About this Course
4.8
116 ratings
37 reviews
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100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Chinese (Traditional)
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Chinese (Traditional)

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

An Introduction to the Beauty of Kunqu Opera

Welcome to The Beauty of Kunqu Opera! The following lecture videos will give you some ideas of the historical background and characteristics of Kunqu, China’s classical opera that originated more than 600 years ago and blossomed during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties (around 16th – 17th centuries). The introduction is followed by excerpts and analysis of The Peony Pavilion, Kunqu’s masterpiece. The poetic artistry shown in the arias, dialogues and dance movement of the characters exemplifies the aesthetic achievement of Kunqu....
Reading
5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
1.2. High points of Kunqu during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties4m
1.3. The socio-historical background of Kunqu in 16th- and 17th-century China6m
1.4.The Peony Pavilion, its poetry and performance20m
1.5. From page to stage: The Peony Pavilion as masterpiece8m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 120m
Week
2
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

The Beauty of Kunqu Music

Kunqu means music/song (qu) that originated from the district of Kunshan, Jiangsu province. The word itself shows the fundamental role played by music in this Chinese classical opera. This week, Prof. Lindy Li Mark from the California State University, East Bay will talk about the musical aspect of Kunqu. What are the musical features of Kunqu melodies? What is tune-type and what does a traditional score of Kunqu look like? How is the music of Kunqu different from that of the Western operas? What instruments are used in a Kunqu ensemble? Answers to these questions can be found in the lecture videos....
Reading
5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
2.2. Musical features of Kunqu melodies8m
2.3. Analytical definition of tune-type: qupai18m
2.4. Contrasts between Western opera and Kunqu opera6m
2.5. Traditional instruments of Kunqu ensemble: changmian6m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 220m
Week
3
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Male Role-Types

Just like other genres of Chinese opera, Kunqu has a broad range of role-types, such as male (sheng), female (dan), painted face (jing) and comic (chou). From this week on, legendary performing artists who have devoted their whole lives to Kunqu will talk about the role-types they specialize in and their facial makeup, costume, singing, speaking and movements. In addition, they will demonstrate some of the very important repertoires in Kunqu and share with us the characteristics of each of them. This week, Maestros Yue Meiti and Cai Zhengren will talk about one of the most important role-types of Kunqu, the male role-type. Classical plays such as The Jade Hairpin, The Shepherd, and The Palace of Eternal Life will be introduced as well....
Reading
6 videos (Total 85 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
3.2.1. Singing and speaking of the young scholar role-type10m
3.2.2. Foot work and hand gestures of the young scholar role-type11m
3.2.3. Hand, eye,body, and step combined: "Repartee of Zithers", a scene from The Jade Hairpin16m
3.3. Demostration of the young official role-type: "Looking Homeward", a scene from The Shepherd15m
3.4. Demostration of the great official role-type: "Lamenting before the Statue", a scene from The Palace of Eternal Life19m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 316m
Week
4
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Female Role-Type

The female role-type is another prominent role-type of Kunqu and can be divided into a number of subtypes. In this week lively lectures and demonstration by Maestros Zhang Jingxian (mature female), Zhang Jiqing (young noble lady), Liang Guyin (vivacious young female) and Wang Zhiquan (martial female) will show us the charisma of the diversified female characters on the Kunqu stage from Chinese classics such as The Lute, The Peony Pavilion and Journey to the West....
Reading
9 videos (Total 95 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
4.2.1. Demonstration of the mature female role-type6m
4.3.1."Search for the Dream", a scene from The Peony Pavilion: imaging the romantic mindset of a young woman18m
4.3.2. "Search for the Dream", a scene from The Peony Pavilion: disappointment13m
4.4.1. Benefiting from many masters: Liang Guyin studies "Earthly Desires"6m
4.4.2. Focus on critical points: using eye movement and acting distracted as she recites15m
4.4.3. Pantomime, song, and dance combined: "counting arhats" and escaping down the mountain9m
4.5.1. Equal demands of singing and martial arts in “Borrowing the Plantain Leaf Magic Fan”, a scene from The Journey to the West8m
4.5.2. Innovation in the scene: "belly pain"9m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 416m
4.8
37 ReviewsChevron Right

Top Reviews

By XZJun 8th 2017

The overall structure is fine. But it would be better if the answers and, if any, explanation for quiz are available.

By YFMay 19th 2016

There are lots of very nice guest lecturers who are expert performers of Kunqu Opera. Very beneficial and enjoyable.

Instructors

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Prof. Wei Hua 華瑋

Professor and Division Head
Department of Chinese Language and Literature
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Prof. Kenneth Hsien-yung Pai 白先勇

Wei Lun Professor of Humanities
Faculty of Arts
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Prof. Lindy Li Mark 李林德

Professor Emerita
Anthropology

About The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1963, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a forward looking comprehensive research university with a global vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West. CUHK teachers and students hail from all corners of the world. CUHK graduates are connected worldwide through an expansive alumni network....

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