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Suzhou Pingtan Introduction


Suzhou Pingtan is a generic term of Pinghua (评话) and Tanci (弹词) in Suzhou. It gave birth and populated in southern Jiangsu province, Zhejiang province and Shanghai. In dialect of Suzhou, the whole show is featured uniquely. Pingtan in China has a long history and widely welcomed in the reign of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty. The most famous masters represented by Wang Zhoushi (王周士), who used to be an exclusive performer of Qianlong. During the reigns of Emperors Jiaqing and Daoguang, the famous representatives were Chen Yuqian(陈遇乾), Mao Changpei(毛菖佩), Yu Xiushan(俞秀山) and Lu Ruiting(陆瑞廷), and they together boasted four greatest masters of Pingtan at their times. In the reigns of Emperors Xianfeng and Tongzhi, the famous masters were Ma Rufei(马如飞), Zhao Xiangzhou(赵湘舟) and Wang Shiquan(王石泉). Up to today, it has a history more than 200 years history.

Pinghua (评话) generally is performed by one actor, and the content is mostly themed with the historic romance or warriors’ legends. Tanci(弹词) are usually narrated and sung by two person together, and the musical instruments used include Sanxian(三弦, a three-stringed plucked instrument ) and Pipa (琵琶,a plucked string instrument with a fretted fingerboard). In 2006, Pingtan was accepted to be a part of China’s national intangible cultural heritage.

The View of Pingtan Show in Suzhou

 The Travel Guide of Suzhou

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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