Chinese opera: Audience stirred by story of sacrifice

Published: September 4, 2015
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Scenes from the Yu Opera’s rendition of ‘Cheng Ying Rescues the Orphan’ at the PNCA. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Scenes from the Yu Opera’s rendition of ‘Cheng Ying Rescues the Orphan’ at the PNCA. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: A traditional Chinese opera was presented at the Pakistan National Council of Arts on Wednesday. The Yu Opera Troupe presented ‘Cheng Ying rescues the Orphan’ in the traditional ‘wooden clapper’ style, or ‘Henan Bangzi’.

Adorned in bold makeup and stunning traditional attire, the actors delivered powerful performances. Traditional instruments such as bamboo flutes and drums accentuated the performance. The show has been presented many times around the world.

The tragic opera follows the life of Cheng Ying, who rescues the newborn child of a doomed family.

The story revolves around themes of self-sacrifice and vengeance.

In between acts, audiences were in awe as cast members performed synchronised dance moves and acrobatics.

“The friendship between Pakistan and China goes back five centuries, when a monk from the Henan province left his footprints in the Indo-Pak region” said Kang Jie, vice-director of the department of culture of Henan province. “Today, it is still strong, thanks to cultural exchanges such as this one. The Henan province is rich in culture and heritage, and we are honoured to present it here,” she added.

Though the audience was clearly moved by the performance, the translations presented on multimedia screens were linguistically inaccurate, leaving the audience guessing over much of the dialogue.

The event was organised by the Chinese Embassy in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Broadcasting and National Heritage.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2015.

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