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Chinese Avant-Garde: New Trends In Chinese Exploratory And Experimental Theatre

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Chapter Summary

At the end of the 1970s, the spirit of experimentation began to flourish in China, slowly at first but gaining momentum and purpose with the passage of time. The effects and influences of the spirit of experimentation can be seen in a particular theatre movement that emerged over the last two decades. The Chinese call it the theatre of exploration, the theatre of experiment or the avant-garde theatre. Chinese avant-garde of the end of the twentieth century shares with its Western counterpart an attraction to all things new and original, which is manifested both in the subject matter and in the language of artistic communications. The concept of 'experimental theatre' seems to be less problematic in describing certain aspects of modern Chinese theatre as it encompasses - as Patrice Pavis says - the artists' attitude towards the institutionalized theatre, tradition, theatrical language and the relations between the stage and the audience.

Keywords: Chinese Avant-Garde; Chinese experimental theatre; Gao Xingjian; Stage Director



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