Chinese Theatre: An Illustrated History Through Nuoxi and Mulianxi
Volume Two: From Storytelling to Story-acting
Chinese Theatre: An Illustrated History Through Nuoxi and Mulianxi is the first book in any language entirely devoted to a historical inquiry into Chinese theatre through Nuoxi and Mulianxi, the two most representative and predominant forms of Chinese temple theatre.
Volume Two is a continuation of the historical inquiry into Chinese theatre with focus shifted from Mulian storytelling to Mulian story-acting. Thus, this volume traces the historical trajectory of xiqu from Northern dramas to Southern dramas and from elite court theatre to mass regional theatre with pivotal forms and functions of Mulianxi examined, explicated and illustrated in association with the development of corresponding genres of xiqu. In so doing, every aspect of Mulianxi is considered not in the margins of xiqu but in and of itself. While this volume is primarily concerned with Mulianxi, references are also made to other forms of Chinese performing arts and temple theatre, Nuoxi in particular, as Mulianxi has been performed since the twelfth century as, or in company with, Nuoxi, to cleanse the community of evil spirits and epidemic diseases.
This is an interdisciplinary book project that is aimed to help researchers and students of theatre history understand the ritual origins of Chinese theatre and the dynamic relationships among myth, ritual, religion and theatre.
Table of Contents
Part I: Mulianxi: From Northern Dramas to Southern Dramas; 1. Mulianxi in Northern Dramas; 2. Mulianxi in Southern Dramas; 3. Mulianxi in Marvel Dramas; Part II: Mulianxi: From Elite Court Theatre to Mass Regional Theatre; 4. Mulianxi at the Popular Turn of Kunqu; 5. Mulianxi in High-Qing Court Theatre; 6. Mulianxi in Mass Regional Theatre; Conclusion; Appendix: From Shrine to Stage: Towards an Anthropological Architecture of Chinese Temple Theatre; Glossary; Figure Credits; Bibliography
Xiaohuan Zhao is Associate Professor of Chinese Literary and Theatre Studies at the University of Sydney and concurrently Distinguished Overseas Professor at the Research Institute of Chinese Theatre and Theatrical Relics of Shanxi Normal University.