ITI THEATRE FESTIVAL AT SHILPAKALA ACADEMY
Chinese troupe stages The Mouse Daughter’s Marriage
In the era of ‘opening up’ and ‘economic reformation’ to meet global challenges, when the Chinese authority is adapting many policies, traditional Chinese culture cannot be left behind! While the western animated movies are gaining popularity amongst Chinese children these days, Chinese artistes are creating experimental Chinese Opera, maybe in reaction, to quench the thirst of the new generation audiences.
Such observations came up while watching the production of ‘The Mouse Daughter’s Marriage’ by Nanning City Opera Troupe (also known as Nanning Yue Opera Troupe), on Tuesday at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The troupe staged the show as part of the ongoing theatre festival organised by ITI Bangladesh Centre.
The allegorical drama satires the human psyche of the idea that the ‘grass is greener on the other side of the fence’, through the symbolic character of a mouse that wishes to marry her daughter to a ‘superior’ species, a cat, considering its power and wealth.
Artistic adviser and playwright Chua Soo Pong’s experimental theatre production has been presented like an animated movie by Walt Disney Pictures. However, the movement of actors, acting patterns, directorial compositions and music composition follow the tradition of Peking Opera, now known as Beijing Opera.
Yu Ren, in the role of Mouse Daughter, performed brilliantly onstage, especially her mouse-like movements and gestures, portraying her fantasy for the Cat with stunning rendition skills.
Earlier, the Nanning Yue Opera Troupe, one of the leading traditional theatre companies in China, also presented a brief performance of traditional Chinese opera for the entertainment of the Dhaka audience.
The performance followed the 16th century ‘Kunqu’ tradition of the Peking Opera- a style originated in the Wu cultural area, listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 2001. Nanning artistes He Hui Lin and Huang Jun Cheng presented the story of the historic encounter of Shu state general Zhang Fei with the young and arrogant general Zhou Yu of Wu state, during the late Han Dynasty period of Chinese history in 175–210 AD.
Dr Chua Soo Pong also demonstrated the meaning of the movements, gestures and the mask of the traditional Chinese opera for the houseful audience.
-With New Age input