Accompanied by the Shanghai Theatre Academy and Xiqu Workshop
|Tian Mansha in 'Sigh'|
The award-winning Tian Mansha is also a teacher at the Opera Academy in Sichuan and her work seeks to renew traditional Sichuan Opera or Chuanju by introducing the traditional elements of Chuanju costume, music and percussion into pieces of modern experimental theatre.
In Sigh, she explores the impact of the Cultural Revolution through the intertwined lives of three Chuanju performers: as heartbroken Jiao Guiyin, she is a tragic female heroine from a late Ming dynasty play, performing in full Chuanju costume and facepaint; as an elderly actress, in anonymous blue sexless overalls and apron she is prohibited from performing, yet transcends the mundane rituals of her life as a cleaning lady, and continues to perform Chuanju from her memories of the past; and finally, of course, as Tian Mansha herself, she is the modern performance artist struggling to learn the elegant dance steps and water-sleeve movements of Chuanju, and who has seamlessly combined all three lives into a sublime and deeply poetic work.
Tian Mansha is a mesmerising performer who deserves to be widely recognised beyond the borders of her home country - catch this show if you get the opportunity. Highly recommended!