The Marvelous Tour of Lantern Festival 2022 Henan TV

 

Wu Opera is also known as Jinhua Opera. It is the second major theatrical genre in Zhejiang province, and has a history of more than 500 years. It got its name from Wuzhou, which was the former name of Jinhua. While it contains six vocal styles, Luantan tune is mainly adopted. This is a folk opera genre with rural origins, characterised by the rich and colourful repertoire, diverse range of subject matters and a cast of farmers-turned-performers. The stories cater to popular taste, emphasizing on everyday life but with interesting twists and turns. The music is sonorous and powerful. In terms of performing styles, the acting vividly imitates real life, with strong emotive expressions. The same is reflected in the costume design, with its bright, strong colours and stark contrasts for eye-catching effect.

 

Zhejiang Wu Opera Research Center was established in 1956 as Zhejiang Wu Opera Troupe. The troupe has been well established during the several eras that they have been through. The prominent performance The Broken Bridge has been crowned as the “Most Outstanding ‘Bridge’ of all time”. The shows cover wide spectrum of venues, such as rural villages, education facilities, overseas exchanges and many more. The creative team led by two-time Plum Blossom award winner Chen Meilan has produced and performed numerous excellent pieces, like Lady Kunlun, Broken Dreams of Wu River, The Legend of the White Snake, and the youth version of Lady General Mu Guiying. These productions have been awarded with 10 counts of nation’s top awards, and have been included in Spring Festival Gala and Chinese Opera Gala over 20 times. The troupe is one of the most popular Chinese Performing Arts troupes that could be considered as a strong representative of Zhejiang Province, if not the country itself. 

 

The Broken Bridge

This is an excerpt from the folklore, Legend of the White Snake. Xu Xian who works in a medicine shop falls in love with Bai Suzhen, not knowing that she is a thousand-year-old white snake who has taken on human form. However, Fa Hai, a monk from the Jinshan Temple, is aware of her true identity and that of Xiaoqing, her loyal companion who is a green snake. He repeatedly devises plans to separate the couple. After their defeat at Jinshan Temple by Fa Hai, Suzhen and Xiaoqing escape to the West Lake and rest at a broken bridge. There, they meet Xu who has also escaped from the temple. Xiaoqing wants to kill Xu for his ingratitude but is stopped by Suzhen who forgives him. In this excerpt, Xu Xian has to execute acrobatic stunts like “couching stance”, “headlong flip”, “rolling off the back”, “swift leap-and-kneel” and “tiger pouncing”, while the White and Green Snakes’ stylized movements which are akin to the snake slither hark back to their serpentine origins.
Lyu Bu Tries the Horse

During the Three Kingdom’s era, the mighty warrior Lyu Bu was bestowed with the legendary steed, the Red Hare. He was delighted. To test the abilities of the horse, he decided to bring his troops to a vacant plain. The Red Hare was a feral and hard to tame for ride. With Lyu Bu’s mastery in equestrian arts, he tamed the steed and returns in triumph.

Stealing the Border Pass

In the Northern Song Dynasty, the eighth sister of General Yang disguises herself as a young man in order to enter into the Liao State to gather military intelligence. On her way back, she and her horse are stopped by Jiao Guangpu and taken to his inn. Jiao turns out to be a Song general, who was captured in a previous battle and has changed his name. He has long wished to go home. So, when he sees Yang’s official pass he tries to steal it from her so that he can return. In the ensuing fight, Jiao realizes that Yang is a woman. After explaining his predicament to her, the two successfully cross the border between the two states and return to Song together.
Breaking the Heavenly Gate Array

Breaking the Heavenly Gate Array is the climax of the Wu Opera Mu Guiying. In the face of the Longmen Array set up by the enemy, Mu Guiying went into battle. Mu is brave and fearless, leading the soldiers to fight, breaking the heavenly gate array, challenging the enemy general Xiao Tianzuo with a spear, and returned triumphantly.
Golden Monkey Welcomes Spring

The golden monkeys rule the stage by turning somersault and playing the golden cudgel …… The Monkey King Sun Wukong also comes, what a festive celebration of spring!

 


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