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Er Ren Zhuan is an art form of local song and dance performances that originated in the rural areas of Northeast China. But it's better known to the rest of China thanks to comedian Zhao Benshan who brought Er Ren Zhuan shows to the stage of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala.
Over the years, Er Ren Zhuan has evolved from an earthy art form entertaining local villagers to large audiences across China with various educational backgrounds.
Er Ren Zhuan dates back more than three hundred years. The early form of Er Ren Zhuan was the nighttime singing of ballads and dancing Yang Ge, a dance form celebrating bumper crops. Usually, Er Ren Zhuan is performed by a comedy duo. Folded fans and red square handkerchiefs are a prominent feature in the performances.
There's a saying that translates something like "I'd rather skip a meal than miss an Er Ren Zhuan show." It fully reflects the popularity of Er Ren Zhuan among the people in Northeast China.
|Er Ren Zhuan is an art form of local song and dance performances that originated |
in the rural areas of Northeast China.
Over the years Er Ren Zhuan has gone through systematic development. Performers have incorporated more innovative ideas into the traditional art form. And beautiful stage designs and props are now used to satisfy a larger crowd.
And the result is evident. The piece called "Tale of the White Serpent" might serve as a good example. Audiences not only enjoy its flowing arias, but also the Kung Fu and ballet segments that are fused seamlessly into the show.
Dong Mingzhu, Er Ren Zhuan performer, said, "We've changed the tune slightly, and added new arias. We've done a lot to improve the piece, like the make-up, the costumes, and the stage design and your mood, to ensure everything is matched in a perfect way."
And the younger generation of Er Ren Zhuan performers is injecting new power and vigor into the industry. Their performances feature elements inspired by other genres of performing arts, such as acrobatics, operas, and even rap singing and contemporary dance.
Li Yunjie, director of Art Troupe "Wind From Northeast", said, "I will say that Er Ren Zhuan is just like a hot pot where you can add any ingredient you like into the pot. Be it Peking Opera, or pop songs or short skits, our performers will try anything they like on stage and adapt them to something of their own."
Today Er Ren Zhuan is no longer regarded an art form for undereducated people only. It has now reached the width and length of China, enjoying continuing improvement in terms of comprehensive artistic quality and winning a solid fan base of various backgrounds.