Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Modern Languages & Literatures

Department

Theatre, Speech & Dance

Journal Title

Asian Theatre Journal

Pub Date

Spring 2012

Publisher

University of Hawaii Press

Volume

29

Issue

1

Journal Article URL

https://www.jstor.org/stable/23359552

First Page

206

Abstract

In 1979, after twenty-one years of political reeducation, Chinese classical dance professor Sun Ying (孙颖, 1929—2009) returned to the Beijing Dance Academy to instigate reform in the field of Zhongguo gudianwu, the official national dance form of the People's Republic of China. In creating the Han-Tang style of Zhongguo gudianwu, Sun challenged accepted notions of Chineseness within the field, especially the idea that Chinese indigenous theater, or xiqu, should serve as the primary foundation for a distinctively Chinese national body aesthetic. While Sun's alternative vision of Chineseness produced extensive controversy, this controversy is not antithetical to the historical aims and assumptions of Zhongguo gudianwu. Since the founding of the field in the early 1950s, practitioners of Zhongguo gudianwu have treated Chineseness as a subject for creative invention, interpretation, and debate; therefore, Sun's work is not a post-Mao phenomenon but rather an extension of the art and politics of the Mao period.

Share

COinS