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Kunqu, Dian styles take the stage of Kunming


11:23, May 03, 2013

This play "Escorting Jingniang Home" is based on ancient classic stories, but takes on a modern twist. (CNTV)

There are two of the unique forms, including a Kunqu classic born over 400 years ago. And we travel to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, for a taste of the lesser-known Dian Opera style.

The 70 minute show gathers the best players at the largest performance space in China. At Tinglin Garden in Kunshan, the birthplace of Kunqu opera, the stage brings the vivid scenes of ancient China to life. The action takes place by a real pavilion, and an elaborate set design revives the majestic dream described in the opera.

Liu Jianying, Kunshan Resident, said, "The environment takes me back to four hundred years ago. The lyrics and music are so beautiful. It’s really an enjoyable pleasure."

The Peony Pavilion was written by Tang Xianzu during the late Ming Dynasty. This version is co-produced by Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun and Zhang Jun, the play’s lead actor.

Meanwhile in Kunming, a different style is gracing the stage. At the age of 200, Dian, or Yunnan Opera, is much younger than Kunqu, but it’s the most influential opera in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

This play "Escorting Jingniang Home" is based on ancient classic stories, but takes on a modern twist. It’s one of many competing for the 26th Plum Blossom Award, China’s top prize for theatrical performance.

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