Students in our program have the opportunity to perform fully costumed thanks to our wonderful costume design faculty! This allows students to understand how the movements they were taught interact with and are informed by the costumes.
Left to right: Hannah Schauer, Maile Speetjens, and Iana Weingrad
Left to right: Maile Speetjens, Iana Weingrad, Hannah Schauer, and Han Gia Nguyen
As a way to preserve and revive the art of the old generations of Beijing opera stars, a method of “dubbing old recordings in modern performance” (in Chinese, yin pei xiang音配像/ ) was originally advocated and sponsored in the 1990s by a communist leader who is a Beijing opera aficionado. Qualified actors were selected to provide images of the sounds of their ancestors or tutors. Actually, after the VCDs, in which the historical sounds are combined with the most appropriate performance, were released, they immediately became the bible of amateur performers when studying acting.
In our screening, the son, Mei Baojiu, is made to match his performance to his late father, Mei Lanfang’s recording. Mei Lanfang is known as the world-famous Peking opera actor, arguably China’s greatest actor. When the play was staged in 1955, Mei Lanfang was Madame Cassia, but no video was preserved due to the limited techniques at the time. Most of the audiences outside the theater accessed the performance by listening to radio broadcasts; that’s where the recording comes from.
Flute recordings by guest musician Mr. Zhou