Об этом курсе
This course will focus on the historical and cultural background, literary aesthetics, music, and performance of Kunqu, China’s classical opera. After viewing the lecture videos presented by scholars and renowned maestros in the field of Kunqu, students’ understanding and appreciation of Chinese performing arts, classical literature and traditional culture will be enhanced.
Globe

Только онлайн-курс

Начните сейчас и учитесь по собственному графику.
Clock

Прибл. 10 ч. на завершение

Предполагаемая нагрузка: 5 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Субтитры: English, Chinese (Traditional)
Globe

Только онлайн-курс

Начните сейчас и учитесь по собственному графику.
Clock

Прибл. 10 ч. на завершение

Предполагаемая нагрузка: 5 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Субтитры: English, Chinese (Traditional)

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

An Introduction to the Beauty of Kunqu Opera

Welcome to The Beauty of Kunqu Opera! The following lecture videos will give you some ideas of the historical background and characteristics of Kunqu, China’s classical opera that originated more than 600 years ago and blossomed during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties (around 16th – 17th centuries). The introduction is followed by excerpts and analysis of The Peony Pavilion, Kunqu’s masterpiece. The poetic artistry shown in the arias, dialogues and dance movement of the characters exemplifies the aesthetic achievement of Kunqu....
Reading
5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
1.2. High points of Kunqu during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties4m
1.3. The socio-historical background of Kunqu in 16th- and 17th-century China6m
1.4.The Peony Pavilion, its poetry and performance20m
1.5. From page to stage: The Peony Pavilion as masterpiece8m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 120m

2

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

The Beauty of Kunqu Music

Kunqu means music/song (qu) that originated from the district of Kunshan, Jiangsu province. The word itself shows the fundamental role played by music in this Chinese classical opera. This week, Prof. Lindy Li Mark from the California State University, East Bay will talk about the musical aspect of Kunqu. What are the musical features of Kunqu melodies? What is tune-type and what does a traditional score of Kunqu look like? How is the music of Kunqu different from that of the Western operas? What instruments are used in a Kunqu ensemble? Answers to these questions can be found in the lecture videos....
Reading
5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
2.2. Musical features of Kunqu melodies8m
2.3. Analytical definition of tune-type: qupai18m
2.4. Contrasts between Western opera and Kunqu opera6m
2.5. Traditional instruments of Kunqu ensemble: changmian6m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 220m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Male Role-Types

Just like other genres of Chinese opera, Kunqu has a broad range of role-types, such as male (sheng), female (dan), painted face (jing) and comic (chou). From this week on, legendary performing artists who have devoted their whole lives to Kunqu will talk about the role-types they specialize in and their facial makeup, costume, singing, speaking and movements. In addition, they will demonstrate some of the very important repertoires in Kunqu and share with us the characteristics of each of them. This week, Maestros Yue Meiti and Cai Zhengren will talk about one of the most important role-types of Kunqu, the male role-type. Classical plays such as The Jade Hairpin, The Shepherd, and The Palace of Eternal Life will be introduced as well....
Reading
6 videos (Total 85 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
3.2.1. Singing and speaking of the young scholar role-type10m
3.2.2. Foot work and hand gestures of the young scholar role-type11m
3.2.3. Hand, eye,body, and step combined: "Repartee of Zithers", a scene from The Jade Hairpin16m
3.3. Demostration of the young official role-type: "Looking Homeward", a scene from The Shepherd15m
3.4. Demostration of the great official role-type: "Lamenting before the Statue", a scene from The Palace of Eternal Life19m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 316m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Female Role-Type

