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Bringing Northeast China’s Errenzhuan Opera to the masses


01-06-2017 14:25 BJT

By CNTV Panview editor team     

Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.

As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.

The film, ‘The Flower of Northeast China,’ directed by Austin Kvaale depicts the joys and challenges of an art troupe that performs Errenzhuan, a local Opera in Northeast China, that originated in Jilin Province.

The lead director is passionate about Errenzhuan, but recognizes the problems his group faces. The younger generation have expressed scant interest in the art form. The performers tour rural villages and theaters are usually half-filled, with only the elderly in attendance.

Accordingly, theater companies are doing their best to attract bigger and younger audiences, but at a high cost.

Traditional Errenzhuan stands tall as Chinese classical opera, according to the director of the troupe, but some new theaters have focused more on utilizing comedy and vulgarity to grab greater attention from the public.

Well, the best solution could be blending the best of both worlds. Keeping Errenzhuan in a traditional format, but adding some light comedy for family-friendly crowds.

The people of Northeast China have been known for their sense of humor and toughness as well. Today’s Errenzhuan has captured the true heart of those living in the region.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

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