Brandon's guide to theater in Asia by James R. Brandon

By James R. Brandon

From India to Japan, the theater of Asia spreads out like a super kaleidoscope. There are dance-dramas, ballets, masked pantomimes, operas, operettas, shadow-plays, puppet-plays, and extra. you'll discover not just actors and actresses, yet stylish and exquisitely costumed courtroom dancers, musicians, singers, and chanters. you'll pay attention songs and heroic narratives and flights of poetic discussion. Drums will thud and gongs will increase. in every single place you move, the colours, points of interest, and sounds will differ tremendously from position to position. however it isn't effortless to find the place theaters are, what sorts of performs are being staged, or the hours, days, and seasons of functionality. The function of this advisor is to assist the traveller in Asia locate and revel in interesting dwelling theater. The author's own event and wisdom of theater in Asia might be an fundamental source to the tourist who cares approximately theater, yet understands little approximately Asia.

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Plays Cyril Birch, Anthology of Chinese Literature (New York: Grove Press, 1965) Josephine Hung Huang, Children of the Pear Garden (Taipei: Heritage Press, 1961) A. C. Scott, Traditional Chinese Plays, 3 vols. : University of Wisconsin Press, 19671975). Page 31 Hong Kong No one goes to Hong Kong to see theater. Business, not arts, is the Crown Colony's strong suit. Still, you might be surprised to know that you can see traditional Chinese opera and modern Chinese drama. Even though the population is 95 percent Chinese, British cultural influence is strong, and you can attend Western amateur drama, concert music, and ballet.

The essence of all Chinese opera is that it fuses song, music, dance, mime, speech, and symbolic representation into a single indivisible artistic expression. You will have no trouble recognizing the four basic role types: maidens and young scholars sing long and complex solos (there are no choruses or even duets in Chinese opera); white-faced clowns joke and go through fantastically skilful scenes of mime and acrobatics: and the powerful ''painted face" characters, gods and generals, strut about the stage and battle impressively, though their voices may not be too impressive when they sing.

If you are seriously interested you can inquire; you will need special permission to attend. If rehearsals are held, youngsters will be training in the large opensided pavilion about two hundred yards inside the palace entrance on the Page 21 left, and the adult dancers will be using the spacious Public Tribune (over the entrance to the palace) where royalty used to appear before the public. Krom Silpea Khmer Selai (Selai Khmer Arts Theater)** Largest of the city's Lakon Bassak theaters. Home of the Bac Sen Bassak troupe, one of the best commercial troupes.

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