Metamorpho-poetic Legending in 1950s Film: (1) Ashima

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Note to my small handful of readers as of Aug. 10, 2012: please accept my apologies for the non-linearity of this essay-in-progress and of course for the ridiculous number of typos. A lot of this narrative instability is caused by … Continue reading

Mo Yan and Flight in Reverse: Chthonic Legend in Red Sorghum

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(preamble): Why Red Sorghum – again. I have recently rewritten the frontispiece for this website: it now focuses on the metatrope of flight. Physical flight upward, seemingly without point of return or safety armature. Something I first noticed in reviewing … Continue reading

Costume Androgyny and Bifolio-ed Assertions: Brush vs Sword (Huang Doudou, II)

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“Painting by Wushu brush” – the Martial Artiste Stages the Ribbon-sleeve Dance *** The dancer-choreographer here in focus – Huang Doudou – consistently tells his press following that he is building a “modern dance” for China, albeit not “simply” modern: … Continue reading

Masculine costume in “Doudou”‘s Modern Dance: From terracotta warrior to onnagata

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(1) The Qin Warrior comes back to life after 2200 years…. **** Gloomy prognosis aside a new formula for male SOLO dance did however emerge in the later 1990s. As one might expect it was centered in (around) gymnastic agility … Continue reading

How the Commies Invented a “Classicist” Dance 古典舞

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PICTURE SET:  THE BUILDING BLOCKS ….. Fig.  1    Han Mural of Dancer with Sword (possibly a shaman making/finishing a blood sacrifice) Fig.  2    Li Shengsuo 李胜素 as Concubine Yu, Sword Dance from (Opera) “Farewell My Concubine (1998): “Backflex” Fig.  … Continue reading

The King of Chu bids Farewell – and Moves to Hong Kong (Bawang Bieji, 1993)

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Note to readers: the essay extends an earlier of Oct 12 essay “Backstage Musical and Chen Kaige’s “FAREWELL” — to what?”. But it is a second go: spurred by the of the ever renewing interest in the suicide of 张国荣 … Continue reading

Red Lanterns Raised, Singers Hung, Ghosts Rampant

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Introduction. “Hang High the Red Lanterns”. 1991. Zhang Yimou, dir. We all have seen the film, a few the 2003 ballet, probably fewer still worked our way through the original (Chinese-langage) novella by 苏童 妻妾成群 “Wife and Concubines in Contest” … Continue reading