A certain saying goes like this, 「When you dine on a meat dish, pick the three-layered pork belly; when you go to theater, go to the Luantan drama.」Since its introduction into Taiwan during the Qilanlong and Jiaqing reign of the Qing Dynasty, Luantan had soon replaced the then-popular Qizi theater a...Read more
A certain saying goes like this, 「When you dine on a meat dish, pick the three-layered pork belly; when you go to theater, go to the Luantan drama.」Since its introduction into Taiwan during the Qilanlong and Jiaqing reign of the Qing Dynasty, Luantan had soon replaced the then-popular Qizi theater and became the most prevalent theater genre in religious festivities. There are two singing styles of Luantan theater, jiulu and xinlu（the old and the new）; each has its own specific repertoire.
The Battle of Luohua River is of the new repertoire. It tells the story of the Tang Marshalls Fan Li-hua and Xue Ding-shan (wife and husband) who led a military expedition to the west under an imperial edict. They encountered the Steel Battle Formation arranged by the minority generals Daoist Ironboard and Zen Master Flying Cymbals. In order to break the formation, they sent their adopted son Xue Ying-long to work out an effective strategy. Yet another female general in a mountain fortress, Tang Xiu-ying, was skilled in military competence. Her master Jinmu had told her that she was destined to marry Xue Ying-long. Therefore, she had been there anticipating his arrival. When both engaged in a military competition, Xiu-ying pretended to retreat. Yin-long pursued, only to be captured by the cunning lady. She proposed to offer her fortress to the Tang camps as a condition of their marriage. And he consented accordingly.
During the drama, the expedition to the west only served as background. The highlight lies in the dueling between Xiu-ying and Yin-long, when they each have to demonstrate their singing and performance competence. It is a demanding challenge for the performers』 histrionic and singing expertise.
|Group||Hanyan Beiguan Troupe|
|Creative staff||Hanyan Beiguan Troupe|
|Subtitle||Mandarin Chinese / English|
|Venue||National Center for Traditional Arts,Yilan|
|Other Works||Visiting Younger Sister Wang Ying Leaving Er-long Mountain Xue Ping-guei Crossing Three Gates|