Cantonese Opera As Intangible Cultural Heritage


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This is the presentation at the Symposium on the Politics & Poetics of Asian Intangible Cultural Heritage held at HKU on 17 October 2009.

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Cantonese Opera As Intangible Cultural Heritage

  1. 1. Cantonese Opera as Local Intangible Cultural Heritage: Constructing the Learning Experience in Formal Education in Hong Kong Dr Fung Ping, Dorothy NG Mr Wai-ip, Joseph LAM Ms Suk-ying, Eva CHAN ICH Symposium, 16 October 2009
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Cantonese Opera as Intangible Cultural Heritage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UNESCO’s Recognition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is Cantonese Opera? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems now facing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrate Cantonese Opera in Education: the Seed Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verbal Arts of Cantonese Opera Script </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn to perform Cantonese Opera </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watching theatre performance of Cantonese Opera </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visiting the Bamboo Shed Theatre: an experiential learning experience of Intangible Cultural Heritage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Constructing learning experience of Cantonese Opera </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What constitutes learning? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cantonese Opera in Liberal Studies: School-based Problem-based Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusion and the Way Forward </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Cantonese Opera as Intangible Cultural Heritage
  4. 4. UNESCO's Recognition
  5. 5. UNESCO's Recognition <ul><li>Yueju (Cantonese opera), which was jointly applied by Guangdong, Macao and Hong Kong SAR governments via the Central Government for inscription, was officially inscribed onto UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity making it the first item of the world intangible cultural heritage in Hong Kong . </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is Cantonese Opera? <ul><li> </li></ul>
  7. 7. Problems now facing … <ul><li>“ Heritage” in Chinese is read as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ 遺產” (yichan), it means: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ estate” ( 遺產 ) of a deceased person </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Then, who is dying? </li></ul>
  8. 8. HK Secondary 3 Student’s conception of Cantonese Opera, Case 1 <ul><li>起初跟大家有着同樣想法, 認為「粵劇是老人家的玩意」 (I thought Cantonese Opera is only for elderly people) ,但認識之後,發覺粵劇的範圍其實很廣泛,與其他學生交流時亦學會了不少粵劇知識,更能與粵劇界的大老倌會面,這些回憶都非常難忘,提升我學習中文科的興趣。 </li></ul>
  9. 9. HK Secondary 3 Student’s conception of Cantonese Opera, Case 2 <ul><li>參加了「小豆苗」計劃後 , 我學到了很多關於粵劇的知識 , 亦對粵劇改觀了很多。 本來我認為學習粵劇是一樣很悶 、 沒有樂趣的事 (I thought learning of Cantonese Opera is boring, no fun at all) , 但經過小豆苗的課堂後 , 我發現粵劇其實是很有趣的 , 我希望這個計劃可以繼續推行下去 , 讓更多學生了解粵劇文化。 </li></ul>
  10. 10. HK Secondary 3 Student’s conception of Cantonese Opera, Case 3 <ul><li>在還沒有了解粵劇前 , 我認為粵劇是沉悶的東西 , 而且只有老一輩的人會喜歡。 (I thought Cantonese Opera is boring, only elderly people like it) 可是 , 我參加過「粵劇小豆苗」後 , 我知道我從前的觀念是不對的。粵劇是中國獨有文化 , 我希望它能夠一直流傳下去 , 讓我們這一代以至下一代也有機會接觸粵劇。 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Oversea College Students’ commentary on Cantonese Opera Why decline? -The pace is slow -Too profound to understand -Using dialect -Tickets are too expensive for low-income audiences -Few sympathetic responses
  12. 12. Yueju (Cantonese opera) as Intangible Cultural Yichan (Heritage) <ul><li>Will Yueju (Cantonese opera) continue to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be transmitted from generation to generation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be constantly recreated by communities and groups? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide communities and groups with a sense of identify and human continuity? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promote respect for cultural diversity and human creativity? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>compile with the requirements of mutual respect among communities and of sustainable development? </li></ul></ul>refer to UNESCO, What is Intangible Cultural Heritage?
