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New Shaoxing opera featuring Monkey King makes debut

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: December 1, 2021 L M S


A scenario of the Shaoxing Opera Monkey King subdues White-Bone Demon, a well-known episode of the Chinese classic Journey to the West. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]

A new version of Shaoxing Opera Monkey King subdues White-Bone Demon, a well-known work based on the Chinese classic Journey to the West, premiered at the Shaoxing Opera Theater in Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang province, on the evening of Nov 17.

The performance was met with thunderous applause during its two-hour run.

"I saw the classic episode when I was young, and the new version brought me back to my childhood and helped me gain a deeper understanding of the story," said Tao Zhijuan, a 70-year-old citizen, after watching the show.

The late Chairman Mao Zedong once wrote a poem themed around Shaoxing Opera Monkey King subdues White-Bone Demon 60 years ago. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of this poem, Shaoxing held a series of activities including a premier of the show and a movie titled Battles with the Red Boy – it is another classic episode in Journey to the West - as well as seminars on traditional Chinese performances.

"I have starred the Monkey King for more than 40 years, and have developed my understanding towards this character," said Liu Jianyang, the leading actor of the show.

"Based on the storyline of the traditional show, the new version is designed to be more appealing to young audiences," Liu added.

According to Shaoxing cultural authorities, the city will give more priority to developing Shaoxing Opera and motivating more youngsters to fall in love with this traditional cultural form.