Pingtan performance to commemorate master

Jiang Yuequan, a master of pingtan, created his own distinctive vocal school which has influenced generations of performers across the country. 
Ti Gong

Pingtan master Jiang Yuequan

Shanghai Pingtan Troupe is preparing to present a special performance to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of late pingtan master Jiang Yuequan (1917-2001).

Pingtan, a form of artistic storytelling set to musical lyrics in Suzhou dialect, has a history of around 400 years.

Jiang created his own distinctive vocal school, which has influenced generations of pingtan performers across the country. 

He took up a career in pingtan at the age of 17 and was adept at depicting various historical characters on stage, devoting his life to the preservation and innovation of the art, as well as promoting it among youngsters.

According to officials from the Shanghai Pingtan Troupe, the upcoming performance will feature representative excerpts from Jiang’s career, including “Jade Dragonfly” and “The White Snake.”

“The performance will also look back on the evolution of pingtan art in the city of Shanghai over the past decades,” said director Wang Hao.

Local cultural celebrities such as farce artist Qian Cheng and Peking Opera performer Shi Yihong, who both are pingtan enthusiasts, will be guest performers.

The performance — set for November 15 at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center — is also part of the ongoing 19th China Shanghai International Arts Festival.

Ti Gong

Pingtan master Jiang Yuequan

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