In 2009, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SMC), the Oriental Digital Media Arts Research and Development Centre (based at the SMC), Shanghai Technological Engineering University, and members of the Shanghai Jingju Company united to create a new performance of the jingju (Beijing opera) classic The White Snake (Baishezhuan). Billed as “Multimedia Beijing Opera Music Theatre” and ostensibly staged as a Western symphony rather than as a jingju, the performance offered an apparently innovative take on the possibilities for contemporary traditional Chinese performance by synthesising a range of musical and theatrical forms with multimedia stage technology. This article analyzes the impact of these innovations, not only theatrically, but also through an examination of the challenges the production offers to established Western theories of postdramatic and multimedia theatre.


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pp. 483-504
Launched on MUSE
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