presents "Longing for
Worldly Pleasures" (Si Fan).
Thursday, April 2, 2009, 8:00
St. Mary's Hall
St. Mary's College of Maryland, St.
Mary's City, Maryland
Yang Ling performs "Longing for
Worldly Pleasures (Si-Fan)
(Surtitles in English Translation and Chinese)
The story is about a young woman, Sekong, who was dedicated by her parents
to a Buddhist temple in her childhood. Being a num not by choice,
Sekong decides to escape from the temple to pursue a normal family life.
As traditional Kunqu theater on a Buddhist theme, "Si Fan" marks a social protest to Chinese
tradition, but in a lighthearted way.
The performing origin of the play is unknown. It is believed to have
been first staged in the Ming dynasty (1368-1643 AD). It is based on a
theme from Records of an Evil Sea (Nieh Hai Ji), the title of
which is a Buddhist metaphor for a life of sorrow, and storyteller's
adaptation of early Buddhist source material.
"Si Fan" is regarded as a connoisseur's piece whose refined, expressive
fusion of song, dance, and gesture embodied the less robust but more
romantic qualities of traditional classical art. It is regularly
performed on the stages of both Beijing opera and Kunqu theater.