<p>Abstract:</p><p>The Mulian story is one of the oldest and most popular religious <i>xiqu</i> ("Chinese opera") narratives. Its overt Buddhist theme and ritual purpose caused the story to fall into disfavor after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, to reemerge gradually over the last three decades as the animus against tradition is replaced by its valorization as Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Mulian narrative has recently been the subject of a large-scale revival by the prominent state-owned company in Putian, Fujian Province. With that production as a case study, this article argues that state-led theatre reform is both reviving and altering the practices of "traditional" performance.</p>
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 13, 2019
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