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Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
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Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
Comments on the Gorgeous Chongyang Folk Song and Dance Drama Junshui River and Tiancheng Town 10-12-15

  "The city locates by the river, the river circles the city, and they have strong affections for each other; the water connects the city, the city cherishes the water. Junshui River and Tiancheng Town are better than the paradise!" In the brilliant and sonorous theme song music, the candles is flaring, and the Celestial City which looks like a mirage displayed in front of the audience just as a dream. A new couple in the red veil walked into the bridal chamber with happiness. "Keep on carving, the stone can be engraved; little strokes can fell great oaks, and dripping water can wear through a stone…" The sound of reading from a group of children echoed for a long time in the mountains. The large-scale Chongyang folk song and dance drama Junshui River and Tiancheng Town gradually came to an end in such a magnificent scene and leave a lingering and touching art enjoyment to the audience.

  Chongyang County is located at the intersection of three provinces, namely Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi. It's also in Yangtze River Economic Development Zone and the center area of Middle-South Triangle Regional Economic Center, namely Wuhan, Changsha, Nanchang. Mountains surround around the county. The land is flat and extensive, just like the Celestial City. Its unique geographical environment, in the relatively closed agricultural civilization period, gradually formed a distinctive living condition and folk customs. Chongyang has a long history. Built in 202 BC (the fifth year of the Emperor Liu Bang of Han Dynasty), in the 1970s, the county unearthed a lot of national key cultural relics--bronze drums of the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046BC), which fully illustrated its massive historical accumulation and the profound culture. The sonorous and passionate tune of the bronze drums honed the men's rough and bold characteristics; the classic legend "the constant dripping water wears a stone" edifies the people' perseverance and tenacity; therefore, there is the righteousness of Zhong Jiu Robs of Rice and the sad beauty of Twin Lotuses. The unique living condition is bound to breed a unique way of expressing feelings, so that the slang and dialects here become beautiful music which can move all the people. What’s more, the local opera Chongyang Tiqin Opera which is mainly characterized by the unique dialect is not only the spiritual food for the people of Chongyang to cherish but also becomes a national intangible cultural heritage. Chongyang County is also known as the“Hometown of the Folk Culture". The Junshui River, Huitou Hill, Tea-Horse Road, an ancient Tiancheng Town... The beautiful varied mountains and rivers contain rich and colorful folk customs. All the things provide a solid material and culture foundation for creating the high-quality stage art--Chongyang folk song and dance drama Junshui River and Tiancheng Town. On the other hand, performing the outstanding folk culture on the stage to let it live in the people's heart is the genuine implementation of the strategy "the people benefit from the culture", which is the most effective protection, inheritance and development of the excellent cultural heritage. However, the people need to make some fashionable interpretation about the folk culture resources which are native while scattered like pieces of jade. That contains some necessary methods, such as discarding the dross, selecting the essential, and integrating and processing them into the elegant stage works of art. Let the modern audience inherit and carry forward the excellent national cultural heritage, while at the same time get aesthetic pleasure and absorb the spiritual motivation of loving and constructing the hometown. For those writers, it is obviously a new topic and the exploration of is meaningful.

  In order to make folk-custom culture walk towards fashion and later walks into the modern audience's heart, the content of Junshui River and Tiancheng Town is based on the objective folk custom in the general conception, and spares no efforts to make a organic mixture between the modern dance’s function of expressing emotion and the traditional opera’s function of reproduction the plot. The choreography and music creation always follow this general conception. On the basis of widely collecting and excavating the folk culture materials, they boldly innovate and absorb the modern art element as far as possible, which makes the old folk culture become more fashionable. Based on the requirement of expressing the rigid spirit "dripping water wears through a stone", the dance drama designs the plot of the story—from when the woman Junshui River and the man Tiancheng get to know, fall in love with and miss each other, to the time they stay with each other. The relatively intricate and common love story line is very suitable for the representation form of Chongyang Tiqin Opera and is apt to be popular with the local broad audience. However, this linear plot has a defect. That is that although the men and women's love plot also contains the weddings and funerals customs in the real life, it fails to include the rich folk culture content of Chongyang. On the basis of the men and women's love, the director and writer skillfully scattered  obviously the classic Chongyang folk culture into the story and with the modern dance forms, artistically reproduced the charm of the Junshui River beach, the roughness of ancient Tea-Horse Road, the beautifulness of the fallen petals in the Taoxi Stream, the sweetness of the Guiquan rice wine, the humor of booze and singing, the romance of the dream in the bamboo forest, the pathos in front of the Back Ridge, the persistence of "dripping water wears through a stone", the jubilate of bronze drum sound, the glory of the candle light in Tiancheng Town...All of them are organically mixed into vivid and substantial art integration by the above plot so as to make it shine and give people the refreshing joy and cheer. The combination of point and surface, plot and emotion, dance and opera, and tradition and modern not only produce the aesthetic effect which suits both refined and popular tastes and the old and the young and makes it possible that the scale of audience has realized its maximization, but also create a new form of artistic expression "folk song and dance opera", which has accumulated valuable experience for the folk culture to be fashionable. It is no exaggeration to say that the achievement that Junshui River and Tiancheng Town has got is a prominent contribution to the contemporary dance stage.

  The red flower needs green leaves to complement. The stage art is a comprehensive art, which is born with Cask Effect. A good originality needs the close cooperation of all kinds of art categories, such as compiling, directing, acting, dancing, costumes, properties props and so on. The stage art design of Junshui River Tiancheng Town is a distinctive green leaf to set off the red flower. According to the director's overall artistic conception, two huge scrolls was used to decorate the entablature. The stage performances look like an expanded gorgeous picture to the audience, which vividly demonstrates the Chongyang folk customs and humanistic spirit. In a bronze background, white neon, ancient dyke, and watermark stone are drawn on the scroll, which contains Chongyang’s abundant and massive historical and cultural heritage, so that the audiences naturally produce abundant associations. In order to show the dedication spirit throughout the play, the stage art designs the slowly falling water droplets which constantly drop from the air, making the symbol of "constant dripping wears away a stone" becomes eternal. Second, the usage of the compound revolving stage not only expands the stage performance space which produces the third dimension of the tortuous road, but also makes the plot so coherent that gives the audience a fresh artistic beauty. Besides, the exaggerated freehand eye on Back Ridge makes the thoughts and worries of dramatis personae into a vivid, specific and touchable artistic image. In the Group dance Village Opera and County Life, a rich mixture of folk dances, such as bamboo horse, dragon lantern and so on, are orderly presented in the realistic streetscape from the survey perspective which give the audience the shock artistic appeal. In addition, the directors also make full use of sound and light electronic, modern scientific and technological methods, such as LED, laser lights, moving lights, etc. to make the rich ideological contents get an incisive and vivid demonstration in the almost perfect and fashionable artistic form. The beautiful girl in the group dance Lotuses Blossom on One Stalk, the video dance in Drums Inspire Tiancheng Town etc. all give a new magic aesthetic pleasure to the audience.

  The moon hung above the pavilion which is accompanied by the drooping willows goes down as the dance continues, and the breeze brought by the fan which has peach blossoms on it dies down as the singing goes on. The geniture of the large Chongyang folk song and dance drama Junshui River and Tiancheng Town is with high starting point, efficiency and quality, and it is sincerely loved and warmly welcomed by the audience. It's believed that it will present sonorous, beautiful and melodious music in the resplendent symphony of the harmonious and flourishing age and the dignified and ingenious music.

  (Wang Zili: senior drama critic and national level screenwriter)

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