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Appendix J - Other Genres and Troupes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2023

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Summary

chuanju 川劇 is a Sichuan xiqu genre of considerable antiquity, sharing some repertoire with kunqu through borrowing in both directions. It incorporates five different musical systems, one of which is kunqu.

errenzhuan 二人轉 is a genre from northeastern China, literally meaning two people (erren 二人) telling stories by performing different roles (zhuan 轉). First recorded in the mid-twentieth century, it has historically been a relatively informal performance genre (Haili Ma 2019b). However, troupes have also developed larger and more formal productions, such as the Zhu Maichen play discussed by Zhang Jiqing in Lecture 3.

Frontline Song and Dance Troupe (Qianxian gewutuan 前綫歌舞團) was a Nanjing-based troupe belonging to the People's Liberation Army, founded in 1955 and disbanded as part of the restructuring of military performance troupes in 2016.

huaiju 淮劇 is a genre that developed in the mid-nineteenth century, popular in northern Jiangsu and among migrants from that region to Shanghai. Perhaps due to its relatively recent origin, it has proven receptive to influences from other genres and open to modernization (Wenwei Du 2012).

huaju 話劇 is a modern spoken drama in China, derived from Western and Japanese models in the early twentieth century. It has a complex, sometimes antagonistic, but often productive relationship with xiqu.

jingju 京劇, formerly also known as jingxi 京戲 and “national opera” (guoju 國劇), is frequently referred to as “Peking opera” or “Beijing opera” in English. It is the best-known and most-studied genre of xiqu, and also the genre with the closest relationship to kunqu. When it overtook kunqu as a court genre in the nineteenth century, it adopted many of its elements and some of its music (Marjory Liu 1974, 64). In the early twentieth century, kunqu repertoire was kept alive to a substantial degree because certain scenes were kept in repertoire by jingju actors, notably Mei Lanfang. Even after 1949, the institutional separation was incomplete, with both Jiangsu and Shanghai troupes being historically connected to jingju companies. Kunqu actors training in martial scenes were and are also often trained by jingju performers, and major figures such as Yu Zhenfei and Yan Huizhu were equally if not more famous for their jingju work.

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Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2022

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