  13. 13. 2. Integrating Cantonese Opera in Education
  14. 14. Seed Project of Cantonese Opera Integrate Cantonese Opera in Education Dr. Fung Ping, Dorothy NG Project Leader
  15. 15. Project Aims <ul><li>Integrate Cantonese Opera into the Chinese Language and Liberal Studies New Senior Secondary Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Guide students to learn, appreciate and respect the culture of Cantonese Opera </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain and further promote the rich local Hong Kong culture of Cantonese Opera </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Kick-off show case </li></ul><ul><li>Script study </li></ul><ul><li>Performance study </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher training </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops and talks </li></ul><ul><li>“ Princess Chang Ping Classroom” </li></ul><ul><li>School based teaching materials </li></ul><ul><li>Presenting papers/ project findings in international conferences, journals and </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration with artists </li></ul>
  17. 17. Strategies 帝女花
  18. 18. Curriculum Framework Rich & Various
  19. 19. Opera Delivery to Schools as Kick-off
  20. 20. 2.1 Verbal Arts of Cantonese Opera Script
  21. 21. Objects of learning Stage Performance Plot Language Character Song, Dance and Dialogue Performing Arts Culture and Values Performance Culture Script
  22. 22. Studying Cantonese Opera Script
  23. 23. 3-stage development: 2006 onwards 1 st Stage: 2006-07 2 nd Stage:2007-08 3 rd Stage: 2008-09 Participating Schools 4 Seed Schools 7 Seed Schools 11 Seed Schools + 8 Network Schools Curriculum Junior forms Chinese Language Chinese Language and Liberal Studies Chinese Language, Liberal Studies and Senior form Chinese Literature Study Scripts Princess Chang Ping ( 帝女花 ) Princess Chang Ping ( 帝女花 ) The Purple Hairpin ( 紫釵記 ) Princess Chang Ping ( 帝女花 ) The Purple Hairpin ( 紫釵記 ) The Reincarnation of Lady Plum Blossom ( 再世紅梅記 ) …
  24. 24. 2.2 Learn to perform Cantonese Opera
  25. 25. Learn to perform, it is interesting! Practicing performance techniques Learning elements behind the scene
  26. 26. 2.3 Watching theatre performance of Cantonese Opera
  27. 27. Pre-show Talks on Opera Appreciation
  28. 28. Guided Backstage Tours & Watching Opera as Experiential Learning
  29. 29. 2.4 Visits to Bamboo Shed Theatres: Experiential Learning Experience of Intangible Cultural Heritage
  30. 30. Bamboo-shed Theatres Cultural Exploration
  31. 31. What is bamboo-shed theatre?
  32. 32. Bamboo-shed theatre, or God-worshipping play <ul><li>the Bamboo-shed theatre ( 戲棚粵劇 ), also commonly known as “God-worshipping play” ( 神功戲 ) . </li></ul><ul><li>All plays have a sacred function at their very first beginning. The Cantonese opera today still have an important function as ritual worshipping. </li></ul><ul><li>When a community needs to celebrate the birthdays of Gods or having a festival, they will organize Cantonese operas to be performed in a bamboo shed theatre. This bamboo shed theatre is temporarily built eclectically to suit the limitation of space. The aim of this is to achieve a purpose that is to entertain God and entertain local citizens as well. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Visiting Cheung Chau <ul><li>Outlying island </li></ul><ul><li>The birthday of “Pak Tai” ( 北帝誕 ) </li></ul>