The female role-type is another prominent role-type of Kunqu and can be divided into a number of subtypes. In this week lively lectures and demonstration by Maestros Zhang Jingxian (mature female), Zhang Jiqing (young noble lady), Liang Guyin (vivacious young female) and Wang Zhiquan (martial female) will show us the charisma of the diversified female characters on the Kunqu stage from Chinese classics such as The Lute, The Peony Pavilion and Journey to the West....
Reading
9 videos (Total 95 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
4.2.1. Demonstration of the mature female role-type6m
4.3.1."Search for the Dream", a scene from The Peony Pavilion: imaging the romantic mindset of a young woman18m
4.3.2. "Search for the Dream", a scene from The Peony Pavilion: disappointment13m
4.4.1. Benefiting from many masters: Liang Guyin studies "Earthly Desires"6m
4.4.2. Focus on critical points: using eye movement and acting distracted as she recites15m
4.4.3. Pantomime, song, and dance combined: "counting arhats" and escaping down the mountain9m
4.5.1. Equal demands of singing and martial arts in “Borrowing the Plantain Leaf Magic Fan”, a scene from The Journey to the West8m
4.5.2. Innovation in the scene: "belly pain"9m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 416m

5

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

The Art of Kunqu Performance: Integration of the Painted Face and Warrior Role-Types

The colorful and complex facial makeup of the painted face role-type is probably the most noticeable feature in the eyes of the audience. But what does facial makeup mean and how is it done? This week, Maestro Hou Shaokui will unfold the mysteries for us. He will also share with us his portrayal of Lord Guan, a well-known household character based on the most famous Chinese historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. What is more, this unique character combines the essence of both the painted face and warrior role-types....
Reading
5 videos (Total 51 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
5.2. Use of the beard and eyes in the enactment of Lord Guan11m
5.3. Importance of singing in "Into the Enemy Camp Alone"12m
5.4. Importance of speech and recitation6m
5.5. Movement and facial expression8m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 516m

6

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Comic Role-Type

When appreciating the well written script and the beautiful melody of Kunqu, sometimes audiences just want a good laugh in the theatre. This cannot be done without the contribution of the comic role-type. This week, Maestro Zhang Mingrong will explain the characteristics of the different subtypes of the comic role-type, namely young chou, fu chou and martial/acrobatic chou. From Maestro Zhang’s demonstration we will also see that mastering the comic role-type requires much more skill than just natural talent....
Reading
4 videos (Total 33 min), 1 quiz
Video4 videos
6.2. Demonstration of two monks in "Escape from the Monastery" (young chou) and "Touring the Prayer Hall" (fu chou)7m
6.3. Acrobatic action with lyrical singing: "Shi Qian Steals the Armor"4m
6.4. Agility within logic and surprise: excerpt from "Shi Qian Steals the Armor"9m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 616m

7

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

The New Aesthetics of Kunqu: Tradition and Modernity

Drawing examples from the production of The Peony Pavilion (Young Lover’s Edition) and The Jade Hairpin (New Edition), Prof. Kenneth Hsien-yung Pai will illustrate how Kunqu today can attract the younger generation by adding modern elements in stagecraft while preserving the basic aesthetics of Kunqu....
Reading
4 videos (Total 31 min), 1 quiz
Video4 videos
7.2. The Young Lovers' Edition Peony Pavilion and The New Edition Jade Hairpin: connecting tradition and modernity8m
7.3. The Young Lovers' Edition Peony Pavilion: innovations in stagecraft9m
7.4. The New Edition Jade Hairpin: return to classicism, synthesis of graphic and calligraphic arts9m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 716m
4.8

Top Reviews

By XZJun 8th 2017

The overall structure is fine. But it would be better if the answers and, if any, explanation for quiz are available.

By YFMay 19th 2016

There are lots of very nice guest lecturers who are expert performers of Kunqu Opera. Very beneficial and enjoyable.

Instructors

Avatar

Prof. Wei Hua 華瑋

Professor and Division Head
Avatar

Prof. Kenneth Hsien-yung Pai 白先勇

Wei Lun Professor of Humanities

About The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1963, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a forward looking comprehensive research university with a global vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West. CUHK teachers and students hail from all corners of the world. CUHK graduates are connected worldwide through an expansive alumni network....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • If you pay for this course, you will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate. If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center