Elements of Performance
Elements of Performance (5)
The Chinese storyteller is only dependent on "his sole person and his sole mouth" yi ren yi kou. Most genres of storytelling without song and music are performed by only one person, but the musically accompanied genres, also called "storysinging", are often performed by two or three. Yangzhou pinghua belongs to the purely spoken genres, performed by one person (usually a male performer) and the requisites are few and simple. The storyteller can make do with no requisites at all, but usually the following items are used:
The above items are still in current use. Traditionally the storytellers count two more items: the 'big bowl' da wan, used to gather money from the audience after the first round; already in the 1920s this item was replaced by a money basket, and later by the system of tickets. The final traditional item is only used for Yangzhou storysinging xianci, namely the "three-stringed lute" sanxian. It belongs to the inventory because the two genres are closely related, and many storytellers were masters of both arts.
Only the 'talk stopper' is a special requisite, while the other things are items of everyday usage, such as handkerchief, fan and teacup. The handkerchief and fan are used every now and then to represent objects of the story told, but they are also used in the ordinary way: to wipe ones face or fan oneself during a hot day. In wintertime the old storytellers do not avail themselves of the fan, but some of the younger generation like to have the fan at hand no matter what the season is.
Next: The storytellers' dress