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Taiwan director urges Chinese students to look toward tradition

Taiwan director urges Chinese students to look toward tradition

Shanghai, China, Oct. 24 (CNA) A Taiwanese theater director on Thursday urged students at a performing arts university in China to return to tradition to look for creativity and new ideas. Lee Shiao-pin, a director with Taiwan's GuoGuang Opera Company gave the advice while sharing with students at the Shanghai Theatre Academy his experience creating a musical drama that combines percussion and Peking opera. The piece, "MuLan," tells the possibly fictional story of Hua Mulan, a figure from ancient China who disguised herself as a man to fight in wars on behalf of her aging father. Mulan's character is played by two performers-- Peking opera performer Chu Sheng-li and Wu Pei-ching, a xylophone player and principal percussionist at the Ju Percussion Group, which produced the musical drama in collaboration with Lee. The drama, a new version of its 2010 drama of the same title, blends Eastern and Western, as well as modern and traditional, elements of art. Different instruments are used to express the mood at different stages of Mulan's life. Lee said he hopes that the "cross-over" of the drama can resonate with the younger generation and help explore the possibilities of percussion music. Stressing the importance of one' heritage, Lee encouraged the students to slow down and "look back at the precious assets left behind by our ancestors." During the same event, Ju Tzong-ching, the founder and artistic director of the Ju Percussion Group, Taiwan's first professional percussion ensemble, also stressed the importance of tradition. "I think traditional culture is our root, distinguishing feature, energy, brand and vitality. We should hold on to it," Ju, one of Taiwan's most famous musicians, told the Chinese students. "MuLan" has been performed in China's Guangzhou and Beijing cities since September. It will be staged in Shanghai on Oct. 26 and 27 and in Xiamen on Oct. 30. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-01-23 10:17 GMT+08:00