文章摘要
丹珍草.格萨尔藏戏传承实践及文化表征[J].民族学刊,2019,10(1):57-64, 114-116
格萨尔藏戏传承实践及文化表征
The Transmission, Practice and Cultural Representation of the Tibetan Opera Gesar
  
DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1674-9391.2019.01.07
中文关键词: 藏戏说唱  格萨尔藏戏  传承实践  文化表征
英文关键词: the art of talking and singing in Tibetan opera  the Tibetan Opera Gesar  transmission, practice  cultural representation
基金项目:
作者单位
丹珍草 中国社会科学院民族文学研究所 
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中文摘要:
      格萨尔藏戏将口头诗歌中的“歌”化为具体的表演行为动态实践,集声音、舞蹈、仪式和群体互动等多种形式于一体,是历史悠久、别具特色的藏戏剧种。格萨尔藏戏表演通过对古典时代民族民间文化的重构与想象,构成格萨尔史诗更丰富宽广的表达。作为文化象征的表述符号,格萨尔藏戏是口头传统研究中的表演民族志,其歌舞形态为本的言说系统,更贴近格萨尔史诗说唱本体,并重新廓清格萨尔史诗口传与书写之间复杂的关联,还口头说唱以本原。格萨尔史诗戏剧化表演实践与创新中的复合性、融合性、新生性特征和带有实验性的探索,使格萨尔藏戏经历新的蜕变。
英文摘要:
      The Tibetan opera Gesar is a comprehensive art form developed from traditional Tibetan opera which takes the Gesar epic as its main content. Its dramatic elements, such as singing, dancing, masks and costumes are consistent with traditional Tibetan opera. As an important component of Tibetan operatic art, the Tibetan opera Gesar has not only maintained the artistic style of traditional Tibetan opera, but has also been constantly influenced by other ethnic operatic art traditions throughout history. The Tibetan opera tradition has broadly learned from the advantages of other forms, and gradually developed into a popular drama form with strong Tibetan local folk art characteristics. Taking “the practice of body expression”, such as dance, masks, singing styles and costumes, etc. as the core, the Tibetan opera Gesar unfolds a dynamic, cultural performance narrative; conveys ethnic history, collective memory and cultural imagery; places emphasis on understanding the “performance” within a specific geographical and cultural context; recombines the text and context with dynamic behaviors; and illustrates the interwoven features of stylization, sacredness and secularity. However, various bits of subtle cultural information and images mirroring life are hidden inside of it. Meanwhile, at the same time, it has significance for the return to the study of colloquial oral poetry. 1. The Transmission and Practice of The Tibetan Opera Gesar The Tibetan opera Gesar transforms the “song” aspect in oral poetry into specific dynamic behavioral practice, and integrates sound, dance, ritual, group interaction and other features into a whole, becoming a Tibetan opera with a long history and unique characteristics. In the Tibetan opera Gesar , the epic has been extended from the mere talking-singing and reading of text by the artists to a diverse theatrical performances with an epic as the theme, and one in which the “text-centered” tradition has gradually shifted towards a return of the “performance-centered”. As Richard Bauman states, “performance” is not only a special and artistic way of speaking, but it also sometimes includes a broader “cultural performance”, which can also be understood as the performance of poetic function of an oral epic. In different regions where the epic spread, the transmission and practice of the Tibetan opera Gesar included different linguistic cultural representations and features of “local knowledge”. It clearly has already become a dynamic folk item and cultural expression based on the Tibetan folk narrative tradition. 2. Innovation and Reconstruction of the Tibetan Opera Gesar The inheritance of Tibetan opera Gesar is not fixed, but rooted in a specific cultural context and discourse, and lies within a dynamic process of constant innovation and reconstruction. In today’s Tibetan areas, folk life and culture have become richer and more diversified, showing a strong state of expansion, and people’s choices within daily life have become more autonomous, changeable and modern. People are no longer satisfied with passing on the heroic epic through one or two ways. With the active participation of ethnic groups and community members, the Gesar epic has become a living example of cultural life. In the process of modernity, the transmission and performance practice of the Tibetan opera Gesar has also entered a “new era”, showing a rich and complex orientation of diversity, as well as unprecedented fusion and inclusiveness. With the deepening of the Tibetan’s understanding of modern drama, the ancient art forms are developing, changing and experiencing innovation in a dynamic way that is not easily perceived by people. The coexistence of tradition and modernity, the heroic plots, the folk proverbs and songs, the humorous philosophy of the narration, King Gesar’s love story interwoven with gratitude or resentment, and the idealism of getting final good results reflected in the epic are full of romance, beauty and freedom. The Tibetan opera Gesar, with its rich cultural connotation, inclusive and diverse performances, has gradually spread beyond the region where the epic drama was traditionally disseminated, and has