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Yunnan Festive Lantern Drama shed light on intangible cultural heritage

By : InKunming | Published: 2017-June-9

Handsome Mei Hua recites poems.

Participating staff took a curtain call.

[InKunming--Yunnan]  The outstanding teaching repertoire White Fan (also named Baishanji) of Yunnan Vocational College of Culture & Art performed at Yunnan Arts University on June 8th. Each actor with superb acting skills won the audiences’ applause during the two hours performance.

Yunnan Festive Lantern Drama has been officially included in the first national non-material cultural heritage list in 2006. White Fan is the representative work among Yunnan Festive Lantern Dramas. It tells a tragedy caused by jealousy and suspicion. In the play, talented Mei Hua gave Liu Xiaochun a white fan as a token of love. But the fan was stolen by a girl and she sent it to another guy named Liu Yi. Unfortunately, Mei Hua saw Liu Yi using the white fan. An idea that Liu Xiaochun had an affair with Liu Yi arouse in Mei Hua’s mind. Consequently he insulted Liu Xiaochun on their wedding day so that Liu Xiaochun was too sad to live in the world. Awesome performances made spectators sigh many times.

All the participating staff and teachers and students form Yunnan Arts University held a seminar after the performance. “All the staff have been working over and over again from April 17th to June. They used high standards to make everything good varying from costumes to a paper invitation. At the same time, White Fan was highly appreciated by teachers and students of Yunnan Arts University as well.

Liu Xiaochun and her father.

“White Fan is a new lantern repertoire based on the preservation of traditional drama. It is very successful." Xiong Mei said, the professor of Drama School of Yunnan Arts University. In the past, the Yunnan Festive Lanterns Dramas were handed down form one generation to another by storytellers. However, they are preserved as text forms with the help of professional playwrights today.

The project of developing White Fan performed staff is supported by National Art Fund in 2016. About 20 professional actors were recruited. They accepted professional training from dance movements to artistic theory. At present, they have already mastered many skills.

In fact, Yunnan Festive Lantern Drama is well-known as “the beautiful camellia of Yunnan Province”. White Fan is considered to be a drama seeking love based on Chinese traditional culture. It enriches Yunnan Festive Lantern Drama by using factors of Yuxi lanterns. White Fan will perform in Yimen County Museum, Yunnan provincial key enterprises, Southwest Theater in following days.

Click here to view the Chinese report.

(Editors:Rachel, Cathy Chen)

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