Title

Performing Arts and Their Sociocultural Roles in East Asia Countries

Titles of the Individual Presentations in a Panel

Brief Analysis of the Themes of Plays in Shaanxi Opera (Zuotang Zhang) Kabuki in Japanese Traditional Performing Arts (Noriko Mori-Kolbe) The Wisdom of Taichi (Jingxin Pu) The “Hua’er” Songs and the Pitfalls in Translating Them (Yining Zhang)

Subject Area

East Asian/Chinese Studies

Abstract

Performing Arts and Their Sociocultural Roles in East Asia Countries

Four-presenter Panel

Abstract: Performing arts in East Asian countries are not only featured in various forms, such as operas, martial arts and folk love songs, but also play myriad roles and have such social and cultural functions as entertaining, fitness building and moral educating. In our panel Zuotang Zhang takes three Shaanxi operas to analyze the main themes and to discuss the functionality of the operas in moral education. Noriko Mori-Kolbe takes sociocultural and sociolinguistic approaches to examine gender roles through Kabuki, one of the three famous performing art types in Japan. Her goal is to help students better understand the Japanese language through the lens of culture. Jingxin Pu presents the wisdom of Taichi by using examples of the Taichi Quan, a usually non-theatrical performing art that is characterized in sophisticated gentle body movement that best represents the harmony of yin and yang. Yining Zhang briefly introduces a non-theatrical form of performing art that is popular in northwest China; but her focus lies in the pitfalls and difficulties of introducing the folk love songs to Western audience.

Key words: Performing arts; East Asia; Shaanxi Opera; Kabuki; Taichi; Hua’er

Brief Analysis of the Themes of Plays in Shaanxi Opera

Zuotang Zhang

Abstract: Among dozens of Chinese traditional operas, Shaanxi opera is one of the oldest. Its repertoire boasts to have over 1,000 plays and around 100 are still “alive” and active on the stages. This presentation takes three Shaanxi opera plays as representatives to analyze the main themes of these plays. (1) The Orphan of Zhao combines hero-worshiping and praise to great personal sacrifice to show excessive friendship to one that was loyalty to the nation; (2) Touring the Turtle Mountain tells a Superman-like young man’s heroic deeds and romantic encounters while fleeing for life; (3) The Case of Beheading Chen Shi-mei rationalizes a capital punishment to a mean husband who, in order to marry a princess, not only abandoned his wife and two children but also planned to have them murdered. Through these plays, audience are quietly education about the morality of society that is valued by Chinese tradition.

Key words: Shaanxi opera; themes; moral education;

Kabuki in Japanese Traditional Performing Arts

Noriko Mori-Kolbe

Abstract: This presentation uses sociocultural and sociolinguistic approaches to examine gender roles through one of Japan’s traditional performing arts – Kabuki (歌舞伎), or dance drama, which is performed in a Japanese classical theater art form and whose origin can be traced back to the Edo Period (江戸時代), or otherwise called Tokugawa period (徳川時代). 【Please add something here, 經子】While looking mainly at gender issues presented in Kabuki, my presentation also cross reference similarities and differences in two other equally famous performing art forms – Noh and Bunraku. My research aims to find ways to incorporate traditional Japanese culture in Japanese language teaching so as to enhance to appreciation and better understand of the Japanese language through the lens of culture.

Key words: sociocultural, sociolinguistics, Japanese performing arts

The Wisdom of Taichi

Jingxin Pu

Abstract: The concept of Taichi derives from the oldest work of Chinese philosophy named Yih King, or the Classic of Changes, which embodies the philosophy of Yin (阴) and Yang (阳). The Chinese ancients took the unity of Yin and Yang as the Great Terminus (Taichi). Taichi plays an important role in the thoughts of the Chinese people and forms even today the basis of Chinese highest religious conceptions, scientific notions, and superstitions. Chinese philosophy conceives the world as the product of Yin and Yang. All the things in the world, man included, are thought to be compounds of Yin and Yang elements. The dualistic system of Taichi map gives expression to celestial peace, concordance, equality, balance, harmony and hope. The practical exercise of Taichi is called Taichi Chuan, a more gentle form of Chinese martial arts and a mind-body practice that is believed to boost people’s wellbeing physically and mentally, help one to achieve self-balance and make one at peace. Another appealing feature of Taichi is due to the fact that it is inexpensive, as it requires no special equipment. Therefore, Taichi exercise can be a perfect activity for people because it is generally safe for all ages and fitness levels.

