit up the path of the Chinese people's revolutionary struggle for more than 40 years and that the great helmsman of the Chinese revolution is leading the people ever forward from victory to Victory.
The East Is Red was produced amidst the boundless revolutionary enthusiasm of the Chinese people. In its use of revolutionary theme songs which most reflect the spirit of the time, in its creation of many heroic figures in the dances, in its decors which are magnificent, and in its development of the song and dance combination - much loved by the Chinese people - as a means of artistic expression, the performance represents a new, outstanding achievement in rendering the art of song and dance more revolutionary, more national and more popular.
East is Red - Recitation
- China Pictorial 1964.12 p.24
Scene I: DAWN IN THE EAST
In the Mao Tse-tung era, the Chinese people are happy, the land is beautiful.
But how can we forget the sufferings of the past? How can we forget our long march under the guidance of Chairman Mao!
In old China, the earth and sky were gloomy and dark. The people were burdened with misery and misfortune, weighed down by chains and fetters, and all but crushed by the three big mountains. Again and again they cried out, again and again they fought back. But the night seemed unending, as did the road. The night was so long that the crimson dawn seemed slow in spreading.
But there is an end to darkness. The light of dawn breaks. The salvoes of the October Revolution bring us Marxism-Leninism. The great May 4th Movement raises the standard for opposing imperialism and feudalism. The Chinese Communist Party is born! Comrade Mao Tse-tung takes Marxism-Leninism and applies it to the Chinese revolution. Truth illumines the path of the Chinese revolution.
Under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the workers' and peasants' movements are surging high and sweeping forward. A new situation arises in which the Kuomintang and the Communists co-operate. The bugle call for the Northern Expedition is sounded.
Scene 2: THE SPARK THAT SETS THE PRAIRIE AFIRE
Workers, peasants and soldiers march bravely forward. The great revolution is surging high.
Suddenly, dark clouds fill the sky, a hurricane sweeps the earth. Chiang Kai-shek betrays the revolution, a massacre begins. The blood of Chinese Communists and revolutionaries flows on the bund by the Whangpoo River, stains the dykes of the Pearl River and the banks of the Hsiangchiang River. The waters of our rivers and the soil on both sides of the Great Wall are dyed red.
But the people cannot be wiped out, the revolution cannot be suppressed, the Communists cannot be intimidated. "They rise again to their feet, wipe away the blood, bury their fallen comrades and carry on the fight!"
Listen, the roar of guns in the Nanchang Uprising is the first clap of spring thunder. Look, the Autumn Harvest Uprising led by Comrade Mao Tse-tung lights the brightest torch! The storm of armed struggle reverberates far beyond the Yangtse, north and south.
Red flags are flying. A single spark is setting the prairie afire. The revolutionary armed forces of the Nanchang and Autumn Harvest Uprisings meet on the Chingkang Mountains!
Land reform is carried out, Red bases are, being set up one after another. Brilliant, the thought of Mao Tse-tung guides the great revolution.
Scene 3: CROSSING THOUSANDS OF MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS
The revolution marches victoriously on. Red bases flourish. But opportunists lead the revolution down the wrong path. The cause of the people is endangered.
A grave crisis, but the meeting at Tsunyi, like the red rising sun, disperses the heavy fog. Mao, Tse-tung, our great helmsman, turns the ship onto the right course, hoists the sails, steers it past turbulent rapids and guides it victoriously forward!
The Long March is a manifesto. It proclaims to the world that the Red Army is an army of heroes. The Long March is a propaganda force. It announces to the people that the road of the Red Army is their only road to liberation. The Long March is a seeding-machine. It has sown many seeds of revolution which will sprout, leaf, blossom, and bear fruit.
