Tian Qinxin

Tian Qinxin
b. 1969
Huaju (spoken drama) director
Tian Qinxin became the youngest director of the National Theatre Company of China (Zhongguo guojia huajuyuan) and, while being one of the few female spoken-drama directors in China, is hailed as having great potential in the field. Tian graduated from Beijing xiqu xuexiao, a Beijing traditional theatre school, in 1988 and from the Directing Department of the Central Drama Academy (Zhongyang xiju xueyuan) in 1996. In contrast to most spoken-drama directors, she received a combination of physical, performance and arts training since childhood. She trained in gymnastics for four years before attending Beijing xiqu xuexiao at age twelve, where she studied physical, vocal and spoken performance techniques. In 1989–90, she began the study of film and art at the Beijing Film Academy and the renamed Academy of Arts and Design (Zhongyang gongyi meishu xueyuan) at Qinghua University. In 1997, she worked for a Hong Kong advertising company as an ‘innovation planner’ before entering the Peking Opera Troupe of Beijing (Beijing jingjuyuan) as a director in 1998. From 1999, however, she was hired as a director for the Central Experimental Drama Theatre (the predecessor of the National Theatre Company of China) where she continues today.
Tian is motivated by a desire to create strong visual theatrical effects while invoking passionate scenes on stage, which also guides her choice of subject matter. She is fond of national and historical subject matter, and many of her works carry a strong nationalist slant. Tian is skilled in creating visual effects by emphasizing physical movement, the beauty of scenery and costume, and poetic dialogue. Most of her work also has a strong experimental character, such that she is considered one of the foremost avant-garde/experimental theatre directors in China. Her first play, The Severance (Duanwan, 1997), blended spoken drama form with traditional theatre performance, dance, film and gymnastics. Her most famous play, however, is Between the Living and the Dead (Shengsichang, 1999), adapted from the novel of the same name by Xiao Hong, an eminent female novelist of the 1930s. The play created a new style of presenting Chinese rural people and life. Between the Living and the Dead received the ‘Highest Ticket Sales’ award among the one hundred participating productions from China and overseas at the First Shanghai International Arts Festival. The triumph of Shengsichang made Tian one of the most important contemporary Chinese directors in spoken drama.
The Riddler (Mige, 2002), a music theatre production staged in Hong Kong, is Tian’s latest work. In place of the usual emphasis on plot, character and language in spoken drama, Tian uses remarkable visual effects, gorgeous scenery, advanced multimedia technology and music sung by the well-known Chinese international singer Dadawa as the basis of the creation. In contemporary Chinese modern theatre, The Riddler is the only one of its kind. Her other works include Peach Blossoms at the Stagecoach Station (Yizhan tiaohua, 1998, spoken drama), The Hurricane (Kuangbiao, 2001, spoken drama) and The Hunchback Prime Minister (Zaixiang Liu Luoguo, 2000), a Jingju (Peking opera) co-directed with Lin Zhaohua.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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  • avant-garde/experimental theatre — (xianfeng xiju/shiyan xiju) With regard to Huaju (spoken drama), the concepts xianfeng xiju and shiyan xiju are generally interchangeable, because experimental theatre works are often regarded as avant garde theatre works. However, only… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

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