The Smithsonian Associates (TSA)
in conjunction with
Saturday, October 20,
2001 at 7:30 PM
This program was sponsored ine part by the Kunqu Society
Part I: “Discovering the Portrait” from The
Peony Pavilion (Mudan Ting)
Scene 1 "Seduction and
Scene 2 "First
Encounter and Conquest"
The two scenes from Pan Chin Lien that are presented tonight constitute Acts 3 and 4 of the seven-act production stage by the New York Kunqu Troupe in 1999. In the last three acts, Ximen Qing badly beats Wu Dalang after he discovers the affair. To avoid reprisals when Wu Song returns, Pan Chin-lien, under pressure from Mistress Wang and Ximen Ching, puts poison in Dalang's medicine and kills him. When Wu Song returns, he eventually discovers what happens and kills both Pan Chin-lien and Ximen Qing.
The story is adapted from several Chinese classical works, notable the classic novel, The Water Margin, of the 16th century Ming Dynasty. During the last century, various regional theaters in China have presented the play in different formats with minor alterations in the details of the story. The images of the two protagonists, Wu Song and Pan Chin-lien, have undergone a transformation indicative of the moral concepts and sensibilities of the time. In some of the productions at the turn of the century Wu Song is portrayed as a hero with the laudable virtues of loyalty, integrity, and valor. However, Pan Chin-lien has received much more sympathetic treatment from modern playwrights such as Ou-0yan Yu-Chien who raises Pan Chin-lien to the stature of a tragic heroine. She is not merely a victim and adulteress, but asserts herself as a full-blooded person with passions and courage. Some productions staged in the mid-Sixties ended the play with Pan Chin-lien's suicide.
Jiehua the vivacious "young female" role in the
Kunqu theater. Her exemplary acting, dancing, and singing, heightened by
her natural beauty of voice and appearance on stage makes M. Shi the diva
of the company. She is a graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing
Arts and a former member of the Shanghai Kunju Troupe. Ms. Shi is director
of the Kunqu Society and the New York Kunqu Troupe.
Shi Jiehua the vivacious "young female" role in the Kunqu theater. Her exemplary acting, dancing, and singing, heightened by her natural beauty of voice and appearance on stage makes M. Shi the diva of the company. She is a graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts and a former member of the Shanghai Kunju Troupe. Ms. Shi is director of the Kunqu Society and the New York Kunqu Troupe.
Chen Zhiping specializes in the "painted face" character type. Mr. Chen is a master of portraying warriors and other roles that incorporate characteristics of bravery, chivalry, and a fiery temperament. One of the first distinguished graduates of the prominent Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts, Mr. Chen was a major Kunqu start with the Shanghai Kunju Troupe for many years before coming to the United States. With his high mastery of singing, action, and acrobatic motions, he has made a profound impression on audiences inside and outside of China.
Qinglin is a leading performer
of the "clown" role. He is a graduate of the Shanghai Academy of
Performing Arts and a former member of the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe. From the
moment he takes the stage, Mr. Cai mesmerizes his audience with his deft
wit and rhythmic movement. He has been invited to appear in many
performing art festivals in Spain and the United States. Mr.
Cai is a Resident Artist of The Kunqu Society in New York.
Wang Taiqi A graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts and one of the leading performers of the young male roles for the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe, Mr . Wang is well recognized for his versatility in playing other role types of the Kunqu performing art. He has appeared in many major performances in New York, Washington, D.C., and on the West Coast. Currently, he is a Resident Artist of the Kunqu Society.Wu Dezhang is a leading performer of the "young male” role. A graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts and a former member of the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe, he has toured extensively with troupe to many countries. He appeared in a principal role in the Wintergreen Kunqu Society production of The Peony Pavilion, presented by The Smithsonian Associates in May, 1999. Mr. Wu is a Resident Artist of the Kunqu Society and the Director of Kunqu Workshops.
is one of the most talented, young performers of the “clown” role type.
A graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts, Mr. Guo's first
appearance in the U.S. was in Kunqu Society's production of Pan Chienlien at the Taipei
Theater, New York, in October 1999.
Ming is a master of the dizi,
the Chinese bamboo flute. A graduate of the Shanghai Chinese Opera
Academy, he received a BA degree in Dizi from Shanghai Conservatory of
Music in 1989 and is currently completing his MA degree in Career
Management in Art and Culture in the Shanghai Jiaotong University.
Mr. Zhou has performed as the lead musician for over twenty-five major
Kunqu plays, including the Lincoln Center production of The Peony Pavilion
in July, 1999. He holds the title First-rate Musician from the official
ranking system in China.
proficient not only in all major wen-chen (wind and string) instruments
but also several wu-chen (percussion) instruments. Mr. Huang is a popular
musician in both Kunqu Theater and Beijing Opera. As a member of
Chinese traditional music orchestra of The Peony Pavilion at
the Lincoln Center's 1999 Festival in New York, he has toured
to Australia, France, and Italy.
Shirong is a graduate of the Shanghai Chinese Drama School. Mr. Huang served as the conductor of
the Shanghai Beijing Opera Troupe for over 30 years. Several of the productions he conducted as lead drummer won national awards in China.
a master of several popular string instruments. He was a resident musician
and taught San-hsian in Shanghai Yueju Company.
Mr. Wang is a member
of Ensemble of the Peony Pavilion, which performed at the 1999 Lincoln
Center Festival and later in Australia, France, and Italy.
Zhang Qilan began to play the erhu at the age of eight and the next year was joined the Shanghai Young People's Orchestra. In 1979, at the age of 13, she was accepted by the Shanghai Opera School to continue her studies of erhu, flute, and percussion. Following her graduation in 1985, she was admitted into the Shanghai Yueju Company and has accompanied many of the leading actresses in that theater. She is currently a member of the Ensemble of the Peony Pavilion, which performed The Peony Pavilion at the 1999 Lincoln Center Festival.
Chinese Kunqu Theater by Tong-Ching Chang