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Century-old Xiju Opera still shines

Updated : 2022-07-21
(gowuxi.com)

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Characters in the Xiju Opera Xianying Bridge along with their cartoon counterparts. [Photo/Wuxi Daily]

Xiju Opera, also known as Wuxi Opera, has in recent years been seeking to become popular among younger generations.

To achieve this, cartoon versions of characters in the Xiju Opera Xianying Bridge were recently launched.

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A poster for the Xiju Opera Pearl Pagoda. [Photo/Wuxi Daily]

The cartoon characters were designed by Yang Pingjun, a teacher at the Wuxi Vocational Institute of Arts & Technology. She has long been dedicated to preserving traditional culture and regional culture.

Yang said that it is not her first time designing such characters.

Yang started formed a partnership with the Jiangsu Xiju Opera Troupe in 2020 to create cartoon versions of classic Xiju Opera characters.

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Cartoon characters from the Xiju Opera Pearl Pagoda. [Photo/Wuxi Daily]

"I think Xiju Opera is so beautiful. It has many memorable stories and tunes," noted the designer. "I hope the cartoon characters will help make it more popular."

Yang added that the cartoon characters are more than they appear, as they use modern animation to recreate opera performances, music, dances, costumes, and makeup.

Cai Yu, director of the Wuxi Xiju Opera Theater, said that the cartoon versions of traditional Xiju Opera performances would be more appealing to young generations. For example, more young people bought tickets to the Xiju Opera Pearl Pagoda after it was turned into a cartoon.

Products related to Xiju Opera, including mugs and canvas bags, have also been developed to promote traditional culture among young people.

Xiju Opera performer Wang Binbin said he believes that to revitalize traditional Xiju Opera, one must find what content is appealing to young people and focus on that in the future.

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