Traditional Chinese opera activities roll out across Xuhui District
A slew of traditional Chinese opera activities are rolling out across Xuhui District, enabling the public to savor the beauty of traditional Chinese culture and art.
A traditional Chinese opera pop-up performance raised the curtain of the Rihui Chinese Opera Culture Festival, in its fifth year and originating in the Xietu Subdistrict of Xuhui. The festival was held over the weekend at Poly Sunny Walk Plaza.
The opening ceremony featured performances of Chinese folk music, Peking and Huaiju operas with a guochao (China chic) flavor, as well as a bazaar gathering six traditional Chinese opera troupes and Wanping Theater.
Visitors experienced traditional performing elements of shuixiu, or water sleeve, which has long, cascading sleeves, paper-cuts, and face painting. They also read Lianhuanhua, pocket-sized comic books of a bygone era, at the bazaar.
So far, Rihui Chinese Opera Culture Festival has hosted about 450 traditional Chinese opera activities, recording some 45,000 visits, making the gem of traditional Chinese culture blossom at the grassroots level.
Wang Guifa, a resident of Xietu Subdistrict, is the star of a local community-based Huju opera troupe.
As a traditional Chinese opera buff, he was eager to seek guidance from professional performers. Thanks to the festival, a platform has been established for enthusiasts like him to watch the rehearsal of professional troupes.
"It is really inspiring," said Wang. "They help us catch the essence of zhezixi (episodes)."
Wang's troupe is busy preparing for the staging of their version of classic Huju opera "Thunderstorm."
During the 5th Rihui Chinese Opera Culture Festival, traditional Chinese opera performances will be held in communities, office buildings, in commercial circles, and on campus, injecting new vitality into the old performing art with innovation, according to the Xuhui Administration of Culture and Tourism.
Through the end of December, about 100 traditional Chinese opera activities will be held during the festival.
These include sharing events of the stories behind traditional Chinese opera films, classes on traditional Chinese opera on campus, screening of traditional Chinese opera films, and traditional Chinese opera performances.
At Shanghai-based game studio miHoYo, guided appreciation events of Kunqu opera and interactive performances will create a new traditional Chinese opera experience aimed at white-collar workers.
A traditional Chinese opera reading corner will be set up at Zikawei Library, a cultural landmark of the district, inviting people to read classics and picture books on the theme.
A green train on the waterfront of Xuhui has been turned into an art train on traditional Chinese opera with children decorating the art space with painting brushes and their imagination.
A map covering old villas that house traditional Chinese opera troupes was unveiled at the same time, covering the Shanghai Jingju Culture Center and Shanghai Huju Opera Theater.
The name of the festival, Rihui, originates from a number of landmark venues in Xietu Subdistrict named after Rihui, such as the Rihui Port and the former Rihui Cinema, which bear the memories of generations.