Countryside singing lessons: No fun no audience…

Here are two folk-opera “divas” from the ’50s still going strong: fun is fun, Red music or not. That’s because they are singing amusing Shanxi clapper “opera” (trialsome label: it is vaudeville!). Rural-tour entertainment even in “Yellow Earth” country would have included or even featured this “Nashville” kind of show as well as the drum-and-kick show presented earlier (see below).

So as ever Chen Kaige (the film’s director) is skewing or just oblivious to the full range of folk “song”: his version of local song picks up only the not-for-performance variety of ballad (plaintsong) (called suanqur) which never appears in Party sponsored for-the-folks show. (It resides chiefly in the ethnomusicological encylopedias of the Lu Xun Academy, with no musical notation at all).

But here is the correction: and yes (second clip) that IS Hu Yaobang in the crowd, smiling actually. (It doesn’t come easy….)

Yun Erfeng (b 1951) and her teacher Guo Lanying (b. 1929).

see also: post Jan 6 2012
Yangge waist-drum dance for Yenan recruits (film Yellow Earth)

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