Explore multiple places to increase support for rural theater troupes

Professional training brings rural residents to bring plays to cities  

  In the past, peasant troupes mostly performed in villages, and it was normal for urban troupes to "send their plays to the countryside." Nowadays, more and more local literary and art troupes have the opportunity to perform in cities, and small rural troupes have performed on big urban stages and are welcomed by audiences.

In recent years, as various localities have actively explored new models of cultural benefit to the people, provided policy support, organized professional training, and held various activities, in addition to "sending theater to the countryside", there has also been "sending theater to the city", and "sending culture" has gradually Become a "culture".

The cultural interaction between urban and rural areas not only stimulates rural vitality, but also enriches urban cultural life and makes cultural policies that benefit the people closer to the needs of the people.

  In this report, the reporter went to the villages of Jiangxi, Hunan, and Shandong to see how local operas are brought from villages to towns, from fields to theaters, and how "sending operas into cities" can better meet the spiritual and cultural needs of the people, and provide The comprehensive revitalization of rural areas provides more cultural momentum.


  Chen Zhilin, Director of the Raohe Opera Inheritance and Protection Sub-Center in Poyang County, Jiangxi Province——

  “I didn’t expect that the performance teams in rural areas are quite good.”

  Reporter Wang Dan

  Early in the morning, Yang Decai, a villager from Tuanqun Village, Changtian Street Township, Poyang County, Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province, stood in front of his house and shouted.

Yang Decai has loved listening to Raohe Opera of Gan Opera since he was a child, and he would learn a few lines from it.

Over the years, his hobby of listening to and singing operas has stayed with him.

Eight years ago, by chance, Yang Decai met Xia Guozheng, a fellow from his hometown, and joined the Xihe Band formed by Xia Guozheng.

  The members of the Xihe Band are almost all villagers from various villages in Mengtian Street Township. “Everyone comes together because of their love.” Xia Guozheng said that in the past, when the band was formed, it was just a few villagers who like to play, play and sing, who came together during their leisure time. From time to time, they sang opera, played erhu and played drums, and slowly grew to more than 30 members.

In recent years, the Xihe Band has often performed in this county and surrounding counties, leaving their presence everywhere in parks, communities, and Gan theaters.

"It used to be that cities were sending operas to the countryside, but now there are also rural areas that are sending operas to the cities. I didn't expect that the performance teams in rural areas are quite good!" said Chen Zhilin, director of the Raohe Opera Inheritance and Protection Sub-Center.

  In Poyang County, there are more than 1,300 folk art groups like the Xihe Band and more than 20 amateur theater troupes.

In recent years, Raohe Opera has been further promoted and loved by more and more people. Performance venues have gradually moved into county towns from village temple stages and village squares.

Almost every afternoon, many farmers from villages and towns gather in the corridors of parks such as Donghu Park and other parks in Poyang County to play gongs, drums, and orchestras. Sometimes the musicians also sing, and one person performs multiple roles, attracting a large number of people from the county. Theater fans.

  In order to support these folk theater troupes and develop rural culture, Poyang County, funded by the cultural department and organized by the Raohe Opera Inheritance and Protection Sub-center, provides free training to peasant actors, covering the history of opera development, music theory knowledge, sight-singing and ear training, vocal characteristics and repertoire Provide guidance in performance and other aspects to improve the performance level of peasant actors. In 2023, more than 500 people have been trained.

In addition, Poyang County also holds activities such as the "Poyang Gan Opera Art Festival", "Gan Opera Raohe Opera Huimin Performance Week", "Poyang Gan Opera Literary Performance", "Poyang Gan Opera Performance Day" and other activities in the county from time to time, which are recommended by the New Era Civilization Practice of various towns and villages. Farmer actors participated to provide them with a platform for display and communication.

  Yang Wansheng, leader of the Jiuxi Han Opera Troupe in Taoyuan County, Hunan Province——

  "We are very proud to be able to come to the city to perform games."

  Our reporter Sun Chao

  After dinner, Yang Wansheng went to the Jiuxi Cultural Palace in the town to organize a rehearsal for the team members.

Yang Wansheng is the leader of the Jiuxi Han Opera Troupe, Jiuxi Town, Jiuxi Town, Taoyuan County, Changde City, Hunan Province. The troupe's original production "Brother Xi and He Xi" is busy rehearsing and preparing to appear on the stage of the 8th Hunan Arts Festival.

  "We are a theater troupe from the countryside, and we are very proud to be able to perform in the city and perform in competitions." Yang Wansheng said that the troupe can perform all popular local folk arts such as Han opera, snipe and clam lanterns, and ground flower drums.

In the past, they only performed in the countryside, but in recent years, performing in cities has become a common occurrence.

  Speaking of how the Peasant Troupe grew from a young age, Yang Wansheng recalled the "New Taoyuan Struggle for Beauty" cultural activity month held in Taoyuan County in 2017.

At that time, the stage for the event was set up in a cultural and sports center where crowds gathered. The event was held in October and performed for 30 days a year.

Not only locals love to watch it, but people from surrounding areas also come to watch the performance.

The approach of “the government builds a platform and the masses play the leading role” has allowed a large number of outstanding teams and works to emerge in market towns and villages.

At present, this event has become a brand cultural activity, benefiting more than 100,000 people every year.

Jiuxi Han Opera Troupe also bid farewell to scattered performances in the streets and alleys. Relying on a long-term and standardized performance platform, it has gradually grown into a well-known local peasant troupe.

