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Ganju Opera's enduring legacy passes on

Chen Li ignites youth interest with hands-on teaching style

By ZHAO RUINAN in Nanchang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-08 10:12
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Chen Li performs the classic Ganju Opera The Red Pearl, which has been staged more than 100 times in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities nationwide. 
[Photo provided to China Daily]

On March 22 at 6:50 pm, just 10 minutes before a Jiangxi Opera appreciation class was scheduled to begin, the lecture hall at Nanchang University in Jiangxi province was already packed with over 100 people.

More students and online followers continued to pour in, prompting Chen Li from the university's Culture and Art Center of Jiangxi Opera to relocate the class to a larger venue.

Chen has taught the course for many years, focusing on the history, melodies and performance characteristics of Jiangxi Opera. The performance art is also known as Ganju Opera, adopting Jiangxi's nickname.

The class recently gained popularity among young students. Chen's teaching style, which combines traditional lecturing with live performances, sets her class apart.

To spark enthusiasm from her students, Chen decided to dress in a costume and transform the classroom into a stage for a performance. Wearing traditional garments and wielding water sleeves immerses the students in the world of Jiangxi Opera.

Chen devotes her energy to giving her students an interactive adventure. "I invite my students to come to the stage and experience the whole performance process for themselves," Chen said.

"To capture the students' attention, it's important to teach in ways they enjoy," Chen added.

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