Teachers and students of Shanghai Theatre Academy perform Peking Opera for friendship

30 October 2018

On the evening of 26 October 2018, the Mori-no-Hall Hashimoto in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan was fully seated. There, teachers and students from Shanghai Theatre Academy’s College of Chinese Traditional Opera staged a thematic evening to interpret the "beauty of harmony" in the art of Chinese Peking Opera, which opened their Confucius Institute performance tour in Japan and Korea.

In his opening speech, Professor Yang Guangjun of the Confucius Institute at J.F. Oberlin University said that since its establishment, the Confucius Institute has become an important platform for language and cultural exchanges between China and other countries in the world. On this platform, there are deans, teachers and volunteers who stand in the front line of international promotion of Chinese language and culture. The students trained on this platform will learn Chinese language, understand Chinese culture and fall in love with China. Professor Yang looked forward to the exchange performance tour of teachers and students from Shanghai Theatre Academy in Japan, and hoped to expand the academic exchanges and discipline co-construction between the two universities and enhance the cultural communication between the two countries.

The performance began with the joyous music of “Welcome to Spring” played with Jing Hu, a musical instrument of Peking Opera. Five classical Peking Opera performances featuring the different characters and performance skills of Peking Opera demonstrated the artistic features of China’s Peking Opera. In addition, Yuan Yingming, a teacher of J.F. Oberlin University, and Zhu Yufeng, a teacher of Shanghai Theatre Academy, jointly performed a section of “Farewell My Concubine”, and Li Peihong, Dean of Shanghai Theatre Academy’s College of Chinese Traditional Opera, together with her student Chen Dongwei, performed Peking Opera master Cheng Yanqiu's classical works “Separation of the Newly-married” and "The Dream of a Girl", which all won warm applause from the audience.

At the end of the performance, Li Peihong, Dean of Shanghai Theatre Academy’s College of Chinese Tradition Opera, said that through the "beauty of harmony" of China’s Peking Opera art that we interpreted today, we came to appreciate that the artistic characteristics of "harmony" and "beauty" are to ease conflict and promote unity and harmony, and that art is the link between people, and that the quintessence of Chinese culture is a force of art and peace as well as a envoy of art for the construction of a community of shared future for mankind.

This year coincides with the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. We hope that our performances will be loved by all. We hope that cooperation and academic exchanges between our teachers and students will be strengthened. We also hope that Peking Opera can serve as a bridge for cultural exchanges and communication between the two peoples and play an active role in promoting friendship.

After the performance in Sagamihara City, the 23-member group of Shanghai Theater Academy’s College of Chinese Traditional Opera will also go for performance tour to the Confucius Institute at Osaka University of Technology, the Confucius Institute at Ritsumeikan University and the Confucius Institute at Ritsumeikan Pacific University in Japan, as well as the Confucius Institute at Sehan University and the Confucius Institute at Cheju Halla University in Korea.