  In recent years, Taoyuan County has invested more than 200,000 yuan every year to invite folk theater troupes to perform in the city, and to connect with higher-level professional troupes to carry out art training, creating more opportunities for folk theater troupes to come to the city for exchanges.

Many towns have also provided venues at cultural stations free of charge for art troupes to rehearse and assist them in performances and creations.

Jiuxi Town not only has a 3,000-square-meter Farmers' Cultural Palace, but also a village-level comprehensive cultural service center with complete facilities.

In recent years, with the support of the cultural department, Yang Wansheng has participated in many cultural exchange activities in Changsha, Zhuzhou, Yiyang and other places.

  Dingcheng District of Changde City is also exploring ways to bring folk literature and art out of the countryside.

  Dingcheng District has established guiding funds to support the construction of rural cultural brands to reward and support outstanding folk art groups. It has also guided the establishment of a district-wide performing arts alliance with the district cultural center and district professional theater troupes as the main body and high-quality folk professional theater troupes as the backbone. Open up markets and build brands.

At the same time, the local area has also formed 8 literary and artistic Qingqi teams, which go to rural areas to provide music and opera tutoring and theoretical lectures to strengthen guidance for folk professional art groups.

  Yang Ying, the head of Dingcheng District Lawn Performing Arts Co., Ltd., and his art troupe benefited from this.

In 2001, Yang Ying and his wife founded a folk theater troupe with more than 10 actors, which performed in Caoping Town and surrounding towns.

“In 2007, the district’s theater troupe came to Caoping Town to hold cultural performances to benefit the people. I found that their Changde Silk String and Changde Flower Drum Opera performances were particularly popular in the village, so I went to the district cultural center and the district theater troupe (now renamed the district Flower Drum Opera Protection Center). Asking for advice." Yang Ying said that the other party was very supportive and soon sent professionals to provide guidance.

  In recent years, the performance venues of the art troupe have been continuously expanded.

Since 2015, under the guidance of the Caoping Town government, more than 100 folk art troupes in Caoping Town have been improving and integrating, and embarked on a more formalized and professional development path.

Today, local folk art groups have grown to 37 troupes with more than 900 employees, realizing that "every village has a theater troupe and every group has actors."

  Audience from Dongying District, Dongying City, Shandong Province——

  “You can see great shows at your doorstep”

  Our reporter Li Rui

  To the intertwined melody of the pendulum qin and the dulcimer, Yu Lishan, an actress from Hongjinglu Troupe, lightly lifted her sleeves and walked lightly. Her wonderful performance attracted bursts of applause.

Si Hongfang, deputy secretary of the party committee and mayor of Liuhu Town, Dongying District, Dongying City, Shandong Province, said: "The performances are very popular. Last year, the troupe performed more than 130 performances, including 80 performances in the city."

  Looking around, the theater, which can accommodate nearly 300 people, is packed with seats.

Zhai Shuqin, director of Dongying District Culture and Tourism Bureau, said: "With the theme of 'Giving the stage to the people', the 'Culture Enters Thousands of Families' theme event has more than 1,200 performances every year, and Zhuanghu theater troupes such as Hongjinglu Opera Troupe participate in more than 1,200 performances. More than 90% of the performances are arranged in urban communities where residents are concentrated."

  How did the Zhuanghu Theater Company, which had mostly performed in rural areas in the past, come to the urban stage?

Yang Kuiqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Dongying District Party Committee and Minister of the Propaganda Department, introduced that in 2019, Dongying District established the Lv Opera Protection, Inheritance and Development Center, formed a professional team of 10 people, established a working mechanism for Lv Opera professionals to rely on the Zhuanghu Opera Troupe, and regularly held "Lv Opera" "Inheritance Training Class" and "Rural Cultural Talent Special Training Class" focus on creating high-quality plays, cultivating drama talents, and rehearsing classic works.

In the past few years, the number of local literary and art teams has rapidly grown from 18 to more than 160, and their members have also grown from more than 60 to more than 1,100.

  "To activate the cultural life of the masses, we must not only let the masses sing and act well, but also give them a stage and an audience." Yang Kuiqiang said, "In the past, professional actors sent their plays to the countryside, but now there are also Zhuanghu troupes." "Bring operas to the city." With the theme of "Cultural Joy for Thousands of Families", Dongying District is building a large theater that can accommodate 1,000 people in the urban area, supporting small theaters and neighborhood theaters in urban communities, and encouraging local literary and art teams to perform hometown operas to Urban residents see it and enrich urban cultural activities.

  After the two-hour performance, 6-year-old Liang Yutong in the audience put his left hand on his hip and crossed his fingers with his right hand, imitating the actor's performance.

"Click" took a photo, and Liang Yutong's grandfather said: "My children like Lu Opera very much. In the past two years, Zhuanghu Troupe has often presented wonderful performances, and you can see good performances at your doorstep."

  Zhang Haixia, director of the Hongjinglu Opera Troupe, said: "The government supports the development of the Zhuanghu Opera Troupe, launching the 'Hand-in-Hand Growth Plan', building high-standard event venues, and implementing a series of policies such as a subsidy of 1,800 yuan per performance to promote the development of rural culture.' Gongs and drums are ringing in every household, and operas are being sung in every household. Now, 15 troupe members have become 'local stars.'" Yang Kuiqiang introduced that last year, the actors of Zhuanghu Troupe also invited Lu Opera lovers from the urban area to watch the opera competition with the troupe, and Conducted many inter-provincial opera exchange activities.

(People's Daily)