] [Culture Charm
Northeast Errenzhuan is a form of duet, also known as Bengbeng. It
originated in Northeast China's Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongiiang provinces. It
is a form of Quyi that involves storytelling, singing and dancing between two
Errenzhuan has a history of over 200 years and absorbed
other artistic elements of the northeast dagu Lianhualao, ping, and Hebei
clapper performances. Its script is written in popular language that is easy to
understand, humorous, and rich in local life style and flavor. The vocal music
is based on that of northeastern folk songs. The singing is high-spirited and of
an explosive type, sincere and moving. The dancing is derived from farmers'
dances done to celebrate sowing and planting. It also features the folk dance
techniques of waving fans or silk handkerchiefs.
There are three kinds
of Errenzhuan. The most important is the duet sung by a clown and a performer
who plays the role of a woman. It is part song, part dance, and part
storytelling. The most prominent plays include The Western Bower and The Blue
Bridge. The second type is a solo, in which the player sings and dances, such as
Hong Yue'e Had a Dream. In the third type the actor sings the part of a woman or
an old man, as in an opera. This is called Lachangxi. An example is Lord Bao
Gong Makes an Apology.
The duet performance is characterized by its humor and strong local
Northeastern Chinese accent. They perform speaking and singing, singing and
dancing. The performance is broken up into four skills and one stunt. Four
skills refer to "singing", "speaking", "doing" and "dancing"; one stunt is the
acrobatic handling of handkerchiefs, fans or boards. The performers can show the
audience all kinds of shapes and artistic conceptions using the stage sets.
New programs have appeared during the past several decades, with innovative
tunes, varied accompanying instruments, such as the Yangqin, and lute together
with drums, gongs and cymbals, and more colorful stage sets as well as costumes.
Errenzhuan embodies the essence of the life of the common man in Northeast
China. It is created by the countrymen and performed for the purpose of
entertainment. The performers can perform Errenzhuan in any situation or scene,
whether in the field or at home.
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