BETWEEN TRADITION AND AVANT-GARDE. IN SEARCH OF MODERN CHINESE THEATRE
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The article aims at presenting modern Chinese theatre and its development. It was based on Chinese studies concerning art, especially modern theatre, in China. At the end of the 1970s, the spirit of experiment began to revive in China. It can be observed in one of the currents of theatre and drama of two recent decades: the searching theatre (also called the theatre of experiment or the avant-garde theatre). This theatre is a melange form and a meeting place for various arts. The performance has a process-like character. The new Chinese theatre attaches considerable importance to the interaction between the actor and the spectator which occurs within a concrete space (not always the traditional stage). Until the mid eighties, the new theatre in China had been developing in almost absolute isolation from world theatre. Then, Chinese avant-garde artists came to gravitate towards the West. It resulted in changes of the repertoire of the experimental theatre which, apart from Chinese dramas, started to stage plays by Genet, Ionesco, Beckett, Fo, O'Neill and modernized Shakespeare. The young theatre also more and more often reaches for texts which have not been written to be performed on stage, such as File 0 (Ling dang'an) based on a poem by Yu Jian. Chinese experimental theatre is the triumph of intellect. The exposition of the intellectual character of a theatrical work positions it closer to the Western avant-garde. Modern Chinese avant-garde combines passion for experiment with a wise approach to tradition, both native and foreign.
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