Traditional Quyi Art -- Xihe Dagu
http://www.chinese.cn 10:22, November 26, 2010 Chinaculture
Xihe Dagu forms the biggest family in the Dagu clan. It has a very long history with a huge audience in Hebei and Shandong provinces, Tianjin and Beijing municipalities, and Northeast and Northwest China. It originated from the Xianzishu and Muban Dagu in the central area of Hubei Province in the mid Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It officially got the name of Xihe Dagu in the performance in Tianjin during the 1920s.
It used to be sung and spoken in Hebei dialect. At the early stage, stories were mostly medium length or long, such as the Generals of the Yang Family and Generals of the Hu Family. When Xihe Dagu became popular in Beijing, it underwent reformation by the noted artist Zhao Yufeng, who changed the Hebei regional pronunciation and made it more akin to the Beijing dialect. Around 1940, other artists emerged, such as Ma Liandeng and Ma Zengfen, a father and daughter team, who sang short stories without narrative. The style of singing has been enriched and the clapping far more diversified.
Xihe Dagu has lots of traditional items of either long or short length. The contents are mainly war stories of the past dynasties, history romances, folk stories, popular novels, fairy tales, fables and jokes, etc. Among them, quite a few items reflect the thoughts, feelings and hopes of the working people, feature labyrinthian plots and vivid language, and inherit the good tradition of folk literature in China.
After the founding of new China, a lot of outstanding traditional items of Xihe Dagu were rearranged in terms of contents, and quite a few new items reflecting the Chinese people's resistance against oppression and eulogizing the realistic life came into being.