May China Seminar

China Seminar – May 11, 2023, 12PM via Zoom

Decoding Xiqu: Understanding Stylized Chinese Theatre

Yiting Wang

Speaker’s Summary:
Xiqu performances are highly conventional. Appreciating a xiqu performance takes some training; but knowing the predefined elements is the key. After this talk, you will know the moment a horse is on the stage without seeing a horse. You can predict well whether a performer on stage is likable at first sight. You can identify the implication of a costume, be it the official ranking, economic status, or well-being. Through the art of xiqu staging, props, costumes, make-up and masks, this talk will break down the stylized nature of xiqu and you will be able to decode a xiqu performance, or any xiqu elements you encounter. 

Speaker’s Bio:
Yiting Wang is a PhD candidate at the interdisciplinary program in Communication and Information Sciences at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She is interested in bridging visual communication, human computer interaction, and social media & online performance. Her current research focuses on short videos, affordances and multimodal analysis. Yiting’s background includes traditional Chinese theatre, with a B.A. and M.A. in international cultural communication and management from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing.

The views expressed are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect East-West Center nor Friends of the East-West Center policies or position.

The China Seminar was founded by Dr. Daniel W.Y. Kwok 45 years ago. Under his guidance, it became a signature program of the Friends of the East-West Center (FEWC) in 2009. The program provides an informal venue for China experts, such as scholars, diplomats, and journalists, to present talks on aspects of China that interest the community and members of the Friends. Topics include politics, economics, social issues, history, culture, food, arts, and many other subjects. Though Dr. Kwok has recently retired from his involvement with the program, the FEWC and the East-West Center remain committed to continuing this important program.