Veritable battles on the stage demonstrate the skill of the actors, and the libretto of Peking opera, with an air of classical elegance, shows the charm of traditional opera. Director Hu Xuehua has a wealth of experience in film and theatre production, and has a good understanding of the psychology of the contemporary audience. The scene changes are swift, the tone and pace of voice are changed between breaths. The audience cannot help but cheer at the breath-taking moments, as well as indulging themselves in the long lyrical passages. The modern dance acts integrated into the storyline are so fascinating that they are not at all redundant in terms of structure and style, but have instead enriched and enhanced the theatrical beauty.
The heroine Jin Xiangyu is portrayed in a different way. Jin played by Maggie Cheung is coquettish, whereas by Shi Yihong is fierce. As the quote goes, “Good men can be found among rogues”, Shi is adept at taking on singing and martial roles, as well as embodying the perfect combination of the elegance of the Mei School, light-heartedness of the Xun School, sentimentality of the Cheng School and vigour of the Shang School. The heroine is vulgar, yet faithful and bold. Despite being romantic and enchanting, she is revealed as a lovable and respectable person as the story unfolds.
By Wang Yang
Associate professor at the School of Journalism & Communication of Shanghai University, Vice Chairman of Shenzhen Literary and Art Critics Association, Vice Chairman of Shenzhen Art and Science Association, documentary director, playwright and film critic.
This article is excerpted and translated from Chinese