In our second lesson, we elaborated on our knowledge of the butterfly lovers, discovering how the characters within it can be related to traditional, Chinese stock characters, such as the Sheung and Jing. We discovered how the Lou diagram can be used to portray a character’s inner effigy and base character, and their reactions with other characters, based on the 9 elementals of Chinese theatre, such as fire and water. From our new knowledge of Chinese theatre, it was clear to see that it was both intricately similar and immensely contrasting from our own, British theatre. For example, the narrator (and correct us if we are wrong) traditionally stands at the back. We had a go at trying to portray the main stock characters, but with a limited knowledge, it was difficult. Through this exercise, we found how some of the characters (e.g. the clown/chou) are similar to our own, and, perhaps, what we recognise instantly as the clown, people watching Chinese theatre would recognise as the clown also. This was one more step towards forming more links with China, and discovering more about Chinese theatre.
picture from http://arts.cultural-china.com