Facing the current severe and complex COVID situation, as a member of an art university, what should we do and how should we do? In this special period, we will truly record every bit of the actions taken by the teachers, students and staff of the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Art is a kind of warmth, art is also a kind of power, art can bring strength to others, and art can also inspire ourselves. Move forward with art! The COVID pandemic is temporary, but art will last forever.
Under the circumstance of COVID pandemic, online academic activities are active. The "High-end Forum on Modern Xiqu Stage Creation" hosted by the Modern Xiqu Studies Centre of Shanghai Theatre Academy has aroused warm repercussions.
Fighting COVID does not compromise teaching, and fighting COVID does not put away academic studies. Holding major academic activities during the critical period of the battle against COVID in Shanghai is indeed to participate in the anti-COVID battle in an academic way. The preparation for this forum is one of the key tasks of the Shanghai Theatre Academy’s work in 2022, and it is also an initiative of the Scientific Research Office to solidly promote "organized scientific research".
Established in 2020, the Modern Xiqu Studies Centre is a university-level academic research body under the Shanghai Theatre Academy. The Centre boosts a group of scholars with specialized expertise from STA as the main force, and collaborates with external peer experts as the support. It takes the inheritance, development and transformation of Xiqu (i.e. Chinese opera) since the 20th century as the object of studies, and has undertaken one high-level art theory project of the National Social Science Foundation, two art theory projects of the National Social Sciences Fund, one China National Arts Fund project and one Shanghai Municipal Art and Science project. The purpose of the establishment of the Modern Xiqu Studies Centre is to contribute STA’s wisdom to the "creative transformation and innovative development" of Xiqu. Since its inception, the Center has set up the Wechat official account "Modern Xiqu Studies" to introduce and promote important academic achievements in this field, which has attracted more than 5,000 followers, and it has successfully held the "Seminar on the Creation of Scripts for Modern Xiqu". This forum held on 23 April was the second large-scale academic activity held by the Centre.
The opening ceremony of the "High-end Forum on Modern Xiqu Stage Creation" was presided over by Zhi Yunbo, deputy director of the Scientific Research Office of Shanghai Theatre Academy. Professor Liu Qing, vice president of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, delivered a speech on behalf of the organizers of the forum. Professor Yin Xiaodong, President of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony.
Leaders, experts and scholars from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, the China Society for Chinese Opera Directing, the China Society for Chinese Opera Performance, the China Society for Chinese Opera Music, the China Institute of Stage Design, the Nanjing University, the Henan University, the Shanghai Normal University and the Shanghai Theatre Academy attended the forum. The forum was divided into three groups for panel discussion, i.e. stage design group, performance and directing group and Chinese opera music group.
The forum was a complete success. The forum was broadcast live through the Tencent meeting platform with more than 50,000 hits online, and has attracted great attention from the theatre academia and industry. A number of local troupes organized for all staff to watch the meeting online, so as to further improve the specialized theoretical knowledge of performers and staff members.