Why Some Drums are More Important than (all) Others…

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Images:

1) Opening of nverguo (matrimonial land) – anchor image
2) Jaga (Hani-Yi) striking the Taiyanggu to call forth light (2)
3) Li Huaixiu, Yi singer of Haicaiqiang in show (winner of 2006 first “yuanshitai” song contest
4) Mingyue Gewutuan, 1930 (for contrast in line-dance style with Haicaiqiang singers/dancers)
5) Collage: the sun rises red in the east…

It is unusual for a stage genre to bear a name that not only cannot be translated but whose very sign-fication remains obscure and still open to rancorous debate (… this is not the French Academy after all) The word however shows up as early as the … in conjunction with the pursuit of UNESCO status – and filter directly into the Chinese title of this corner-turning work, which is labelled 云南映象 原生态歌舞剧】 = a song-dance drama of (in a) state of un (re) worked-over (form). In a condition of not-yet-having-been spoiled by techno-artistic interference – that is (mainly) by print culture and the standardization of meaning and thus of all performance “traditions”, be they oral recital or music or dance. A phenomenon or condition of society ever pursued by cult anthropologists but by now virtully non-existent, having been shattered by even the most modest of creatures- the battery.

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