Dec 14, 2013

Woyzeck

Woyzeck is a combination of Peking Opera and classical Western tragedy. Photos provided to China Daily

The content of the drama is the story of a poor soldier who is too weak to exist in the society. I see a link to our society: We suffer from a lot of pressure and we have to find ways to deal with it, and not to end in a desperate or even tragic situation, Peschke says.

The premiere of the show was successful. The audience admired Wang Lu's skills, his strength of expression and his persuasive change of the characters, the director says.

Wang Lu, who started learning Beijing Opera at the age of 13, plays wusheng, a male martial-arts role in Beijing Opera. When he first saw the script, he was captivated by the idea of mixing Western classical work with Beijing Opera.

In Beijing Opera, various body movements portray characters and advance the story. I used the same way to act different roles in Woyzeck, says the 32-year-old actor.

With hundreds of years of evolution and development, Beijing Opera is more than just a tradition but an art form, which keeps progressing.

His performance is accompanied by experimental live music from Bruce Gremo, composer and flutist, who moved from New York to Beijing in 2006.

The most challenging thing for Gremo is to learn Wang's habits as a Beijing Opera actor.

There are traditional techniques of cuing, coordinating, and anticipating between sound and movement. It means that I must follow him very closely, watching and playing at the same time, he says.

What is interesting for me here, where everyone is already experienced at crossing genres, is that the blends are rich enough that you really start to have the sense of new forms, not simply the first introduction between strangers, he says.

Wang

Wang Lu delivers a virtuoso portrayal of all the characters.

Written180 years ago by German author George Buechner, the drama tells of a poor and lowly soldier's oppression by different authority figures in society. Woyzeck descends into madness and murders his girlfriend.

Wang Lu, an actor from China National Beijing Opera Company, delivers a virtuoso portrayal of all the characters, almost without words, drawing upon the rich vocabulary of gestures from Beijing Opera.

Woyzeck has been interpreted in various art forms and I have watched the opera and drama versions before, Wang Xiaoxin says. It's been my long-standing dream to bring it to the stage in the form of Beijing Opera.

After starting work on the script in 2009, she invited Wang Lu to join her. She has worked with the performer many times, including in Fisherman and the Fish.

As they developed the crossover show more deeply, Wang Xiaoxin realized that she needed to step away from it, so she invited German stage director Anna Peschke.

Because I am too familiar with Beijing Opera, I felt my imagination was limited, says Wang Xiaoxin.

To break the convention, I invited a foreign director and I believe she will give a fresh and interesting result to the cross-cultural experiment.

Wang

Photo provided to China Daily

As a director at the intersection of theater, performance and visual art, Peschke wants to show a contemporary version of Beijing Opera, which is experimental, open and tragic.

The content of the drama is the story of a poor soldier who is too weak to exist in the society. I see a link to our society: We suffer from a lot of pressure and we have to find ways to deal with it, and not to end in a desperate or even tragic situation, Peschke says.

The premiere of the show was successful. The audience admired Wang Lu's skills, his strength of expression and his persuasive change of the characters, the director says.

Wang Lu, who started learning Beijing Opera at the age of 13, plays wusheng, a male martial-arts role in Beijing Opera. When he first saw the script, he was captivated by the idea of mixing Western classical work with Beijing Opera.

In Beijing Opera, various body movements portray characters and advance the story. I used the same way to act different roles in Woyzeck, says the 32-year-old actor.

With hundreds of years of evolution and development, Beijing Opera is more than just a tradition but an art form, which keeps progressing.

His performance is accompanied by experimental live music from Bruce Gremo, composer and flutist, who moved from New York to Beijing in 2006.

The most challenging thing for Gremo is to learn Wang's habits as a Beijing Opera actor.

There are traditional techniques of cuing, coordinating, and anticipating between sound and movement. It means that I must follow him very closely, watching and playing at the same time, he says.

What is interesting for me here, where everyone is already experienced at crossing genres, is that the blends are rich enough that you really start to have the sense of new forms, not simply the first introduction between strangers, he says.

SOURCE : Chen Nan  (China Daily)

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