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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Nanhui Gong and Drum Storytelling

Nanhui Gong and drum storytelling(南汇锣鼓书) is also called Taibao storytelling and it originated from Shanghai Nanhui County. It is an important part of Shanghai culture. It combines the folk music style of Henan, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. So the rhythm has ups and downs and the basic performance form is that the actor play the gong and drum himself and tell stories at the same time. The stress of gong and drum and the logic of language are closely linked together.

The origin and formation of gong and drum story telling is hard to discover. It maybe originated in the suburbs in Shanghai. By the end of Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China, it was widely spread in the east suburbs of Shanghai and spread to Zhejiang Jiaxing and Pinghu.

The representative of Nanhui Gong and Drum Storytelling is Gu Xiuchun. Under his guidance, Nanhui Gong and Drum Storytelling was widely spread in Nanhui and Pudong. His third generation inheritor spread it to the west of Shanghai, Zhejiang Pinghu and Jiaxing. So there formed “Dongxiang”, “Xixiang” and “Jinping” all three artistic forms.

In 1920s and 1930s, Shanghai Taibao storytelling was prosperous. In the city proper and areas just outside its gates, there emerged a tea house “Lu Ban Ge” specialized in telling Taibao stories. In the surroundings of Xiasha, because of handed down from generation to generation, there formed the hometown of Taibao storytelling. During Anti-Japanese War, Nanhui gong and drum storytelling spread to all parts of Shanghai.

After 1949, only several Shanghai Opera tellers may also play Nanhui gong and drum storytelling. In 1957, the Shanghai municipal bureau of culture discorver Chinese folk art forms, artist Hu Shanyan created modern medium-length programs “make salt bureau”. Nanhui County cultural center held the first to "gong and drum storytelling" modern short programs for the sort of Quyi name "rice fragrance in the reed catkins swings". Since then, Taibao storytelling was renamed the sound to innovation and gradually recover in amateur art stage.

Gong and drum storytelling performance art is very abundant. Through the creation of generations of artists, there formed "tell, watch, sing, do, says; hands, eyes, body, method, step and dance" cross the music. Performance aspects have hat work, fan work, etc. Most of the Gong and drum storytelling was freely developed from folk ditty.

Gong and drum storytelling development situation is not optimistic. Due to the changes of The Times, professional market has to shrink. From 1910 to 1910, gong and drum storytelling in Shanghai area was more prosperous than Suzhou ballad singing. In 1949, there was still more than 300 halls in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and at present, there left only 30. As old actors successively died and technique of gong and drum storytelling cannot handed down to next generation, it just wait to lose. Around 1949, professional artists declined from more than 250 to 5 people, only two people can do the storytelling. Nanhui Gong and Drum Storytelling has been in the absence or the status of the endangered status.

Add on: Songhu Opera
              Shaoxing Opera
              Fengxian Folk Song Opera
              Pudong Storytelling



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