Tiny performers a hit in classic snake legend
A new production of the classic drama Lady White Snake has attracted attention due to certain attributes of its performers: They are all between 6 and 12 years old.
With the help of new technology and good-looking performers, the updated Lady White Snake offer a visual feast to audiences.
The legend— which tells the love story of snake-turned-human Bai Suzhen and Xu Xian — was first adapted as a TV series in 1992 and performed byHong Kong actresses Angie Chiu and Cecilia Yip. The Taiwan-produced show achieved huge success, leading to constant reruns by domestic TV stations every year, until now.
“They are just incredible. When I see the little Xu Xian crying for the loss of Bai Suzhen, my heart broke,” saidWeibo user Xraindays.
The children’s version of Lady White Snake was produced by a program called Xiao Xigu, which means small artists, and features children in the roles of classic characters from Chinese literature and folklore.
“Enhancing children’s interest in traditional Chinese culture and letting young artists set an example for a majority of children are the original intentions of setting up the program,” said Pan Liping, general director of Xiao Xigu.
Xiao Xigu has successfully reshot many patriotic TV series including Red Guards on Honghu Lake and The White-Haired Girl. The film Liu Sanjie has already received more than 100 million hits online.
Given the tremendous popularity of Lady White Snake, the group of little artists jumped into the spotlight.
Ten-year-old Tao Yixi, the female lead, now boasts more than 50,000 followers on Sina Weibo.
Yet many parents have expressed concern that early fame may exert some negative influences on the children’s growth.
“It really surprises me that the average age of these children is 7. Indeed, they have done a good job in the performance. But I wonder if they can really understand thecomplex emotions betweena snake and a person,” commenter ChenQiulin wrote online.
According to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, China’s top media watchdog, young celebrities are under tight control when participating in various TV shows.
It also said that the content of such programs should be upgraded toward promoting positive social energy instead of vulgarity.