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Chapter 28: Voting
Yan Mu Lin chose the Southern Style known as Haining Shadow Play. Haining Shadow Play was introduced into Haining during the South Song Dynasty and it had blended with the local Haining ditties and Haiyan salt worker songs. Later on, it took some cla.s.sic melodies like the Yiyang Tune; forming a cla.s.sical music style with both Yiyang Tunes and Haiyan Tunes as the two key tunes for the reformed northern-turned-southern songs. The new form of music then had a loud, sonorous and vehement melody.
i got this from the thank you very much ye e e
In Yan Mu Lin’s previous life, he had been a shadow play apprentice for a few years. He also happened to study the Haining shadow play. He respected traditional art and did not want to change it. The cla.s.sic Haining shadow play was extremely rich; however, because the master who taught Yan Mu Lin was not from a Haining troupe of Zhejiang, the shadow puppets he had manipulated in his previous life were naturally not Haining puppets. Those puppets’ characteristics were less sculpted, heavily painted, single threaded, rounded face, less exaggerated, and more life-like. In the first episode of the show, he did not want to take away his seniors’ limelight, and he was afraid of scaring Zhou Wen Jing.
Through the lights from the backstage, the shadow puppets in Yan Mu Lin’s hands became clear, bright and dazzling. Bamboo sticks were used to make the puppets in his hands come alive. Apart from those in charge of the music and himself, there were only four other people who were manipulating the puppets on stage.
According to the list of characters in the play 《Peac.o.c.k Flying to the Southeast》, three people were enough to support the entire scene. At their feet was a box filled with photos of the different scenes, so that the operator can always get the correct scenes needed for the performance. The play mainly told the story of Jiao Zhongqing and his wife, Liu Lanzhi, who were deeply in love with each other. They were forced to separate, leading to their suicides. The play accused the feudal code of ethics as cruel and unfeeling, while also singing praises of the Jiao and Liu couple’s sincere affections and resistance.
The play was streamlined since there was no team that had been doing the performance. After the reduction, the plot was compact, while the lines and aria were now more memorable. This was the result of the discussions between Yan Mu Lin and the troupe. The members of the theater have more than forty performances every day, so they were used to streamlining plays. Yan Mu Lin’s idea was a hit.
There was only one reason for streamlining the play. Based on his speculations, whether it was his seniors or Tao Bai Chen, they all had to choose a specific role. Today, Yan Mu Lin was doing the opposite. He wanted the audience to be more than just the audience. Furthermore, this was still a TV show. Today’s performance, he hoped to give everyone a surprise but not a fright.
The bamboo flute and erhu accompaniment, and the melodious Jiangnan music sounded.
The erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a Southern Fiddle.
A lucid and elegant woman’s voice accompanied the mellow music to tell her many years of grievances: “Lord Husband, I knew how to weave plain silk at thirteen. I learned to cut clothes at fourteen. I played the many-stringed lute at fifteen. I recited songs from Songs and History at sixteen. I became your wife at seventeen, but in my heart, there was always sorrow and pain…”
Jiao Zhongqing held his wife’s hand and whispered: “My wife, you have suffered.”
Liu Lanzhi and her husband looked at each other, “The work is more than I can cope with, so what is the use in staying any longer? I beg of your honored parents, let them send me away at once.”
Jiao Zhongqing, “Lanzhi….”
The wife, Liu Lanzhi, fell into her husband’s arms and could not stop crying.
The wife let out all of her grievances, while the husband patiently listened to her complaints and comforted her with a gentle voice. The ending was the couple embracing and touching.
The melodious Jiangnan music suddenly changed. The gentle woman and her husband, who was an official, suddenly disappeared; the scene changed. The serene woman was replaced then by a woman who was in her forties or fifties. This was the mother of Jiao Zhongqing.
Jiao Zhongqing told his mother of the feelings he had towards his wife, but this angered his mother. With her voice high, just like a mother-in-law: “How can you be so foolish and doting! Your wife knows nothing of propriety, her actions are selfish and willful. I have found her infuriating for a long time, send her off at once!”
Jiao Zhongqing was saddened and shouted, “Mother, how could I.”
The forceful mother, “I already helped you looked for a virtuous daughter from a family to the east of us. Later, you will take your unreasonable wife away, and marry the woman I chose for you!”
After the struggle, Jiao Zhongqing, who fought with his mother was extremely sad, but he could not continue fighting with her. In this way, he was forced to send his warm and beautiful wife back to her family. He promised his wife that he would welcome her back later.
