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The evolving role of the director in Xiqu innovation

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Title: The evolving role of the director in Xiqu innovation
Authors: Evans, Anne Megan
Advisor: Wichmann¬∑Walczak, Elizabeth
Issue Date: Aug 2003
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: This dissertation examines the evolving role of the director in Xiqu (Chinese opera) innovation. Arguing that the status and function of the director within the Xiqu creative process is still developing, the author establishes a working understanding of the current situation by addressing it from several vantage points. First, observing that Western concepts of "postmodern" theatre, like Xiqu, often give more weight to the performance text than to the literary/dramatic text, the author employs concepts from semiotic performance theory to provide a basic understanding of the directorial function. In chapter 2 the author addresses historical, political, social, and economic forces shaping the development of the Xiqu director's role. To provide a baseline understanding of contemporary Xiqu directors' circumstances, in chapter 3 the author compares traditional Xiqu performance with the way such performances are occurring in the contemporary urban setting of Beijing. To deepen this understanding, in chapter 4 the author compares film versions of two Xiqu plays: one filrn created just before the Cultural Revolution that preserved traditional Xiqu aesthetic goals; and one film created soon after China's opening to the West that privileged cinematic technique over Xiqu aesthetic goals. Applying concepts developed in chapters 3 and 4, the author then analyzes a regional Xiqu form (Hebei Bangzi) adaptation of Medea, directed by a Huaju (spoken drama) trained director, in chapter 5; and a Jingju (Beijing opera) adaptation of Lao She's famous novel Camel Xiangzi (or The Rickshaw Boy), directed by a Xiqu trained director, in chapter 6. Shifting to a broader perspective, in chapter 7 the author analyzes results of a survey on working conditions and artistic goals of 32 Xiqu directors. In chapter 8, the curriculum at the only established training program for Xiqu directors is discussed. In conclusion, the author identifies five potential approaches to the director-performer creative process represented by previously discussed material and asserts that the situation of Xiqu directors and Xiqu generally is significantly improved over the situation at the end of the 1980s as evidenced by the high level of artistry and stylistic consistency exhibited at a recent National Jingju Festival.
Description: xvi, 342 leaves
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Theatre

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