Qu Yi 曲艺, Chinese Traditional Speaking and Singing arts) is an overall term for a variety of local and traditional stage arts from many different ethnic groups in China. This type of stage art originates from the oral folklore literature and the local music and poetry of the various provinces of China, which have evolved in various forms throughout history. According to incomplete statistics, up to now there are about 400 traditional speaking and singing arts forms active in China. The two most prominent artistic features of Chinese traditional stage arts are singing and speaking, with the ability to tell a story as a guiding principle in both abilities.Read More about Qu Yi Here
Jingyun Dagu (京韵大鼓) is one of the genres of Chinese Quyi art. It was derived from the popular wooden drums of Cangzhou and Hejian in Hebei Province, and formed in Beijing and Tianjin. It is now mainly popular in Beijing, Tianjin, North and Northeastern China. Usually, Jingyun Dagu has the style of half-speaking and half-singing. Typically, it is performed by one person, singing and beating the drum while also accompanied by Three-string, pipa, sihu and other musical instruments. Jingyun Dagu is good at narrative. Oftenly, Jingyun Dagu artists perform some classics such as Romance of Three Kingdoms and Dream of Red Mansions, etc.
Before Dawn 《丑末寅初》 is a program of lyrical short that narrates the activities of four kinds of people such as fisherman, woodman, farmer and student, before the first light of a day. It is just like a picture of an idyllic scene of ancient China. It was performed by Feng Xinrui, a young artist of Jingyun Dagu from Tianjin Quyi Art Troupe, and his late teacher and famous Jingyun Dagu grand master, Mdm. Luo Yusheng, by means of crossing space-time. The program was recorded in 2004 to commemorate late Master Luo, so it is significant to complete the performance of a traditional classic of Jingyun Dagu in this way.