Even if she was not on good terms with her mother-in-law, Liu Lanzhi was so beautiful that she was unparalleled. However, her mother-in-law did not even look at her. Liu Lanzhi’s voice was too calm; calm as she told what her family had done to her in the past. That kind of sadness had deeply moved the hearts of many women who were present. Their noses felt so sour. Lanzhi who was from the ancient times was really pitiful.
When the husband and wife parted, they confided with each other and cried once again.
After returning home, Mother Liu and her eldest brother wanted to marry her to another person. Liu Lanzhi, her mother, and her brother then argued with each other. Liu Lanzhi was helpless. Her argument could not, by all means, be understood by her elder brother.
Her rude and unreasonable brother knew that she did not want to accept the marriage proposal of a high official’s family, so he was very unhappy. He was very impatient with his sister and immediately decided for her marriage, “You will get married. I am going to find a matchmaker to calculate the date for you!”
Jiao Zhongqing, who had found out that his wife was going to get married, came to Lanzhi’s house. They looked at each other in tears.
Jiao Zhongqing greeted his wife and said firmly, “The boulder is square and solid, it can last for a thousand years; but the rush or the reed, its moment of strength lasts no longer than a day….”
Lanzhi’s tears fell as she said to her ex-husband, “Let us meet again in the Yellow Springs, without betraying the words we have exchanged today!”
Yellow Springs is the land of the dead or “h.e.l.l” in Chinese Mythology.
Both went home and wors.h.i.+ped their parents, then one person jumped in the Qingshui River at dusk, while the other hanged himself at the southeast branch of a tree in the courtyard.
They met in the Yellow Springs. Forever together, never parting.
The performance was done.
The women in the audience wiped their tears and did not forget to applaud the actors who were now backstage. The performance had a huge impact on them. It was so good, they even wanted to scold Mother Jiao and that rude, unreasonable Brother Liu. It was simply unreasonable to destroy the marriage of others!
Lanzhi’s clear and gentle voice could cause them to feel distressed for her. Being forced to become another person’s woman, that kind of compromise, and to face her own family, was not something anyone could endure. They all wanted to embrace this poor ancient woman.
The men in the audience could not help but ponder. When getting married to a wife like Lanzhi, a virtuous woman, they should take good care of her. Of course, even if they had a tigress at home, she should still be well-cared for. It was not easy to get someone to raise the children and do the housework for you. It was really hard.
The audience, who were reluctant to leave, thought that the tickets they purchased tonight were worth it. Every performance brought joy and sorrow to them. They were moved.
At the end of 《Peac.o.c.k Flying to the Southeast》, Hua Qian returned to the stage again. After receiving the warm applause from the audience, Hua Qian raised his hand and said, “Now, please vote for two performances and place them into the designated ballot box. Thank you for your cooperation!”
Some people in the audience shouted, “We want to know who performed.”
Hua Qian replied, “Please look forward to 《Who Has That Good Voice?》 at 8:00 PM on November 11. Thank you again for your cooperation, I wish you all a wonderful evening. Good night!”
Originally, the program group wanted the five actors to come out and meet the audience after the voting, but considering the number of people around the theater, they chose not to do it. Having too many people would affect the traffic around the street.
At the same time, sitting on the VIP box, Shao Nuo Yu listened as his special a.s.sistant made a report on the fifth performer, Yan Mu Lin. He stopped eating melon seeds and returned them to the box. He quickly took ten tickets from the table, and asked Venerable Shao: “Dad, give me your ticket.”
Venerable Shao wanted to hold on his own ticket, so he looked at his son and said, “No, I like Sun Wukong. You can’t just take this….”
Before he could finish talking, Shao Nuo Yu grabbed the ticket from Venerable Shao’s hand at lightning speed and stuffed it on the special a.s.sistant. He commanded with a serious face, “You go and vote for the fifth performer.”
Venerable Shao and Special a.s.sistant Pei paused for a second. Was the person who grabbed the ticket really my son/boss?
Simply cannot bear to look at him.
Venerable Shao joked, “Is that girl your idol or your lover?”
Shao Nuo Yu said, “What girl?”
Venerable Shao said, “The fifth performer was Liu Lanzhi, so she has to be a girl.”
Shao Nuo Yu shook his head, “No. He is a man.”
Venerable Shao suddenly got confused. What do you mean? He continued to ask, but Shao Nuo Yu did not speak about it anymore.
d.a.m.ned child, so willful!