  34. 34. Pre-visit talk at schools by actors
  35. 35. E-learning platform for preparation
  36. 36. Students give feedback to the blog post and learn from each other
  37. 37. Schedule of visit 29 March 2009 (Sunday) Time Schedule 9:15 am Go to Chueng Chau by ferry 10:30 am  <ul><li>Pre-show observation for cultural elements (interview local people) </li></ul><ul><li>Observe festival rituals in temple </li></ul>11:30 am <ul><li>Backstage tour guided by artists </li></ul><ul><li>Interview artist and stage crew </li></ul>12:15 pm Lunch 1:30 pm Watching performance in Bamboo Shed 5 pm onwards Dismiss (may stay behind for further cultural exploration)
  38. 38. Pre-show observation for cultural elements
  39. 39. Local characteristic: Bun on Cheung Chau for the festival
  40. 40. Architecture of Bamboo Shed Theatre
  41. 41. Ritual: the “God” shelter facing the stage in front the temple
  42. 42. Inside the “God” shelter
  43. 43. Backstage tour led by the actor
  44. 44. Backstage tour (the actress’s compartment)
  45. 45. Students interviewing the actress
  46. 46. Students enjoying the performance
  47. 47. Ritual opera for the festival
  48. 48. Traditional opera
  49. 49. Individual worksheets
  50. 50. Photo shooting on site
  51. 51. Video taking on site
  52. 52. Group Project Weblogs
  53. 53. Reporting at Joint-school showcase
  54. 54. 粵劇小豆苗成果匯報 長洲戲棚大揭秘 之   第一組
  55. 55. Joint-school showcase as round-up
  56. 56. 3. Constructing learning experience of Cantonese Opera
  57. 57. Strategies of Cantonese Opera Learning actions Reading and Comprehension of Opera scripts Practising performance techniques Watching stage performances Exploring bamboo-shed theatre Cantonese Opera Learning To feel To watch To think To do
  58. 58. Bamboo-shed theatre as… concrete experiences reflections abstract concepts actions Extracted from the presentation for the 8 th International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations, 5-8 August 2008, Cambridge University. Abstract Conceptualization Active Experimentation Reflective Observation Concrete Experience 3. Art Form 4. Learning Object 1. Religious 2. Community
  59. 59. Using Problem-based Learning to enhance students’ learning of Cantonese Opera in Liberal Studies
  60. 60. Background – NSS Liberal Studies
  61. 61. Liberal Studies Curriculum <ul><li>Principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue-based Enquiry: Systematic Investigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers as facilitators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning outside classrooms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishment of learning community to foster knowledge construction </li></ul></ul>
  62. 62. Start with Problem Statement Analysis <ul><li>粵劇被譽為是 香港 最具傳統、歷史最悠久的本土表演藝術。近期業界最關注的問題是新光戲院將於二○○九年初拆卸並改建成商場,八和會館中的委員也感到相當無奈。雖然政府看似積極關注問題,但事情乃商業決定,唯一方法是另覓新的永久公演場地。這亦正反映政府文化政策的不善。 </li></ul><ul><li>在傳媒資訊發達的年代,戲迷入場觀賞粵劇的人數已顯著下降,而演出場地正面臨嚴重不足問題,對於戲班、劇團將會帶來沉重打擊。粵劇文化多年來也見證了時代的轉變,亦為 香港 僅存的文化藝術,為避免式微湮沒,促進推廣是當務之急。然而,粵劇發展諮詢委員會的功能及成效,卻備受質疑。近年粵劇界所興起的以導演舞台劇方式編排演員、劇本,有資深粵劇名伶認為這種表演方式值得相榷。 </li></ul><ul><li>雖然如此,粵劇仍有其生存空間。例如每逢農曆的三月及七月,一些鄉郊地方仍能找到戲棚。據說 大澳 的戲棚是全香港最具規模的,建築結構非常獨突及具濃烈的文化價值。近年引入的西方搭建戲棚技術,卻被村內長老大力反對,擔心會影響村運。戲棚開戲前後規矩禁忌很多,亦頗具重男輕女的意味。為了要保留及推廣戲棚傳統,旅遊及發展局準備以此作為香港旅遊的特色項目之一 ; 此舉卻被批評為鼓勵迷信。 </li></ul>
