Traditional Chinese theatre

A characteristic feature of the art of the actor of the Chinese theatre a game with imaginary objects, the allegorical use of the objects of theatrical props. For example, a table depending on a situation can represent an altar, table, mountain, observation platform; hat, wrapped in red cloth a severed head; the black boxes the wind; the red flags of the fire. The scene space is divided into two parts. One circle of the proscenium means the place of action outside. For example, the street.

Another inner square of the stage a home or a Palace room. Hero takes a step it means that he is outside the house; climbing on the table turns on hills. A stroke with a whip and the audience it is clear that he rides the horse. The two actors are trying to find each other and miss lit stage all guess that it happens in the dark.

The symbolism of the Chinese theater is fundamentally different from the European one. The acting is also very far from any of life’s verisimilitude. It is based on the canonized, honed conventional techniques of expression, stylized movements and gestures. All of the pieces in the traditional repertoire are divided into two large groups, (civil plays on secular subjects) and Wuxi (plays on military and historical topics in which the main place is occupied by battle scenes, built on acrobatics and fencing).

In traditional theater and still remains the system role. All the characters are divided into four groups: civilian and military; at the age the characters are divided into laoshan old and seosan young. Dan (female role) is divided into river intersect positive married woman, jangdan positive character, often young, huadan servant, a courtesan, daomadan woman warrior, guamanian an unmarried young girl from a noble house.

Age female roles are divided on ladang old woman and saadani young girl. Combines a specific role, both positive and negative. The performances of these roles have bright makeup, masks, the way the game emphasized hyperbolic. Chou is a comic role (male and female). For each role designed simply complexes of visual techniques.

Depending on the skill level of distinguished actors brilliant, committed (Miao), the divine (Shen), nice, attractive (Mae), skilled (Nan).

Until the beginning of XX century in China were absent in mixed company. This is due to the fact that Actresses were considered prostitutes and were not allowed to speak with men. Therefore, there was a female troupe in which all roles were played by women and men. Interestingly, the Chinese believed that only man is able to understand and to Express women’s essence, her beauty of soul and body.

The unique originality of Chinese traditional theatre due to the fact that they were not adopted by the Europeans on the differentiation of genres. The actor of this theatre was supposed to possess in equal measure to the art of stage speech and voice, gesture, pantomime, dance, martial arts. No stage box in this theater gave rise to special methods of stage expression. Acting on the open ground, the actor has made close contact with the audience. The need to ultimately focus the attention of the public (in the old Chinese theatre audience during a performance of drinking tea), the vastness of the audience, the open character of the space has generated sharp accents of execution, and the lack of scenery also demanded actor of great skill game with imaginary objects.

The actor who played one role mastered to perfection the technique, very rarely could move to another role. Each group role has developed to the smallest detail, is enshrined the age old tradition, the methods of stage expression. Improvement and development of the tradition was possible only in strictly certain limits. But because it was so important to master rhythmically organized speech in a traditional theater, accurate stage movement when using “sign language” the actor engaged in a dialogue.

At the Chinese theatre elaborate hand movements of the actor, denying hands, covers the hands, grabbing hands, weeping hands, resting hands, etc. the Rough nature was expressed widely moved apart fingers, while the elders of the characteristic restraint and stiffness of their movements. Women’s folded fingers symbolize femininity and elegance.

Plastic actor in traditional theatre is almost statuary, honed in the poses. The movement of the hero is determined not so much by the circumstances of the play, shows how much his character and even social status. In Chinese theatre, for example, civil goodie when walking throws stiff legs and stroking the beard; the military goodie goes “tiger steps” as it slides and stops, accelerating the rate of movement during the departure from the scene; “venerable matron” when walking should not be separated from the scene of the feet, “seductive beauty” crosses, tightly clenching his knees; “comic” has a hurried and creeping gait.

Need to highlight particular symbolism of traditional Chinese theatre. In conclusion, the costumes is widely used color symbolism: yellow suits worn by the emperors, in red appear loyal, faithful and courageous Ministers and military commanders, evil and cruel people go to black, officials with a bad temper blue. Great importance is attached and a lush hat.

The symbolism of the grim is also a lot to say to the audience: straightforward and persistent people have a red face; violent nature of people black, white color in makeup denotes meanness, cruelty and all the negative qualities. Demonic characters appear with green, divine with a gold face. In addition to the color marks are present and drawings. For example, the monkey king has on his forehead the image of a coconut. If the actor depicted on the temple coin, it means that the viewer is dealing.

In Chinese traditional theatre was the focus of attention of psychological development role. But the psychology of the Oriental theatre are also significantly different than in the European theater. Actor of the Chinese theatre should master the ways of external expression of feelings. Chinese traditional theatrical theory presents eight psychological States, or categories, each of which corresponds to a certain demeanor. In the treatise “Mirror of the enlightened spirit”, they are described as:

  • Noble impressive, gaze direct, voice low, walk important;
  • Rich the kind of happy, voice soft, eyes smiling, expressing joy, snaps fingers;
  • Poor appearance dejected, a look motionless, stooping, wet under his nose;
  • Low kind of good natured, looking sideways, the shoulders elevated, quick gait;
  • Stupid dull, eyes bulging, mouth Agape, shaking her head;
  • Mad angry look, a look staying, shouting and laughing, moving randomly;
  • Sick kind of tired, eyes watery, breathing hard, body shaking;
  • Drunk kind of tired, dull eyes, body limp, legs stubborn.

Stood out four basic emotions (Sy Chuang) joy, anger, sadness, fear.

Special skills required actors men for the execution of the female roles. This skill was so great that women attended the theatre in order to learn from the actors men and manners of femininity.

Learning the art of the actor wore shop nature began in early childhood 78 years. Performing tradition passed down from generation to generation, an old experienced actor reported his experience to his disciples, who were usually his children and grandchildren. All the disciples were filled with unquestioningly, and they are in the classroom spent most of their time. In addition to the full ownership of his body, they learned, for example, the art of painting to understand the meaning of the color and pattern of your suit and perform complex makeup.

Traditional Chinese theatre is one of the developed types of Oriental art, in which, unlike European art, the principle of novelty has never been the main. But this does not mean that the tradition does not know the slightest movement just the changes in it occur slowly, and in order to be accepted into the tradition, they go a long way, justifying the need for change.

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