The large musical ‘Liu Rushi’ was performed in public in Nanjing Normal University on April 28th. From scenario to performance, the whole musical was completed by the University’s own teachers and students, which was a new attempt of educational reform and talent cultivation.
A graceful tune ‘South tower anecdotes’ brought audiences back to the late Ming Dynasty 300 years ago: the incredible beauty Liu Rushi encountered two men in her life--Chen Zilong and Qian Qianyi, leading up to two bittersweet love stories.
‘More than 60 teachers and students participating in the arrangement of the musical were all from my school’, which was said by Xu Yuanyong, the dean of School of Music of Nanjing Normal University, who later explained that ‘with the development of the enrollment scale of Master of Arts and the improvement of public appreciation level, the traditional one to one teaching method could not satisfy the requirements of art talents’. Since the end of 2015, the university has developed a new model for talents training, with the hope that through the musical drama, the students’ abilities of singing, dancing, and composing can be enhanced and that the phenomenon of self-amusing during the practice course can be changed.
It is said that this play has been adapted for three times; the songs, twice. To suit both refined and popular tastes, among the total 15 songs, the lyrics of 8 are originally written with the popular genre and the rest 7 are adapted from poems.
Chen Xing’er, a master graduating from the Musical College of Nanjing Normal University, played Liu Rushi, saying that this play helped improve her ability in all aspects. ‘For starters, it challenged me in terms of singing because the type I learned in school was popular-singing and with little knowledge of bel canto, I had to perfectly combine these two. The second is the challenge of acting. I had never tried acting before, but somehow, I needed to fully display the body, eye expressions and etiquette of the ancients’.
It is reported that this musical became a funding project of Jiangsu Endowment for the Arts in 2016, with a fund up to 600,000rmb, which was the first time in history of the century-old art college. ‘With the valuable experience supported by ‘Liu Rushi’, the second musical—‘the Princess of Han Dynasty’ has been applicated the Jiangsu Endowment for the Arts this year’. Xu Yuanyong said that there would be more students to join the play.