Chapter

Training a Total Performer:

Eugenio Barba

in The Soul of Beijing Opera

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789622099944
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207394 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622099944.003.0003
Training a Total Performer:

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This chapter focuses on the learning process which will offer a social and theatrical context for the further investigation of jingju performances. It discusses the importance of “basic techniques” and the “mouth/heart” method in training actors for a total theatre of “singing, speaking, dance-acting, and combat”, and how they are trained to reconcile the formalized rules of performance with the ability to be creative. It notes that performers are the key to the process; through their lengthy, rigorous, and strictly disciplined training, actors acquire competence in the skills needed in this stylistic theatre. The chapter emphasizes that this groundwork leads the trainees towards conventionalization, the principle described by Li Yuru as “the soul of jingju”, which raises physical skills to the level of performance art.

Keywords: learning process; jingju; basic techniques; heart method; training actors; stylistic theatre; conventionalization; Li Yuru; performance art

Chapter.  13037 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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