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Kunqu Opera Continues to Flourish in New Ways Despite the Health Crisis

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China Daily chatted with various artists in Kunqu Opera about what they're doing during this difficult time.

Kunqu Opera Continues to Flourish in New Ways Despite the Health Crisis

Kunqu Opera is continuing to flourish in new ways, after performances inevitably shuttered due to the health crisis.

Shao Tianshuai, a Kunqu Opera actress of the Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre in Beijing, is preparing to return in Legend of the Golden Magpie, a performance originally scheduled for March, China Daily reports.

"Though the date for the drama to be staged is not yet known, we want to be fully prepared," said director Zhang Peng.

The dramas are no longer than 100 minutes, which Shao believes is appealing to many.

"People, especially the young, lead fast-paced lives," Shao said. "For those who have never seen Kunqu Opera, two and half hours is a long time to spend in a theater, let alone understand what's going on in the performance. But most movies last about 100 minutes, so I think they can take that."

China Daily also chatted with Zhang Miao, a graduate student at Peking University,who has taken interest in Kunqu Opera. She plans to research the performance of opera during her postgraduate study.

"The opera is so beautiful, with performers' graceful hand movements and elegant gestures enhanced by long silk sleeves and poetic recitation," Zhang said. "The melodious singing is the most fascinating part."

Chen Jun, associate professor in the School of Arts at Peking University, contacted more than 125 people in Kunqu Opera when the pandemic hit. They published 29 articles under the series "Kunqu Opera During the Pandemic."

Ding Mingzhi, who runs the Langyuan Vintage Creative Art Zone, has turned to livestreaming to organize competitions among fans who could sing Kunqu Opera. Kunqu performers then evaluated the fans' performances and gave them tips on how they could improve.

Read more on China Daily.

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