Chinese Storytelling

Chinese Storytelling

Elements of Performance

  1. Storytellers Terms and Sayings

  2. The storytellers house

  3. The performance

  4. A storytelling engagement

  5. Stage properties

  6. The storytellers' dress

  7. Gestures and face expressions

  8. Verbal art

  9. 'Talk' and 'mouth'

  10. 'Square Mouth' and 'Round Mouth'

  11. Telling the tale

  12. Humour and digression

Elements of Performance (6)

The storytellers' dress

When performing in the storytellers' house, the storytellers normally dress in the traditional male dress, the long gown chang paozi, but when giving shorter ad hoc performances in schools and hotels, many performers now prefer to dress in a western suit and entertain in standing position without requisites. This kind of storytelling is influenced by modern entertainment genres and particularly by the northern Chinese variety art of "comic dialogue" xiangsheng. Since the 1940s there have been a few female storytellers of Yangzhou pinghua. In contrast to female storytellers and storysingers from Suzhou, who presently dress themselves elegantly in the tight-fitting, silk dress qipao, those in Yangzhou dress in slacks and blouse, the normal style for women in the town.

The storytellers dress
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Next: Gestures and face expressions