  63. 63. Learning Issues for Deep Investigations Students’ Examples
  64. 64. <ul><li>戲棚如何影響風水? </li></ul><ul><li>如何保留戲棚又不會影響風水? </li></ul><ul><li>戲棚跟風水有甚麼關係? </li></ul><ul><li>戲棚是否一定要建築在重視風水的地方? </li></ul><ul><li>政府應如何保育戲棚藝術? </li></ul><ul><li>觀賞粵劇的人數下降與傳媒資訊發達有何關係? </li></ul><ul><li>演出場地不足真的會為戲班帶來沉重打擊嗎? </li></ul><ul><li>本土藝術有何歷史價值? </li></ul><ul><li>商業和藝術有何聯繫? </li></ul><ul><li>如何保留粵劇? </li></ul><ul><li>為何政府不可以介入「新光戲院改成商場? </li></ul><ul><li>文化藝術是否只有粵劇? </li></ul><ul><li>政府是否在積極關注並解決粵劇面臨的問題? </li></ul><ul><li>商業和藝術的關係是甚麼? </li></ul><ul><li>文化政策和藝術有甚麼關連? </li></ul><ul><li>八和會館跟粵劇有甚麼關係? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼推廣粵劇為香港特色項目會被視為鼓勵迷信? </li></ul><ul><li>粵劇是商業決定與政府文化政策的不善有何關係? </li></ul><ul><li>香港政府的保護粵劇的政策是否全面? </li></ul><ul><li>粵劇是香港唯一的傳統藝術? </li></ul><ul><li>粵劇是否步向衰亡? </li></ul><ul><li>粵劇有何文化價值? </li></ul><ul><li>粵劇還有生存空間? </li></ul><ul><li>興建公演場地是唯一能拯救粵劇的方法? </li></ul><ul><li>政府還有甚麼政策改善他人不滿的政策? </li></ul><ul><li>八和會館會怎樣保護粵劇? </li></ul><ul><li>為何西式搭建技術會影響風水? </li></ul><ul><li>避免粵劇藝術式微湮沒是否只有推廣才行? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼粵劇傳統會有重男輕女的意味? </li></ul><ul><li>甚麼地方可以讓粵劇界作為永久公演場地? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼要拆卸新光戲院? </li></ul><ul><li>是否一定在每年三月及七月才找到戲棚? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼拆卸新光戲院會影響傳統文化? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼西式會影響村運? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼資訊發達會導致入場看戲人數減少? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼開戲前後的禁忌有重男輕女的意味? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼戲劇帶旺旅遊業? </li></ul><ul><li>粵劇怎樣帶動經濟? </li></ul><ul><li>為甚麼有許多人喜歡欣賞粵劇? </li></ul><ul><li>為何外國人愛看粵劇? </li></ul><ul><li>為何人們要在大澳看粵劇? </li></ul><ul><li>戲院為甚麼能帶動經濟? </li></ul><ul><li>粵劇是否有政府策保護? </li></ul><ul><li>文化政策有何不善的地方? </li></ul>
  65. 67. 粵劇值得在中學推廣嗎 ?Is it valuable to promote Cantonese Opera in Secondary Schools? 陳樂瑤 3E(2) Pok Oi Hospital Tang Pui King Memorial College Student Example
  66. 68. 4. Where we are and where we go
  67. 69. How is intangible cultural heritage made or produced and how is expressed at individual/ or collective levels? Awareness level Recognition level Reflection level Identification level Value layer (intangible) Institutional layer Material layer (tangible)
  68. 70. Conclusion & Way Forward <ul><li>Implementation of learning Cantonese Opera in Formal Language/Liberal Studies curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Development of diverse modes of learning: from classroom to community, to cyberspace </li></ul><ul><li>Development of students’ competence in learning, appreciating and respecting the culture of Cantonese Opera </li></ul>
  69. 71. Conclusion & Way Forward <ul><li>Promotion Cantonese Opera in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration with the industry </li></ul>
  70. 72. Contact <ul><li>Dr. Dorothy NG Fung-ping (Project Leader) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Project Weblog: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  71. 73. Thank you
  72. 74. References <ul><li>Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>Ng, F.P.D., Chung, L.S.A., Lam, J.W.I. (2008). Classroom of the Legend of Princess Chang Ping . Hong Kong: CALCER. </li></ul><ul><li>陳守仁。 (1999) 。香港粵劇導論。香港:香港中文大學音樂系。 </li></ul>