Scene 4: THE WAR AGAINST JAPANESE AGGRESSION
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army victoriously completes its unprecedented 25,000-1i Long March. The Ist, 2nd and 4th Front Armies join forces in the northwest. They raise high the banner of national liberation, inspiring the people to join forces in a movement to resist Japanese aggression and save the country, But the Chiang Kai-shek reactionaries, heedless of the country's crisis, point their guns inward, bent on crushing the Communist Party. They go down on their knees before the Japanese imperialists and hand over large areas of our land. Millions lose their dear ones; millions are forced to abandon their homes! Angry, the people cry out against the Japanese aggressors, take up arms, and resist bravely!
The Yen River rolls on. The Pagoda Hill stands firm and high. Yenan, shrine of the revolution, the people of our whole country look towards you. Like a beacon, you attract tens of thousands who refuse to be slaves. You are the centre of the antiJapanese struggle. You are leading the people to fight until the day of victory.
The Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies battle courageously against the savage onslaughts of the Japanese invaders. Yet the Kuomintang reactionaries blockade the Liberated Areas. They hope to starve the people there, to exhaust them. The army and the people in the Liberated Areas, responding to the call of the Communist Party and Chairman Mao, launch a great production movement. By relying on their own efforts, they overcome all hardships and support the protracted war of resistance.
Scene 5: OVERTHROW THE RULE OF THE CHIANG FAMILY
Through the eight years of the War of Resistance, Chiang Kai-shek hides on Mount Omei. Then, scarcely is the victory won before this traitor unleashes an all-out civil war. In the Kuomintang areas, the people rise to oppose hunger, persecution and civil war. Prison doors cannot stem the angry tide of resistance; the fire hoses of the police cannot extinguish the flames of struggle.
Backed by several million troops, and supported by planes and guns from the U.S. imperialists, Chiang Kai-shek bares his fangs hoping to swallow up the Liberated Areas. But no! The wheels of history cannot be turned back. This is the decisive battle between light and darkness -between two destinies and two futures! The Central Committee of the Communist Party and Chairman Mao sound the clarion call to battle: Down with Chiang Kai-shek! Liberate the whole of China!
Scene 6: THE CHINESE PEOPLE STAND UP
Dear comrades! Do you remember how at dawn when artillery boomed, how at night when blizzards raged, we yearned for the day of victory?
That day has come. Tears of joy fill our eyes, everyone is jubilant; rivers sing and laugh; mountains regain their youth. All are listening, listening, listening to the voice of Chairman Mao which shakes the earth: The People's Republic of China is born! The Chinese people have stood up!
U.S. imperialism is not reconciled to its failure in China or its failure in Asia. With one hand it seizes China's territory Taiwan; with the other it lights the flames of aggressive war in Korea. Listen, the burst of artillery fire resounds across the peninsula! Look, flames rise to the sky on the opposite bank of the Yalu River. Our brothers in Korea are valiantly resisting the enemy attack.
The people of China and Korea are of the same flesh and blood. China and Korea are linked by mountains and rivers. We cannot ignore the threat. We cannot look on with folded arms. The Communist Party and Chairman Mao issue the great call: Resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea, defend our country and our homes, cut off the claws of the invaders!
High are the icy mountains of Tibet, but not high enough to blot out the sun. Swift are the waters of the Yalutsangpo River, but not swift enough to hold back the coming of spring. A million serfs rise to their feet in the sunlight. The ice and snow of a thousand years thaw out in the warmth of spring.
Scene 7: ONWARD MARCH OF OUR MOTHERLAND
The Yellow River rolls on, the Yangtse River surges. They chorus as we sing in praise of our great socialist motherland, splendid and beautiful. Under the bright banner of Mao Tse-tung, all the nationalities of the country, of one heart and mind, persist in struggle and carry out the three great socialist transformations. We are going all out, aiming high, and building socialism by achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results. We must liberate Taiwan! We must continue to advance the socialist revolution!
Scene 8: ONWARD MARCH OF THE WORLD
The five continents are in ferment, the four seas are raging. The West Wind is dying down, the East Wind is rising. Proletarians of the world, unite! Proletarians and oppressed people and nations of the world, unite! Peoples of the world, unite! Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, let us wipe out evil and watch the red sun rise to light up the whole world!