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Modern Beijing opera
http://english.dbw.cn銆€銆€ 2009-08-25 09:24:22
 
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    During the second half of the 20th century, Beijing opera witnessed a steady decline in audience numbers. This has been attributed both to a decrease in performance quality and an inability of the traditional opera form to capture modern life.Furthermore, the archaic language of Beijing opera required productions to utilize electronic subtitles, which hampered the development of the form. The influence of Western culture has also left the younger generations impatient with the slow pacing of Beijing opera.In response, Beijing opera began to see reform starting in the 1980s. Such reforms have taken the form of creating a school of performance theory to increase performance quality, utilizing modern elements to attract new audiences, and performing new plays outside of the traditional canon. However, these reforms have been hampered by both a lack of funding and a sensitive political climate that makes the performance of new plays difficult.

    In addition to more formal reform measures, Beijing opera troupes during the 1980s also adopted more unofficial changes. Some of those seen in traditional works have been called "technique for technique's sake". This has included the use of extended high pitch sequences by female Dan, and the addition of lengthier movement sections and percussion sequences to traditional works. Such changes have generally met with disdain from Beijing opera performers, who see them as ploys to gain immediate audience appeal. Plays with repetitive sequences have also been shortened to hold audience interest. New works have naturally experienced a greater freedom to experiment. Regional, popular, and foreign techniques have been adopted, including Western style makeup and beards and new face paint designs for Jing characters.The spirit of reform continued during the 1990s. To survive in an increasingly open market, troupes like the Shanghai Beijing opera Company needed to bring traditional Beijing opera to new audiences. To do this, they have offered an increasing number of free performances in public places.

    There has also been a general feeling of a shift in the creative attribution of Beijing opera works. The performer has traditionally played a large role in the scripting and staging of Beijing opera works. However, perhaps following the lead of the West, Beijing opera in recent decades has shifted to a more director and playwright centered model. Performers have striven to introduce innovation in their work while heeding the call for reform from this new upper level of Beijing opera producers.

 

Author锛? 銆€銆€銆€Source锛? 銆€銆€銆€ Editor锛? Yang Fan
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