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Chinese Pingtan artist: Zhou Hong

(Xinhua)

13:10, April 07, 2012

Zhou Hong gives Pingtan lessons to students at Shanghai Business and Tourism School in east China's Shanghai Municipality, March 30, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Chuanqi)

After lunchtime spent at a teahouse, Pingtan artist Zhou Hong drove her Buick LaCROSSE to a residential area. She pulled up in front of a performance hall named Baiduren, which means "ferryman" in Chinese.

In a small dressing room, she did her makeup and talked with her partner Xu Huixin about their upcoming performance. There were still two days to go before the end of the 16-day serial performance of "Qiuhaitang", a long story that requires 32 hours' oral narration. Some 150 spectators, most of whom were retirees, enjoyed a two-hour performance on that rainy afternoon.

The ticket was sold at 5 yuan (0.8 U.S. dollar) per person, including a cup of green tea. "I can earn 10,000 yuan (1589 U.S. dollars) for a half-hour performance in some private salons, but I don't want to lose the elderly audience. They need us," said Mrs. Zhou. "And we need them too, as they are the pillar of the Pingtan art."


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