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In Search Of The Total Theatre

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Chapter Summary

The theatre's relationship with the art of storytelling as well as its multi-substantial and symbolic character are issues that constantly recur in the essays Gao wrote while working on Wild Man. The folk theatre of southern China, which developed from early beliefs such as shamanism, Taoism and Buddhism, freely uses the repertoire and conventions of other types of theatre, the myths and legends, the literature of high and low ambitions and reaches back to the traditions of local dance and music, the art of travelling storytellers and to circus shows. In Gao Xingjian's reflections on the nature of the theatre, one can hear echoes of numerous ancient and modern theories. The narrative structure of Wild Man has two layers. Both layers function as reciprocal points of reference throughout the whole play.

Keywords: China; Gao Xingjian; theatre; Wild Man



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