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Looking China: Flower Drum Opera for the masses


10-19-2017 14:08 BJT

Full coverage: ‘看中国’外国青年影像计划专题

By CCTV.com Panview

Editor's foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation. The program focuses on the young participants’ personal experiences of Chinese culture and encourages them to discover and tell Chinese stories from their own perspectives.

As of the year 2017, students from all over the world were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 12 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of "Craftsmanship·Inheritance·Innovation.”

The short film, The Art of Living, directed by Andrada Neacsu and produced by Vivian Zhang, follows up on the Zhujiabang troupe and their efforts to maintain the rich heritage of Hunan Opera by going on tour, performing the Flower Drum Opera.

The Zhujiabang troupe has about 50-60 relatives who play some role in keeping the Flower Drum Opera alive, but they do so without much funding. They visit rural Hunan farming villages, where they seem popular since actors are expected to interact with audiences.

Stage performers must do rehearsals constantly to master the art of eye movements, body motions and hand gestures to stay in sync with music on stage. But they perform no amazing acrobatics, so anyone with a strong will and passion can learn the art form.

The Hunan Opera may have lost its luster in popularity, but the elders are hoping to teach younger generations of Hunan villagers to learn the craft and they have taught them how to perform in the show, Flower Drum Opera.

There's a beauty in Chinese Opera-styles, including the Hunan-version that appeals to audiences of regular folks. So if you ever visit Hunan, take a peak at the Flower Drum Opera.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )


Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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