The Introduction of Northeast Errenzhuan
A stage scene of Errenzhuan
Northeast Errenzhuan is a form of duet,also known as Bengbeng.It originated in Northeast China’s Liaoning,Jilin and Heilongiiang provinces.It is a form of Quyi that involves storytelling,singing and dancing,between two performers.Bengbeng has a history of 200 years and its script is written in popular language that is easy to understand,humorous,and rich in local life style and flavor.The vocal music is based on that of the northeastern folk songs.The singing is high-spirited and of an explosive type,sincere and moving.The dancing is derived from farmers’ dances done to celebrate sowing and planting.It also features the folk dance technique of waving fans or silk handkerchiefs.
There are three kinds of Errenzhuan.The most important is the duet sung by a clown and a player who acts the role of a woman.It is a combination of singing,dancing and storytelling.The most prominent items include The Western Bower and The Blue Bridge.The second type is a solo,in which the player sings and dances,such as Hong Yue’e Had a Dream.In the third type the actor sings the part of a woman or an old man,as in an opera.This is called Lachangxi.An example is Lord Bao Gong Makes an Apology.
After the founding of new China,the government greatly supported this traditional Quyi genre,organizing old artists to impart performing techniques several times,and launching reforms on some items and performance forms of Errenzhuan and removing some vulgar elements.Errenzhuan has been listed as a folk art protected by the state.
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