Fri 25 May 2012
This morning I accidentally found this video at YouTube, and I thought I upload it here before it disappears.
It’s a pretty 1920×1080, 252MB video of Geng Qiaoyun performing The Drunken Concubine at the 2012 Spring Festival Gala of the (I suspect the Californian?) Confucius Institute.
Geng Qiaoyun (耿巧云) is a famous huadan performer, disciple of Liu Changyu (刘长瑜), who is some kind of “living legend”, and one of the most prestigious teachers in huadan circles. Geng graduated in the first session of the Outstanding Young Jingju Performers Class, and was honored with the Plum Blossom Prize in 2001.
You can buy a CD of her here and a DVD here – latter is a love story, as many representative pieces of the huadan repertoire. CCTV11 aired this opera, Peach Blossom Village a month ago, with Liu Rongzheng, another student of Liu Changyu in the leading role. As in Hong Niang, the nosy servant girl acts as the matchmaker of the chaste young woman and the handsome, talented scholar.
It might be my imagination, but I found Geng Qiaoyun’s tipsy Guifei more lively than the ones impersonated by actresses trained in qingyi role. As she’s specialized in Xun school, she might be more accustomed to witty, bright-smiled characters. Very different from the closed-mouthed, fluid Mei-style version of Li Shengsu. (My dark secret is that I’m not a great fan of Li, but I’ve never seen a drunken concubine with better oiled joints.)
Click here to download the video - and don’t forget to enjoy.