Ib Ta Research- How Do the Kunqu Actors Use Gesture to Express the Story of Peach Blossom Fan?

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  • Topic: Chinese opera, Kunqu, Suzhou
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  • Published : April 29, 2013
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KunQu Opera
AmyWang

Research question: How do the KunQu actors use gesture to express the story of Peach Blossom Fan?

KunQu Opera is one of the most gorgeous and remarkable culture arts that created by ancient folk artist at the district of KunShan near Suzhou in the mid- fourteen century. After developing over 600 years, KunQu then stood out significantly amount different types of opera in China. The most characterized elements are KunQu’s unique tunes and melodies, and various gestures to express the story in the play. Today’s focus will be mostly on the gestures.

A play called TaoHuaShan (The Peach Blossom Fan) is an excellent example for explaining the KunQu actors’ used of gesture during their expression of their characters. TaoHuaShan (The Peach Blossom Fan) is a musical play and historical drama that include 44 scenes in total, written by Kong Shangren( A play write and a poet) in the early QingChao (Qing Dynasty). This play is about a love story happened on the decline period of MingChao (Ming Dynasty): A scholar or a previous innovationist, HouFangYu escaped to NanJing, a city in China, having a goal to reform the party. After he settled in NanIing, he felt in love with a well-educated and beautiful prostitute, LiXiangJun, and they decided to ShuLong (an informal marriage with a prostitute) Unfortunately, their pleasure did not last really long; under a trap, he was forced to leave the city. What’s more, the isolated LiXiangJun was forced to married other people. LiXiangJun strongly refused to remarry; therefore, after the MingChao declined, she went to a deep mountain and decided to ChuJia (Become a Buddhist nun or monk, usually stay alone for the whole life) After HouFangYu returned and noticed what happened to LiXiangJun, he also choice to ChuJIa and end up in the same destiny as LiXiangJun.

Under the situation that this play is about a love story; therefore, the emotion change under the characters will play a significant role in...
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