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An ancient art's new stage

2019-02-17 00:00:00 作者:admin 栏目:未知

ThereopeningofanoldtheaterinBeijingmaymarkarevivalforPekingOpera,especiallywithshowsinfusingcontemporaryelementssuchaship-hopandballet.

Thegrey-brickTianLeYuanTheaterinthecapital'sancientQianmenareahasservedasastageforcreativeculturesince1785-andwillreopeninMarch,aftersixyearsofrenovation.PekingOperamasterMeiLanfang(1894-1961)performedthereforfouryears,startingfromage17.ChengYanqiu(1904-58),whosharedthetitleofthefourgreatdanroleswithMei,ShangXiaoyun(1900-76)andXunHuisheng(1900-68),premieredfourofhisclassicPekingOperashowstherefrom1923to1927,includingTheLegendofHongfuandARedMole.

Thefamedartistswereperformersofnandan-thatis,menwhoplayedfemalerolesbecausewomenwerethenforbiddentoappearonstage.

Thetheateralsoproducedoneofthecountry'sfirstfemalePekingOperatroupes,ChongYaShe,in1916.

TianLeYuanwillpresentanewPekingOperashow,LiangXiang,asitsresidentperformance.

TheshowwilldebutattheTianqiaoPerformingArtsCenteronJan18andrunthroughJan20beforemovingtoTianLeYuan.

The5,000-square-meterTianLeYuanTheaterwillalsohostexhibitionsofhistoricalphotosandotherdisplaysaboutPekingOpera.Visitorscandonstagecostumesandmakeup.

TanZhengyan,whobelongstotheseventhgenerationofthedistinguishedTanfamilyinPekingOpera,willopentheshow,playingtheroleofGuanGong,alegendaryandmythicalfigureworshippedbymanyChineseasasymbolofsafetyandwealth.

Thenewshowtellsthestoryofastruggling1930sPekingOperatroupethathassurviveduntiltoday.ClassicPekingOperapiecessuchasFarewellMyConcubineandTheDrunkenConcubinewillmixincontemporaryperformanceartslikehip-hopandballet.

"Iampreparedfordifferentreviews-positiveandnegative,"Tansays.

The39-year-oldstartedlearningtheartformasachildandhasperformedwiththeJingjuTheaterCompanyofBeijingsince2001.JingjureferstoPekingOperainChinese.MembersoftheTanfamily,whichbegantoflourishinPekingOperacirclesinthe18thcentury,areknownforplayinglaosheng(elderlymale)roles.

"East-meets-Weststageproductionshavebeencontroversial,"Tansays.

"ThemostimportantthingtomeistomaintainthecoreofPekingOpera,includingthesinging,themovements,thecostumesandthemakeup."

PekingOperahasbeenstrugglinglikemanytraditionalartsinrecentyears.Artistshaveenjoyedfewerperformanceopportunitiesasthedemandshrinks.Manyperformersworkpart-timejobsorsimplyquit.

"We'veseenarevivalinrecentyears,thankstogovernmentsupport,"Tansays.

"Crossovershowsmayattractmoreaudiences,especiallyyoungpeople."

LiangXiangreferstoamovementinwhichPekingOperaperformersstrikeposes.It'salsotheChinesenameofthecompanyproducingtheshow.

FormerTVhostMaYingyingfoundedthecompany,LuxShineCultureMediaCo,inBeijingfouryearsago.The36-year-oldfellinlovewithPekingOperaafterhostingaTVprogramaboutit.

Shehastriedtogiveitamodernedgebycombiningtheancientartformwithcontemporaryelements,includingfashioncatwalks.

"Wewanttomaketheshowexcitingandrelevanttotoday'syoungpeople,who'veneverwatchedPekingOperabefore,"Masays.

Sheaddsthattheshow'screativeteammembersareintheir20sand30s,includingthedirectorLiuNengyi,whograduatedfromtheCentralAcademyofDrama,andscriptwriterWuHao,whograduatedfromtheNationalAcademyofChineseTheaterArts.

"Ihopethereopeningofthishistoricaltheaterandthenewshowwillenliventhisancientartform,"shesays.

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