Home Events DDA Sponsorship of the British Consulate’s Cultural and Education Sector’s Summer School Programme
DDA Sponsorship of the British Consulate’s Cultural and Education Sector’s Summer School Programme PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rose   
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 14:56

Double Dragon Alliance recently sponsored the British Council’s annual Summer School Programme, run in partnership with Shanghai’s Jing Cai Middle School International Section.

 

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The British Consulate, with whom Double Dragon Alliance regularly organize cultural events for their UK visitors to China, invited DDA to sponsor their Summer School Programme in addition to organizing a cultural event for the UK students and participate in the programme’s activities. The UK students, who were selected from several schools around the UK, many of whom already have links with Chinese schools, came to Shanghai in the middle of July to participate in a cultural learning programme, learning about a variety of different aspects of Chinese life and culture, and experience China for themselves.

 

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The two week programme gave participants firsthand experience of many forms of traditional Chinese culture, like Calligraphy, Peking Opera, Kunqu Opera, Martial Arts etc, as well as letting them take part in “modern” cultural activities, such as environmental projects.

 

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The programme is an excellent forum for both the UK participants and their Chinese counterparts to learn more about each others’ cultures, habits and lifestyles, and gain a deeper understanding of another point of view or way of living.
It is also an excellent chance for young people to develop their own personalities, broaden their horizons and challenge themselves to reach their full potential.
The Summer School Team from the British Consulate’s Cultural and Education Section, alongside Jing Cai Middle School organized a full and exciting programme for the students and their accompanying teachers from the UK, and ensured they all had an active and enjoyable foray into Shanghai and Chinese culture, with a splendid variety of activities and learning experiences on offer.

 

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The 130 UK participants, wearing Taiji Suits provided by Double Dragon Alliance and printed with the Alliance’s logo, took part in daily martial arts training, including Taiji Quan and Fan Forms, and were featured in the ‘Xin Wen’ Morning Post newspaper, as well as on Dragon Television Station, performing a modern Wushu form at the Sports Academy in Shanghai’s Yang Pu District.

 

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Double Dragon Alliance were also invited to organize an introduction to Peking Opera for the Summer School Programme.
Three specialists from Shanghai’s Chinese Opera School in Lian Hua Rd: Miss Yang Yang Nan, Mr Qiao Yu and Mr Yan Run Lei, along with Rose Oliver who acted as translator and host for the event, were invited to introduce the history behind Peking Opera, perform and instruct the participants in various singing styles, for example the “Wu Dan, Wu Sheng and Chou” (Martial Female, Martial Male and Clown) roles; the movements and dance steps of the various characters, as well as demonstrate and teach some of the martial art movements and weapons techniques from Peking Opera.

 

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The workshop began with a performance by the two male performers from “San Cha Kou” - “The Wicked Innkeeper or The Three Crossroads”; namely the fight scene between the two characters, a martial male role (Wu Sheng) and a martial clown role (Wu Chou). The scene is supposed to be set within a room in an inn, in pitch darkness and depicts a comic battle between the two male characters, which includes great mime and martial acrobatic skills, together with some very complicated and exciting choreography.
The wonderful performance was very much enjoyed by the UK audience, who were very impressed by the acrobatics of the two performers. Several volunteers then also had the opportunity to learn and then re-enact parts of the sword-fighting scene.

 

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Later, other volunteers led by Miss Yang, who’s also a regular performer at Shanghai’s Chinese Opera Theatre on Fuzhou Rd, learnt some of the singing and vocal techniques and accompanying dancing and walking styles of some of the female Peking Opera roles, to the great enjoyment of those watching.
The mixed group of male and female volunteers really got into the spirit of the occasion and their lively rendition of the line, “Xiao Jie Sui Wo Lai” and dainty, little footsteps and fan movements had the audience in raptures.

 

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The participants also got to try on several lavish costumes, including the extraordinary military martial female costume, complete with long, heavy, hand-embroidered silks and large silken flags attached to the back, with peacock-feather headdress; in addition to experiencing traditional face painting/masks which identify the different characters within Peking Opera, eg. The Monkey King, Guan Yu, a martial male role and a “wicked” female role (Cai Dan).

 

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The afternoon session ended with the participants being taught spear “juggling” and twirling techniques; a complicated and integral part of many performances in Peking Opera; plus a ‘mock’ spear fight between Miss Yang and Mr Qiao, which demonstrated very clearly the hard work, diligence, patience, practice and skill that it takes to become a Peking Opera artist.
The three and a half hour session proved to be a great success and a thoroughly great time was had by all.
The three performers and Rose Oliver were especially impressed by the UK students’ and teachers’ willingness to join in with the activities and really have a go at some of the complex and ‘alien’ movements and vocal styles.

 

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The Peking Opera event, which was also filmed by Dragon TV Station, was enormous fun and one which we hope to repeat in the future, as the interactive format really allows participants to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of an art form synonymous with Chinese culture around the world.

 

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Double Dragon Alliance were delighted and honoured to be invited to both sponsor such a worthy enterprise as the British Council’s Summer School Programme and to be able to introduce Peking Opera to the participants, and we hope we will have many more similar opportunities in the future.

Last Updated ( Monday, 20 October 2008 10:30 )
 
 

Rose Oliver M.B.E.

+86-13564190544

roseinchina2006@yahoo.co.uk
rose@doubledragonalliance.com

c/o Suite HI, Studio 51, 6th Floor, 28 Tan Jia Du Rd, Putuo District, Shanghai, China, 200063

Welcome to our home page! Here you will find information about our organization and details about events being held here in China and around the world. Double Dragon Alliance has bases in Shanghai, China; Cambridge, London, Manchester, & Plymouth, in the UK; and Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Durham, Winston Salem & Chicago, in the USA.

 

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