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Haining Shadow Play  
Located in the northeast of Zhejiang province, Jiaxing city is the hinterland of Hang-Jia-Hu Plain in the Yangtze River Delta. It is between latitude 30°21'and 30°2'north, and longitude between 120°18'and 121°16'east, facing the sea in the east ,leaning on the Qiantang River in the south, bearing on the Tai lake in the north, and connecting with the Tianmu Mountain in the west. The Gran...
Shadow Play in Haining
Date :2013-07-26    Resource:

 

Haining City of Zhejiang Province is situated on the northern bank of the Qiantang River. A classical play with the style of Southern Song Dynasty called shadow play is still popular there.  It was introduced into Haining at the South Song Dynasty and blended with the local Haining ditties and Haiyan salt worker songs. Later, it took in some classic melodies like Yiyang Tune and formed a classic music style with Yiyang Tune and Haiyan Tune as the two key tunes after changing the northern tune into southern one. The new form of music had a loud, sonorous and vehement melody. When matched with such Chinese traditional stringed and woodwind instruments as flutes, Chinese clarinet suonas and urheens, this mild and graceful music became quick and lively and had a strong flavor of region of rivers and lakes. Meanwhile, with the words in the songs and the spoken parts changed into Haining dialect, shadow play in Haining has ever since become an important program at wedding ceremonies, birthday parties and praying ceremonies, etc. What’s more, Haining teems with silk, so there has been a custom to pray for the silkworm god among the folks. The shadow play troupe in Haining was usually called Canhua Troupe (a troupe that performed plays after the farmers finished raising the silkworms and sold their cocoons) because they used to give their performance (called Canhua Play) after the farmers sold their cocoons. The human figures in Haining shadow plays are usually made of transparent leather like sheep or cow leather. Craftsmen draw the pictures, carve out the lines of the pattern firstly and then dye it with bright colors, at last sew and insert the labels. Its characteristics are “Chase little, color much and draw mongline”. The figures have round and lively faces, with a single eye on one side. The figures are not exaggerated, instead resemble real images, vivid like human beings. A silhouette with a single arm and combined feet is displayed. The shadow play in Haining has strong folk features. It has a history of about one thousand years. In the thirties or forties of the twentieth century, there were still more than 20 troupes, over 300 lists of shadow plays and more than 120 actors in Haining.