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Ferrari, Rossella (2001) 'Verso una nuova concezione teatrale: Huang Zuolin e la xieyi xijuguan. [Towards a New Theatrical Conception: Huang Zuolin and his xieyi xijuguan].' Asiatica Venetiana, 6-7 (2001-2002). pp. 111-138.

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Chinese director Huang Zuolin (1906-1994) was one of the most influential figures in the history of modern Chinese drama and a pioneer in several fields, from stage directing to dramatic theory, from traditional opera to experimental theatre. Throughout his career, Huang realized a profound restructuring of the conception of the drama in China. He was one of the first who introduced Stanislavsky’s method to the Chinese stage– which in the Maoist period would become the sole unquestionable dogma for theatrical production – and one of the first daring to question its overriding dominance, in an attempt to create a novel developmental path for contemporary theatre, and engender an intrinsically Chinese dramatic form able to synthesize the aesthetic and structural features of China’s traditional theatre with the new creative stimuli assimilated from the West: from classical kunqu and Beijing opera to Piscator, Meyerhold and, especially, Brecht. The ideal of a multifunctional stage created through a constant and imaginative relationship with the “Other” represents the core of Huang’s lifelong search, which eventually led him to formulate an original aesthetic concept which he defined as xieyi xijuguan. This paper examines Huang’s major artistic and theoretical achievements, including his comparative studies of the theatrical systems of the so-called 'three great masters of realism” – Brecht, Stanislavsky, and Mei Lanfang – and his definition of “Chinese-style epic drama' (Zhongguoshi shishi ju). The paper mostly focuses on the investigation of the genealogy, essential features, and fundamental significance of the notions of xieyi and xieyi theatre, also exploring the diverse (mis)interpretations of such concepts provided by both Chinese and Western critics since Huang’s first formulation.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
ISSN: 11265256
Date Deposited: 28 May 2008 13:34

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