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Traditional culture gets a boost
Updated: 2019-02-18 11:14:50
( China Daily )

Post-80s female artist Xue Qiaoping performing "teeth playing" at the cultural activity center of Jiujiang village, Ninghai county, Zhejiang province on Feb 8.[Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

An opera form with more than 400 years of history comes along during Spring Festival

It is not uncommon to see people going to karaoke outlets, playing cards and mahjong during Spring Festival holiday in Chinese villages. As part of a rural revitalization strategy, traditional opera shows were also staged to enrich the cultural life of rural residents.

Actors performing the Yueju Opera.[Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Ninghai Pingdiao ("Flat Tone"), one of the operas of East China's Zhejiang province, with origins in the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), has about 400 years of history. In 2006, it was listed among the first group of national intangible cultural heritage.

The opera stands out from other local variants because of its "teeth playing" performance. In the show, wild boar tusks about 8 centimeters long are used. Actors need to put several such teeth in the mouth and show them to express the role's emotions while singing and speaking lines.

Actress Hu Qiongqiong watching a video of her daughter playing erhu during break.[Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

"Teeth playing" in Pingdiao and "face changing" in Sichuan Opera are known as "West face East teeth".

From Feb 7 to 9, the Ninghai Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe performed both Yueju Opera and Pingdiao at the cultural activity center of Jiujiang village, Ninghai county, in Zhejiang province. Taking cultural performances to the grassroots during the holiday not only provided rural residents with a cultural treat, but also knowledge about traditional opera.

Although Ninghai Pingdiao has a long history, it had lost popularity. But, primary and middle schools are now actively introducing traditional opera into schools. It provides opportunities for students to learn about traditional culture.

"Teeth playing" is a unique part of Ninghai Pingdiao, which was enlisted a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.[Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

An actress taking a selfie at the backstage.[Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Actors chatting before the show.[Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]



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