Chinese Performing Arts: Chang Tian

14/09/2020

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

Chang Tian of Zhuang Nationality (壮族唱天)

Chang Tian is a kind of narrative chanting of Zhuang Nationality, recording the history and customs of Zhuang, mostly popular in counties of Ningming, Longzhou, Pingxiang, Fangcheng and the areas where the people of Zhuang lives. It has a long history. In Ming and Qing dynasties, People of Zhuang paid tribute and prayed for blessings through ritual of Chang Tian. And with the development of the society, Chang Tian started to reflect the daily life, production, moral and spiritual pursuit. And there is a legend about Chang Tian: in ancient time, there were a couple of young lovers. The boy was called Nongduan, and the girl called Nongya. The perfect couple were very good at singing and dancing. Their songs could relieve people from their pains and hardship while the sound of their qin-playing could eliminate people’s sorrows and depression. The people of Zhuang called the boy as “Little Brother”, and the girl “Little Sister”. After their demise, Nongduan turned into a golden dragon, and Nongya turned into a golden phenix, becoming immotals. Since then, the people of Zhuang respected them as their own pioneers of singing, dancing and music, calling their songs as “song of celestial”.

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