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The Soul of Beijing OperaTheatrical Creativity and Continuity in the Changing World$
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Ruru Li

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099944

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099944.001.0001

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Wu Hsing-kuo —

Wu Hsing-kuo —

Subversion or Innovation?

(p.240) (p.241) 8 Wu Hsing-kuo —
The Soul of Beijing Opera

Eugenio Barba

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses the first experiment combining jingju and a Western work. It notes that in 1986, seven years after Kuo Hsiao-chuang and her Elegant Voice first assailed jingju circles, Wu Hsing-kuo and his newly established Contemporary Legend Theatre (CLT) gave Taiwanese audiences another shock. It further notes that The Kingdom of Desire, an adaptation of Macbeth that was to meet with international acclaim for decades, began the CLT's maiden voyage into contemporary experimental theatre on the island. It observes that it was the first time that Shakespeare, the representative of the Western canon, and the “national drama” (guoju), symbol of the Chinese traditional culture, had met on Taiwan's stage. It notes that the struggle between the two cultural fields resulted in an unusual hybrid style that startled the auditorium.

Keywords:   jingju, Kuo Hsiao-chuang, Elegant Voice, Wu Hsing-kuo, Contemporary Legend Theatre, Taiwanese audiences, The Kingdom of Desire, Macbeth, Shakespeare, guoju

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