Yang Ban Xi (The 8 Model Works) (2005)
The Eight Model Works (2005)
Topics: Music / Art / Culture, Media, Political Institutions / Systems
Netherlands, 85 min
Dir: Yan Ting Yuen
During the ten years of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1965-1975), traditional opera was banned by Mao’s wife Jiang Qing, and replaced by a new kind of art in which the world was presented in a much simpler way: all the good guys were farmers and revolutionary soldiers, always singing and dancing in the broad spotlight; all the bad guys were landlords and anti revolutionaries, who wore dark make-up and were poorly lit.
Pure propaganda told in beautiful images and stories, the Yang Ban Xi incorporated the most modern techniques of cinematography, song, and dance, thus becoming a new art form in Chinese culture: Revolutionary model opera.
Yang Ban Xi, traces the rise and fall of Madam Mao's colorful propaganda operas during China’s Cultural Revolution and their renewed popularity in modern day China.
This documentary originally aired as part of Link TV's Doc-Debut series.
The "Eight model plays" were the only operas and ballets that were permitted during the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976). Although they were limited in number, there were in fact more than eight. They all have communist or revolutionary themes.
The official versions of the operas were all Beijing operas and were produced by either the China Beijing Opera House or Shanghai Beijing Opera House, although many of them were subsequently adapted to local provincial species of operas. The ballets were produced by either the Central Ballet Troupe or Shanghai Ballet Troupe.
In addition to the traditional format of Beijing opera, The Legend of the Red Lantern was adapted to a piano-accompanied cantata by the pianist Yin Chengzong, which was basically a cycle of arias excerpted from the opera. And Shajiabang was musically expanded to a symphony with a full Western orchestra, a format similar to the ninth symphony of Beethoven.
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Nov 26, 2007, 21:13:46
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