PARIS, September 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — From September 12 to 16the cultural exchange activity “Meeting of Civilizations: Jiangsu Chinese Kunqu Opera Week” was held in Paris, France. Featuring classical performances, interactive dynamic exhibitions, thematic exhibitions, academic discussions and much more, it presented a rich cultural celebration of Kunqu Opera for the people of France.
For two consecutive days, the South Kunqu Opera version of Jiangsu Kun Opera Theater’s “Peony Pavilion” was sold out at the Free Theater in Paris. This production faithfully presented the masterpiece presented by Master Zhang Jiqing of Jiangsu Kun Opera Theater, which stunned Paris with this same version 37 years ago, according to the Jiangsu International Culture Association. The brilliant performance, which lasted more than two hours, received seven encores with lead actors Kong Aiping and Shi Xiaming. Many French spectators said that despite their first encounter with Kunqu Opera, they could feel its beauty, which they considered not only oriental but also part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
In addition to performances, this event included a rich array of exhibitions, seminars and outreach activities such as Kunqu Opera in schools. Actors also organized flash mobs at iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, engaging local people in the streets.
The exhibition “Emotions Unveiled, Affections Explored: A Special Exhibition on Chinese Kunqu Opera Culture” held at the Guimet Museum, also known as the National Museum of Asian Arts, comprehensively presented the history, texts, accessories, costumes, musical instruments and international exchanges. related to Kunqu opera. It presented an overview of the heritage and development of Chinese culture, as well as the modernization of Jiangsu Province in the Chinese context.
During the international conference organized at the China Cultural Center in Pariscultural specialists from countries such as FranceTHE United Kingdom, ItalyAnd the Netherlands focused on the theme “Kunqu Opera in Our Times: Intercultural Dialogue and Exchange of Civilizations” for discussions and exchanges. Maria Shevtsovamember of the European Academy of Sciences and professor of drama at the University of London, said that Kunqu Opera has continuously explored various aspects of human artistic expression. It combines singing, dancing and theatrical costumes into a harmonious whole, highlighting the dignity of human creativity.
Kunqu opera, often considered the ancestor of a hundred operas, originated between the 14th and 17th centuries in the Kunshan region of Suzhou, near present-day Shanghai. Over the next 600 years, it merged with regional cultures through China, giving rise to various distinctive schools and styles. The delegation performing at France Just Jiangsu, birthplace of Kunqu opera, and is acclaimed by Kunqu enthusiasts for its “Southern Kunqu style”. The eight major Kunqu opera troupes active across China have their own regional characteristics and unique beauty. Thanks to the support and enthusiasm for culture from all segments of Chinese society, traditional Chinese theater arts have now entered a more confident phase.
Art knows no borders and culture finds common ground. Today, through online channels, audiences around the world can experience innovative expressions of traditional Chinese culture, even if they are thousands of miles away. Follow the “China Culture & Art” media cluster on Facebook and YouTube, and join the hashtag #Echoesofkunqu to share Chinese opera stories from your own experiences. Feel the lasting charm of China exceptional traditional culture.
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Caption: Chinese Kunqu Opera poster
SOURCE Jiangsu International Cultural Association