Unique show to showcase Peking Opera technique in a new light
2018-08-31 09:41:00

Shi Yihong performs in the classic Peking Opera piece Jin Yunu, a masterpiece by Xun Huisheng.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The 200-year-old Peking Opera is an inalienable part of China's culture. And of all the techniques, types and varieties, nandan is a key part of the art.

The practice of nandan began at a time when women were not permitted to take to the stage.

In the first half of the 20th century nandan performances were at its height, and the four Peking Opera masters, Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), Shang Xiaoyun (1900-1976), Cheng Yanqiu (1904-1958) and Xun Huisheng (1900-1968), who have been called the four great nandan masters, established the four dan styles that took their family names.

On May 1, a Peking Opera performer from Shanghai Peking Opera Company, Shi Yihong, made a bold move to bring together the classic repertoires of the four great nandan masters in one show at the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Each piece was about 50 minutes, with a 20-minute break in between.

Over Sept 22-23, the Shanghai-based artist will bring the show to Beijing, performing at the National Center for the Performing Arts.

On the first day, she will perform The Story of Su San using the Mei style and Wang Zhaojun using the Shang style, followed by Jin Yunu in the Xun style and A Young Woman's Dream in the Cheng style.

The four female roles are of different ages and come from different backgrounds.

For example, Wang Zhaojun is a famous ancient Chinese beauty who volunteers to marry a ruler of a Hun tribe in exchange for friendly relations with the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).

Source: Xinhua Editor: Hiram