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OCT
21
Examining Chinese Opera: Redefining Genre and Gender, Subverting Ideology in Revolutionary Ballet
Date:
Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020
Time:
2:40 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location:
Lecture Zoom registration: https://msu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkcuysrTIsGtS40NFVuH5-4g0L1cgn74o1
Department:
Asian Studies Center
Event Details:

Dr Rowan McLelland, Senior Lecturer, Department of Dance,

University of Roehampton, London.

In the mid-twentieth century in the People's Republic of China, as part of the revolutionary project, Western performing arts traditions were consciously adopted and institutionalised by the state. This lecture takes the ballets The Red Detachment of Women (1964), and White Haired Girl (1965) as examples to illustrate how this systematic adoption was part of a nation building exercise which made use of artists for state ideology. It will explore the processes through which Western art forms were made relevant to the Chinese nation and will makes clear the importance of the Model Works not only to the Cultural Revolution, but also to the development of performing arts in China to the present day. Finally, we will consider how the dancers themselves, as highly refined and skilled artists, and are constituted in relation to Maoist thinking which promoted the development of physical virtuosity as a path to developing national health and international status. Under Mao, the cultivation of the physical body made links between individual virtuosity, personal morality and the success of the state. As such, dancers became tools of the revolution. University of Roehampton, London.

In the mid-twentieth century in the People's Republic of China, as part of the revolutionary project, Western performing arts traditions were consciously adopted and institutionalised by the state. This lecture takes the ballets The Red Detachment of Women (1964), and White Haired Girl (1965) as examples to illustrate how this systematic adoption was part of a nation building exercise which made use of artists for state ideology. It will explore the processes through which Western art forms were made relevant to the Chinese nation and will makes clear the importance of the Model Works not only to the Cultural Revolution, but also to the development of performing arts in China to the present day. Finally, we will consider how the dancers themselves, as highly refined and skilled artists, and are constituted in relation to Maoist thinking which promoted the development of physical virtuosity as a path to developing national health and international status. Under Mao, the cultivation of the physical body made links between individual virtuosity, personal morality and the success of the state. As such, dancers became tools of the revolution.