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Performing Hybridity in Colonial-Modern China

Overview

In Shanghai during the early portion of the twentieth century, a hybrid theatrical form emerged that was based on Western spoken theatre, classical Chinese theatre, and a Japanese hybrid form of kabuki and Western-style spoken theatre called shinpa (new school drama). Known as wenmingxi (civilized drama), this form has, until recently, largely been ignored by scholars in China and the West as it does not fit into the current binary "traditional/modern" model in non-Western theatre and performance studies. This ...

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Performing Hybridity in Colonial-Modern China

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Overview

In Shanghai during the early portion of the twentieth century, a hybrid theatrical form emerged that was based on Western spoken theatre, classical Chinese theatre, and a Japanese hybrid form of kabuki and Western-style spoken theatre called shinpa (new school drama). Known as wenmingxi (civilized drama), this form has, until recently, largely been ignored by scholars in China and the West as it does not fit into the current binary "traditional/modern" model in non-Western theatre and performance studies. This book places wenmingxi in the context of its hybridized literary and performance elements, giving it a definitive place in modern Chinese theatre.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Performing Hybridity in Colonial-Modern China fills a crucial gap in studies of modern Chinese theater by providing an in-depth study of the genre of wenmingxi (civilized drama) . . . [an] impeccably researched volume." - Modern Chinese Literature and Culture

"Liu's Performing Hybridity in Colonial-Modern China challenges the traditional/modern dichotomy that has dominated intercultural and postcolonial theatre studies in the past. Instead, the author adopts a model of hybridity that allows him to explore the evolving layers of influence that combined to shape the fascinating genre of wenmingxi performance in early twentieth-century China." - Bruce McConachie, Professor of Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh, USA

"A substantial and original contribution to modern Chinese drama and performance history with historical scope and cross-cultural perspectives, this book provides insights into a wide range of issues such as self/other, nation/state, modernism, collective consciousness, and gender politics. This meticulous study breaks new ground in our understanding of Chinese performance culture in global contexts and its complex heritage. A must read for students and scholars of modern Chinese theater and its lasting impact on the formation of a 'new' nation." - Xiaomei Chen, Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, University of California, Davis, USA

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Siyuan Liu is Assistant Professor in the Department of the Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He has published over a dozen peer-reviewed essays on twentieth-century Chinese theatre in edited books and academic jourbanals such as Theatre Jourbanal, Theatre Survey, TDR, Asian Theatre Jourbanal, and Text & Presentation. He is the current President of Association for Asian Performance.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Modernity, Interculturalism, and Hybridity
1. Emergence of the National Theatrical Discourse
2. Hybrid Sources: Western, Japanese, and Chinese
3. Hybridization in Shanghai
4. Literary Hybridity: Scripts and Scenarios
5. Translative Hybridity: Acculturation and Foreignization
6. Performance Hybridity: The Search for Conventions

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