arrived on a broader world stage. It is known, recognized and loved by other countries and nations around the world, showing a pattern of practice in which tradition and rebirth are both orthodox and innovating. The features of this rebirth, its recombination, and fusion within the transmission and performance of the Tibetan opera Gesar, together with experimental explorations, all enable the Tibetan opera Gesar to undergo a new transformation. Symbols are the subject of meaning. The system of symbols and the system of meaning can be linked to explain and understand society, individuals and culture. The symbols in the Tibetan opera Gesar, such as sound, shape, singing and dancing can also dissolve the differences and boundaries among ethnic groups, individuals, societies and cultures. In recent years, there have been 50 “Gesar Tibetan Opera” troupes in Ganzi prefecture of Sichuan province, among which the troupe of Seda County is particularly prominent. The “Gesar Palace Dance” of the Gesar Tibetan Opera Troupe of Seda County has become a unique and new “model” for the Tibetan opera Gesar. It draws upon both the advantages and wisdom of various schools, including the performance style of the northern school of Tibetan opera. Firstly, this new “model” of traditional Tibetan opera maintains the poetic narrative structure, the variable musical structure of traditional Tibetan opera Gesar, as well as a singing style which is characterized by less chanting and more tunes, to form a unique performance style. Secondly, a large number of realistic settings, lights of various colors and different props are used to highlight the best connection between traditional folk art and modern art, which makes the performance of the Tibetan opera Gesar more dramatic. The aim of the innovation of the dramatic form lies in its value enhancement. With the promotion of cultural undertakings in Tibetan areas across the country, and the great attention paid by the state to intangible cultural heritage projects, the transmission and performance practices of the Tibetan opera Gesar have become increasingly diversified. In recent years, people in the Guoluo area in Qinghai province and in Ganzi in Sichuan province have begun to document the performances of Tibetan opera Gesar using film. At the same time, a form of “old drama and new singing”, i.e. the modern Gesar musical drama, appeared, as well as television programs shooting Gesar on horseback on location. The feature of openness and integration presented in the transmission of the Tibetan opera Gesar is the innovation and experiment of cultural development in the new era. However, innovation is bound to be restricted by the nature of things. Mei Lanfang, a great master of Peking Opera, once put forward a principle with regard to innovation in opera, which is: To move steps without changing form. “To move steps” means to move forward and not to stand still and refuse to make progress; “without changing form” means not to abruptly alter the original opera so that it is no longer like Peking Opera. The contemporary transmission and innovation of the Tibetan Opera Gesar also face the same problem. 3. Conclusion Through the reconstruction and imagination of ethnic cultures in classical times, the performance of the Tibetan Opera Gesar constitutes a far richer expression of the Gesar epic. The transmission of the Tibetan Opera Gesar, as an expressive symbol of cultural representation, is also an “ethnography of performance” within the study of oral tradition. The symbolic and artistic forms of performance constitute the resources of social life and have been correspondingly “signifiers and the signified”. “Signifiers” refer to the explicit forms of the symbolic representation of the Tibetan Opera Gesar: facial makeup, clothing, weapons, war horses and singing. The “signified” refers to the meaning and concept behind the performance. As a practice of behavioral expression, the Tibetan Opera Gesar, no matter whether it is the actors or the audience, they are all learning how these symbols are restated, deducing the “past” and “tradition” within deep memory while listening and watching joyfully. With the help of singing, dancing, costumes, props and narration, the collective common memory has been awakened, the meaning of individual life, and people’s yearning for a better life have been interpreted. As a specific expression of language and body behavior, hidden behind the Tibetan Opera Gesar are clues leading to the integration of multi-ethnic cultures, as well as common historical and cultural memory, and new knowledge of symbolic cultural systems, all of which help us to have a more objective and in-depth understanding of ourselves and others. Thus, the complex relationship between talking and writing is clarified, and the original nature of the art of talking and singing is made clear.
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