Week 6: Meet the Barbarians…
1. Discussion on the Singularity of China reading.
2. Vogue Dynasties
Tuesday: Game day!
1. Thematic review of timeline:
a. trade and relations with foreigners
2. Semester reflection.
3. How did the Qing officials act? How does that compare to present day officials’ behavior?
2. Current events presentations.
This week for Tuesday Tunes we are doing Jingju or Peking Opera. This is a theatrical tradition that goes back to the 18th century though its heyday was the 19th century. Jingju is known for its elaborate costumes and sparse stages. Often the stage setting consists of nothing more than a couple of chairs and a table. In the 18th and 19th centuries, acting troupes would travel from town to town performing thus basic stage settings were simply a matter of logistics.
The actors used four basic means of expression in Jingju: Speech, Singing, Acting and Fighting. Actors were admired not just for their speaking and sing but also for the beauty and grace in their movements. Characters typically belonged to four archetypes: Sheng (Man), Dan (women),Jing (painted face), and Chou (clown). Each archetypal role would have its specialty, such as the Dan, who would typically specialize in singing and acting with little emphasis on acrobatics.
Jingju changed during the Cultural Revolution. Mao deemed most operas subversive and wanted more working-class stories. He designated 8 operas as “Model Operas” and only these 8 operas were performed until the 1980s.