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Traditional culture Yueju fascinates audiences | Updated:2017-03-23

Yueju, or Cantonese Opera, performance displayed on the largest sightseeing boat on the Pearl River, celebrated its first anniversary on March 19, enchanting viewers with Guangzhou's traditional culture.

Over the past year, the Cantonese Opera "Chuanshuo" performed on the moving Red Boat for 370 times and was a big winner at the box office, receiving more than 80,000 audiences in total.

The audience universally agreed the performance tells a romantic tale, with melodious music that highlights Cantonese culture.

The story is based on the complicated relationships between a gifted young actor and three young ladies: a young lady in a rich family living in the Xi Guan area, a famous Huadan (female role in Chinese opera) and a lady born into a Cantonese opera troupe.

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A Cantonese Opera performance is staged on the Pearl River Night Cruise on March 19, Guangzhou. [Photo by Zhuang Xiaolong and Gao Hetao/Guangzhou Daily]

Unlike regular theatre, the performance doesn't limit itself to a single stage setting. Performers tell the love story in four different areas inside the boat and use new artistic presentation techniques, enabling the audience to appreciate the numerous enchanting dimensions to Cantonese Opera. Audience members can also choose which scene they want to see and even interact with the performers.

Cantonese opera is one of the major styles of Chinese opera, originating from southern China's Cantonese culture. It is renowned for integrating bold, emotional, and exaggerated expressions with Chinese art forms, incorporating music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics, and acting.

As the opera is losing its charm for young people, the traditional art performance is facing a dilemma whilst trying to revive its popularity. Guangzhou has innovatively combined the traditional culture with flourishing tourism, enabling tourists to appreciate the beauty of traditional art while cruising on the Pearl River.

To further promote Guangzhou's traditional culture, a new complex, covering an area of 20,000 square meters along Linjiang Avenue is under construction in Guangzhou and scheduled to open to the public by 2019. It includes Cantonese cuisine, hotels, shopping malls and an opera theatre.

Catering to the demands of local residents and visitors, a contemporary style of Chuanshuo is expected to inspire audiences by the end of 2017, according to a project official.

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Two Cantonese Opera performers tell the love story of Chuanshuo in honor of the first-anniversary performance on the largest Pearl River Night Cruise sightseeing boat on March 19. [Photo by Zhuang Xiaolong and Gao Hetao/Guangzhou Daily]


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