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China and Myanmar team up for 40-part historical epic

For the first time, China and Myanmar are jointly producing an epic TV series featuring a legendary story dating back to the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907) and linking the two countries.

‘The Dancing Girl from the Pyu Kingdom’, is the tale of a long, adventurous journey a prince in the old kingdom of Myanmar made to China’s then capital, Chang’an, where his kingdom’s famed dance troupe performed for the emperor in 802 AD.

The project is a 40-part epic with a budget of 80 million yuan (US $ 12 million) and producers hope it will boost tourism to China’s south-western neighbour Myanmar in the same way that a Chinese blockbuster movie on Thailand increased tourism to the country by up to 10 percent, according to a Thai government estimate.

Lin Gengxin, a new Chinese TV heartthrob, plays the prince who falls in love with a female thief played by actress Choo Ja-hyun from South Korea.

Although it is not easy to work with a multilingual cast, Yu Rongguang, the Chinese director of the series, said it is good practice: “Our script will be in three languages: Chinese, the Myanmar language and English,” he said.

China Daily reports that filming began in February in Ruili, Yunnan province, one of China’s principal border cities with Myanmar. The cast then moved to Bagan, an ancient city in Myanmar.

The epic series is expected to be shown toward the end of the year.