Key words: Taichi; Yin and Yang; health; Chinese philosophy

The “Hua’er” Songs and the Pitfalls in Translating Them

Yining Zhang

Abstract: The "Hua'er", literally means “flowers”, is a type of folk love song that is popular in Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang. As a major art form of Hui (Chinese Muslim) people in north-western China, “Hua’er” contains local and ethnic characteristics in the long course of national integration. Its translation into foreign languages has drawn increasing attention with the popularization of the concept of intangible cultural heritage. Having participated in the National Social Science Foundation Youth Project- Research on the Cognitive Experience and English Translation of Hua’er of Ningxia Hui Nationality, the presenter shares her translation experience of “Hua’er” by exemplifying the following difficulties encountered in the translating: (1) Dialects in north western China; (2) expressions with strong ethnic characteristics; (3) local culture in historical perspectives; (4) misunderstandings caused by Chinese and Western appellations. The presenter makes the neglected area and people with long-term poverty and backwardness visible by highlighting the splendid and distinctive local culture.

Key words: folk love songs; translation; ethnic characteristics

Brief Bio Note

Brief Bio Notes of the Presenters

Zuotang Zhang’s undergraduate major was English at Ningxia University, China, and he has a master’s degree in Religious Studies from Missouri State University. He received his PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Zuotang teaches Chinese language and culture at Georgia Southern University.

Noriko Mori-Kolbe grew up in Japan. She received a B.A. from Kyoto Women’s University in Japan. She completed both her Master’s in Music Education and Music Therapy and her Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education at the University of Kansas. Mori-Kolbe teaches Japanese language and culture at Georgia Southern University.

Jingxin Pu’s undergraduate major was English Education at Harbin Normal University, China, and she has a master’s degree in Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Shanghai Maritime University, China. She is ABD in International Relations Studies at Nanjing University. She teaches English at Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, China.

Yining Zhang has a master’s degree in TESL from Minnesota State University and she taught English in Ningxia Normal University, China for six years. She is a Curriculum Studies doctoral student at Georgia Southern University where she is a teaching assistant in the Foreign Languages Department at GSU.

Keywords

Performing arts, East Asia, Shaanxi Opera, Kabuki, Taichi, Hua’er

Presentation Year

October 2020

Start Date

10-23-2020 12:00 PM

End Date

10-23-2020 12:40 PM

Embargo

12-14-2019

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Oct 23rd, 12:00 PM Oct 23rd, 12:40 PM

Performing Arts and Their Sociocultural Roles in East Asia Countries

Performing Arts and Their Sociocultural Roles in East Asia Countries

Four-presenter Panel

Abstract: Performing arts in East Asian countries are not only featured in various forms, such as operas, martial arts and folk love songs, but also play myriad roles and have such social and cultural functions as entertaining, fitness building and moral educating. In our panel Zuotang Zhang takes three Shaanxi operas to analyze the main themes and to discuss the functionality of the operas in moral education. Noriko Mori-Kolbe takes sociocultural and sociolinguistic approaches to examine gender roles through Kabuki, one of the three famous performing art types in Japan. Her goal is to help students better understand the Japanese language through the lens of culture. Jingxin Pu presents the wisdom of Taichi by using examples of the Taichi Quan, a usually non-theatrical performing art that is characterized in sophisticated gentle body movement that best represents the harmony of yin and yang. Yining Zhang briefly introduces a non-theatrical form of performing art that is popular in northwest China; but her focus lies in the pitfalls and difficulties of introducing the folk love songs to Western audience.

