Traditional Chinese art struggles to regain lost ground

08:36, June 16, 2011      

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Instead of whiling away their free time watching movies like many other Chinese youth, some college students and young white-collar workers in major Chinese cities have become followers of a more traditional pastime.

During weekends, these students and workers gather together to perform and study the hundred-year-old traditional art of Kunqu, a form of Chinese opera dating back to the 14th century.

Li Ang, a student who has been performing Kunqu for five years, says Chinese youth have recently become more interested in traditional artforms like Kunqu.

Zhang Yubo, an 18-year-old student in Beijing, fell in love with Kunqu several months before she left to study at the University of Iowa in the United States.

She became entranced by the elegant melodies and exquisite costumes that are the signature of the opera.

"I'd like to buy some Kunqu CDs and DVDs to give to my relatives and friends in the United States as gifts," she said.

"Kunqu is fairly accessible. It was easier than I expected for me to understand and appreciate it. Even people with only a moderate knowledge of literature can understand it," Zhang said.
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