Chi­nese Drama Should No Longer Be an “Im­port”

Ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Wang Xiaoy­ing, vice pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Drama­tists As­so­ci­a­tion and di­rec­tor at the Na­tional Theatre Com­pany of China

China Pictorial (English) - - Culture - The Prince

China Pic­to­rial (CP): The Prince of Lan­ling is be­ing staged as China cel­e­brates the 110th an­niver­sary of the ar­rival of Euro­pean drama. Was this in­ten­tional?

Wang Xiaoy­ing (W): Over more than a cen­tury of devel­op­ment, Chi­nese drama has al­ways been fla­vored with na­tion­al­iza­tion. In the past, we con­sid­ered drama an “im­port” which we could nei­ther con­nect Chi­nese cul­ture and lan­guage seam­lessly, nor adapt for lo­cal au­di­ences. We can­not de­fine the art this way. Japan and South Korea have the best mod­els for com­bin­ing tra­di­tional cul­ture with the the­atri­cal art, and both coun­tries are quite in­flu­en­tial on the world stage.

My in­sight is ev­i­denced in of Lan­ling. Over the last 10 years, I’ve been striv­ing to tap the spirit of the Chi­nese na­tion through Chi­nese sto­ries in a

mod­ern way, which I call “mod­ern ex­pres­sion of Chi­nese images.” Over the last few years, I’ve made bold at­tempts to sup­port this con­cept in my works such as The Story of Over­lord, The Tragedy of King Richard the Third, Fu Sheng, and The Prince of Lan­ling.

CP: Specif­i­cally, how does “mod­ern ex­pres­sion of Chi­nese images” hap­pen in The Prince of Lan­ling?

W:

Not only should the “mod­ern ex­pres­sion of Chi­nese images” in­fil­trate tra­di­tional Chi­nese art and aes­thet­ics, it should also be pre­sented in a mod­ern, in­ter­na­tion­al­ized cul­tural lan­guage en­vi­ron­ment. Only by do­ing so can we make “the tra­di­tional more mod­ern and the Chi­nese more in­ter­na­tional.”

Di­rec­tor Wang Xiaoy­ing takes a bow with his per­form­ers af­ter the pre­miere of The Prince of Lan­ling at the Na­tional Theatre of China. The drama ex­plores new av­enues of the­ater through the the­ory of “mod­ern ex­pres­sion of Chi­nese images.”

A re­hearsal. Di­rec­tor Wang Xiaoy­ing cast some tra­di­tional opera dancers in The Prince of Lan­ling.

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