Key words: Performing arts; East Asia; Shaanxi Opera; Kabuki; Taichi; Hua’er

Brief Analysis of the Themes of Plays in Shaanxi Opera

Zuotang Zhang

Abstract: Among dozens of Chinese traditional operas, Shaanxi opera is one of the oldest. Its repertoire boasts to have over 1,000 plays and around 100 are still “alive” and active on the stages. This presentation takes three Shaanxi opera plays as representatives to analyze the main themes of these plays. (1) The Orphan of Zhao combines hero-worshiping and praise to great personal sacrifice to show excessive friendship to one that was loyalty to the nation; (2) Touring the Turtle Mountain tells a Superman-like young man’s heroic deeds and romantic encounters while fleeing for life; (3) The Case of Beheading Chen Shi-mei rationalizes a capital punishment to a mean husband who, in order to marry a princess, not only abandoned his wife and two children but also planned to have them murdered. Through these plays, audience are quietly education about the morality of society that is valued by Chinese tradition.

Key words: Shaanxi opera; themes; moral education;

Kabuki in Japanese Traditional Performing Arts

Noriko Mori-Kolbe

Abstract: This presentation uses sociocultural and sociolinguistic approaches to examine gender roles through one of Japan’s traditional performing arts – Kabuki (歌舞伎), or dance drama, which is performed in a Japanese classical theater art form and whose origin can be traced back to the Edo Period (江戸時代), or otherwise called Tokugawa period (徳川時代). 【Please add something here, 經子】While looking mainly at gender issues presented in Kabuki, my presentation also cross reference similarities and differences in two other equally famous performing art forms – Noh and Bunraku. My research aims to find ways to incorporate traditional Japanese culture in Japanese language teaching so as to enhance to appreciation and better understand of the Japanese language through the lens of culture.

Key words: sociocultural, sociolinguistics, Japanese performing arts

The Wisdom of Taichi

Jingxin Pu

Abstract: The concept of Taichi derives from the oldest work of Chinese philosophy named Yih King, or the Classic of Changes, which embodies the philosophy of Yin (阴) and Yang (阳). The Chinese ancients took the unity of Yin and Yang as the Great Terminus (Taichi). Taichi plays an important role in the thoughts of the Chinese people and forms even today the basis of Chinese highest religious conceptions, scientific notions, and superstitions. Chinese philosophy conceives the world as the product of Yin and Yang. All the things in the world, man included, are thought to be compounds of Yin and Yang elements. The dualistic system of Taichi map gives expression to celestial peace, concordance, equality, balance, harmony and hope. The practical exercise of Taichi is called Taichi Chuan, a more gentle form of Chinese martial arts and a mind-body practice that is believed to boost people’s wellbeing physically and mentally, help one to achieve self-balance and make one at peace. Another appealing feature of Taichi is due to the fact that it is inexpensive, as it requires no special equipment. Therefore, Taichi exercise can be a perfect activity for people because it is generally safe for all ages and fitness levels.

Key words: Taichi; Yin and Yang; health; Chinese philosophy

The “Hua’er” Songs and the Pitfalls in Translating Them

Yining Zhang

Abstract: The "Hua'er", literally means “flowers”, is a type of folk love song that is popular in Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang. As a major art form of Hui (Chinese Muslim) people in north-western China, “Hua’er” contains local and ethnic characteristics in the long course of national integration. Its translation into foreign languages has drawn increasing attention with the popularization of the concept of intangible cultural heritage. Having participated in the National Social Science Foundation Youth Project- Research on the Cognitive Experience and English Translation of Hua’er of Ningxia Hui Nationality, the presenter shares her translation experience of “Hua’er” by exemplifying the following difficulties encountered in the translating: (1) Dialects in north western China; (2) expressions with strong ethnic characteristics; (3) local culture in historical perspectives; (4) misunderstandings caused by Chinese and Western appellations. The presenter makes the neglected area and people with long-term poverty and backwardness visible by highlighting the splendid and distinctive local culture.

Key words: folk love songs; translation; ethnic characteristics