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CCCI Special Performance: Wu Man and the Huayin puppet troupe folk band

Monday, March 19, 2018 at 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Barnes Hall
129 Ho Plaza Cornell University: Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

The Cornell Contemporary China Initiative Lecture Series, featuring interdisciplinary talks by scholars on issues in China today, runs every Monday this semester. This event is a special performance Co-sponsored by CCCI, the Department of Music, and the Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA).

Wu Man and the Huayin puppet troupe folk band

Wu Man joins the brilliant Huayin Shadow Puppet Band (formerly known as the Zhang Family Band) for performances of old tune traditional music with shadow puppetry. Amid vocal performances, the Huayin Shadow Puppet Band uses the yueqin, banhu, erhu, lute, fiddle and a variety of percussion instruments (including clappers, gongs, cymbals and a wood bench) to tell lively stories of rural life in remote China and draw the audience into places and sounds rarely heard in the West.


Pipa solo suite: two traditional pieces
― Flute and Drum Music at Sunset (lyrical style)
― Ambush from Ten Sides (martial style)

Round Sun and Crescent Moon in the Heavens
A stirring overture from a recent spoken play Plain of the White Deer, arranged by scholar Dang Anhua. The lyrics explore the lives of peasant men and women.

A Bright Pearl in the Sea
An ode to battle sung by the Tang general Qin Qiong.

Shiyang jing (instrumental)
Interludes that punctuate the drama, resting the puppeteers’ voices.

Pipa solo: improvisation

All Desolate on the Eastern Campaign (with puppets)
A drama evoking the threat to the Tang Empire from the Korean kingdom of Koguryo.

Ancient Song of the Guanzhong Plain
The gods and generals may have created the landscape, but peasant life must go on.

The Won-Done Song
A meditation on the vanity of human ambitions, from Cao Xueqin’s celebrated 18th-century novel The Story of the Stone.

Pipa and percussion: folk music
― Dragon Boat
― Purple Bamboo Tune

Three Heroes Do Battle with Lü Bu (with puppets)
A dialogue between the celebrated ancient warriors Zhang Fei and Lü Bu as they do battle.

The General’s Orders Stir the Mountains and Rivers
A martial song that inspires the troops’ preparations for battle.

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