Shayi Zhang's Page

I am a second year MFA in Dramatic Media. My focused areas are 2D and 3D animations. I am from China. I am familiar with many kinds of Chinese theaters. Besides, I am interested in all kinds of Asian theaters.

This is Master of Nets Garden's official website
Night Garden performances in this garden each year are open from March or April to November from 19:30pm - 22:00pm.
The eight performances in Master of Nets Garden include Kunqu Opera (One act in the Peony Pavilion and One act in Fifteen Strings of Copper Coins), Pingtan(Instrument playing and story-telling), ancient instruments, folk music and dance.

I found some of the performances were videoed by visitors and uploaded to YouTube. I watched these performances repeatedly for 2 years when I was a tour guide there. I want to share five of them with you. (The other three performances are two instruments and a song.)
1. Masked Dance (Tiaojia guan跳加官)This is a folk dance that to bless people to get promotions in the career and to become rich. This folk dance is used for store/company openning ceremony, Chinese festivals, temper openning ceremony etc.

2. Kunqu Opera: Fifteen String of Copper Coins (十五贯) found an online introduction of the plot. I pasted it here:This is a Kunqü Opera story. A traditional play.One night a shop-keeper, YOU Hu-Lu, went home drunk after meeting his friends in a pub. He brought with him fifteen strings of coppers which were the debt he just had collected. When asked where the money came from he made fun of his young wife by telling her that he had sold her to someone. His wife got frightened, escaped to her parents for help when YOU fell sleep on the table, and left the door open and the lamp on. At midnight, a gambler, LOU A-Shu, dying for money sneaked in. YOU waked up when LOU was about to steal his coppers. LOU killed YOU and took his money.The next day, YOU's neighbors and friends found YOU dead in his home/shop and his wife was absent. So they chased all the way to the direction of YOU's parents-in-law's. YOU's in-laws lived in a distant village. In the old time the feet of Chinese ladies were fiercely wrapped to keep small since their childhood, and thus they could not run or walk quickly. By noon YOU's wife was still in half-way. The hot sun made her exhausted and sweaty. So she took a rest at the roadside. A young man came up going in the same direction as she did. After exchanging a few words, they found they were aiming for the same destination. The young man helped her and they went together.YOU's friends caught up with them. They accused the two adultery and murdered YOU. The young man happened to have fifteen strings of coppers with him. The two were brought to the court and then were sentenced to death. The death penalty had to be approved by the top legal administration of the State. While waiting for the execution, somehow LOU's crime was discovered. Finally, LOU was executed and the two innocents got they freedom.3. Pingtan(评弹): Night Mooring at Maple Bridge

The Pingtan actors are reciting the poem Night Mooring at Maple Bridge (in Suzhou dialect). Night Mooring at Maple Bridge is a famous poem wrote by Zhang Ji

Witter Bynner's translation of this poem, in his book The Jade Mountain, is as follows:A Night-Mooring Near Maple Bridge

While I watch the moon go down, a crow caws through the frost;
Under the shadows of maple-trees a fisherman moves with his torch;
And I hear, from beyond Su-chou, from the temple on Cold Mountain,
Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell.

The author Zhangji dates would seem to be about a.d. 730-780, this poem likely having been written in the 750s.The poet is about a troubled sleep. He is in a boat, moored on a canal in Suzhou City, by a small bridge named Maple Bridge. The bridge is still there. Because of the poem, it is very famous. .

4. Dance: Spring on a moonlight river(春江花月夜)
5. Kunqu Opera: The Peony Pavilion

1 Pingtan

2 Qing dynasty styled traditional Chinese wedding dress with phoenix crown