The Toki International Arts Festival

By , November 24, 2014 4:59 pm

Text and photos by Jo Lim, Company Manager of The Theatre Practice

Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
It is a city of ghosts- Nanjing is the land of Sun Quan in the Three Kingdoms, the capital city of many forgotten dynasties of ancient China, and the site of the massacre that many have come to associate the city with. I have always wanted to visit this gem of a city and 2 weeks ago, I finally did.
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Nanjing is a grey city in November with the dense cloud cover, smog and rain.

Nanjing is a grey city in November with the dense cloud cover, smog and rain.


Upon our arrival, we were greeted by mascots and banners that publicized the recent Summer Youth Olympic Games. The city is largely modern dotted by remnants of its past grandeur, such as parts of the Great Wall and the popular city gate, Xuanwu Gate. And in the week that I was in Nanjing, it was the city that hosted the Toki International Arts Festival.
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It was a small but important festival that brought Japanese and Chinese classical and contemporary artists and performers on the same stage, a poignant and bold gesture. More importantly it showcased some of the best kunqu actors in their classical roles, juxtaposed with the same performers taking on devised roles with contemporary performers from a diverse genre- from puppetry, dance to theatre.
This is the Kunqu school and also the performance venue for the festival.

This is the Kunqu school and also the performance venue for the festival.


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The first piece we watched was 3.19, a gripping performance put together by the Kun troupe that tells the story of the desperate last days of the last Ming emperor, Zhu Youjian. The only way to distinguish the characters was through their footwear as they did not paint their face nor don the traditional costumes or headgears. Stripped of the physical characteristics of Chinese opera, the audience focused only on the story telling and the movements, and it was sufficient.
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On the second night, we watched several excerpts of more comic and accessible kun pieces.
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On the last day, the audiences watched several 20 minutes of experimental pieces, one of them directed by TTP’s very own Liu Xiaoyi. He had first directed two kun actors in the same piece for the M1 Chinese Theatre Festival 2014’s 1 Table 2 Chairs Experimental Series. It was a humbling experience to walk out of a performance with more questions than answers but it was also explained to us that the festival was created for the performers in mind. Toki’s importance is in its mission to protect traditional art forms and to create a platform for traditional artists to hone their skills and to find relevance on the contemporary stage.
The highlight of the trip? I get to meet Bee Bee’s doppelganger at the door of the theatre.

The highlight of the trip? I get to meet Bee Bee’s doppelganger at the door of the theatre.

走,走,走走走!我们小手拉小手!

By , November 21, 2014 3:27 pm

小风车上台咯!

又到了每年小风车们上台的时候了。这一年来,小朋友们在课堂上尽情地玩耍,从玩乐中快乐地学习,在学习的时候和同学们结下深刻的友谊。现在是他们发表成果的时候了!

又到了每年小风车们上台的时候了。这一年来,小朋友们在课堂上尽情地玩耍,从玩乐中快乐地学习,在学习的时候和同学们结下深刻的友谊。现在是他们发表成果的时候了!

小朋友们为了筹备这个演出,经过了紧罗密布的排练,他们学习的不止是走台位、记动作,还有如何在一个团体表演中做好自己的本分,和同学们一起发挥想象力,呈献一场精彩的表演。小朋友们化好妆,换好衣服后,便向女皇镇民众联络所出发!

小朋友们为了筹备这个演出,经过了紧罗密布的排练,他们学习的不止是走台位、记动作,还有如何在一个团体表演中做好自己的本分,和同学们一起发挥想象力,呈献一场精彩的表演。小朋友们化好妆,换好衣服后,便向女皇镇民众联络所出发!

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演出即将开始,老师和义工妈妈们帮小朋友们做最后的补妆。整理好,小风车准备上台咯!

演出即将开始,老师和义工妈妈们帮小朋友们做最后的补妆。整理好,小风车准备上台咯!

在小朋友们出场前,实践剧场联合创办人及艺术顾问吴丽娟老师和观众分享了一个关于三个嘴馋的人吃红烧肉的小故事,通过故事告诉家长和小朋友们自律的重要性。

在小朋友们出场前,实践剧场联合创办人及艺术顾问吴丽娟老师和观众分享了一个关于三个嘴馋的人吃红烧肉的小故事,通过故事告诉家长和小朋友们自律的重要性。

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节目由“艺术游戏班”的小朋友们掀开序幕。他们把教室搬上舞台,尽情地玩耍。

节目由“艺术游戏班”的小朋友们掀开序幕。他们把教室搬上舞台,尽情地玩耍。

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接下来是“故事银行”的小朋友们带来《邻居》,一个关于黑蚂蚁和红蚂蚁的故事探讨地球暖化的《最后一片草地》。

勇敢的小猎人们在向大家展示他们的战利品!

观众席上坐无缺席,爸爸妈妈们纷纷拿出手机和相机,为小朋友们拍照留念。

观众席上坐无缺席,爸爸妈妈们纷纷拿出手机和相机,为小朋友们拍照留念。

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红蚂蚁和黑蚂蚁成了邻居。起初因为一些误解而对彼此产生厌恶,但后来也因为困难而彼此帮忙,化解了所有的芥蒂。

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“我们找到最后一片草地了!!我们要在这里建立我们的家。”

“我们找到最后一片草地了!!我们要在这里建立我们的家。”

10至12岁“戏剧表演课”的同学所呈献的《想象•从前•现在•将来》利用了自制的道具配合自己创作的一连串小故事,为观众带来了非常精彩的表演。

10至12岁“戏剧表演课”的同学所呈献的《想象•从前•现在•将来》利用了自制的道具配合自己创作的一连串小故事,为观众带来了非常精彩的表演。

在节目的尾声,全体同学一边随着《一同去郊游》的音乐跳舞,一边加入大合唱,为今年的《小风车上台咯!》写下了完美的句点!

一个学年的结束,同时也是一个新的开始。您是否想让孩子参与明年的《小风车上台咯!》,和其他小朋友们一起创造美好的回忆?明年的课程已开放报名,欢迎来电询问!

一个学年的结束,同时也是一个新的开始。您是否想让孩子参与明年的《小风车上台咯!》,和其他小朋友们一起创造美好的回忆?明年的课程已开放报名,欢迎来电询问!

想让您的孩子多说多听华语,培养他的表演天分吗?机会来了!现在就报名参加免费“课程试一试”,亲身体验我们有趣好玩的教育课程吧!

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