PKU rendition of Oedipus the King performed in international drama festival
Peking University, Apr. 20: On April 8, a group of PKU students joined the 3rd International Youth Festival of Ancient Drama in the city of Mycenae, Greece and performed the classical ancient Greek drama Oedipus the King . They are the only group that represents the youths in China.
Mayor Anastasopoulos and Vice Mayor Davillas of Mycenae, famous archeologist and professor Themelis of the University of Crete, Counselor Ning Yi of Chinese Embassy in Greece and other distinguished guests watched the drama performance with over three hundred local youths.
The audience was much appealed to the one-hour drama performed by PKU students. Fascinated by their remarkable stage performance and mental outlook, the audience gave the actors a standing ovation at the end of the drama. Many said that though they could not catch every single line due to language barrier, they could totally understand the students’ performance and the emotional shifts of the characters. Some were even moved to tears.
After the show, Vice Mayor Davillas held a luncheon to express gratitude to the PKU delegation. He spoke highly of the performance, saying it was as the best one so far in this festival.
Oedipus the King is the representative work of Sophocles. The drama group of PKU students rearranged the classic tragedy with modern interpretation via incorporating diverse Chinese elements such as martial arts and Beijing Opera. This new rendition emphasized the inner conflict of the characters, combining macroscopic symbolism with microcosmic realism of the chorus in a flexible way to creatively manifest the heroic image of Oedipus.
Much of the work was under the guidance of Professor Luo Jinlin, a great master of ancient Greek drama and former Vice-Director of the Central Academy of Drama in China, together with other advisors.
The preparation for the drama lasted for about half a year since last November. The drama group consisted of members from PKU Drama Club and other student enthusiasts from different majors through open selection on campus. PKU has a profound tradition of dramatic arts. In addition to the popular students’ association PKU Drama Club, which was founded in 1982, the Drama Talent Competition held by the Student Union annually has also become an important part of the campus culture. It appeals to lots of teams of students to take part in every year and gains wide recognition both on campus and in the professional drama circle.
The 3rd International Youth Festival of Ancient Drama was held from March 31 to April 10 by the Mycenae government. It is a non-competitive festival for amateur student drama groups throughout the world to showcase their performances of ancient Greek and Roman dramas. This time the host government chose Ekklesiasterion as the stage, which is the site of an ancient Greek theater. It dates back to three century B.C. and was brought to light about 30 years ago.
Greece and China are both countries with ancient civilization. It is not only a great chance to experience the spiritual charm of the birthplace of drama, but also a deep culture communication between the East and the West in terms of drama arts.
The PKU delegation also visited the European Cultural Centre in Delphi and communicated with local teachers and students at Confusion Institute of Athens.
They will give a report-back performance at PKU recently.
Written by: Li Ruiqi
Edited by: Chen Long
Source: PKU News (Chinese)