Sunday, July 21, 2013

A festive bamboo theatre in Tai O

Colorful banners and posters help to advertise
a Cantonese opera performance in Tai O

Inside the bamboo theater, Cantonese opera 
artistes entertain the audience of 
youngsters as well as old folks
 The bamboo theater may be a temporary structure
but that doesn't make it less of a work of art itself

For a variety of reasons (including my mother being in town), I didn't go hiking this weekend.  So I'm putting up photos from last Sunday's excursion rather than any this week.  More specifically, the photos at the top of this blog entry were taken at hike's end in the northwestern Lantau fishing village of Tai O and are of a bamboo theater housing Cantonese opera performances to commemorate the Hau Wong Festival.

Appropriately, the bamboo theater had been erected just a stone's throw away from the Hau Wong Temple in Tai O that's dedicated to Hau Wong (trans Prince Marquis) Yang Liang Jie, a loyal Song Dynasty (960-1279) general who sacrificed himself to try to protect the last Song emperor, the child emperor Bing.
On a Hong Kong movie note: I find it really cool to see that Cantonese opera performances in temporary bamboo theaters like those seen in Ann Hui's The Spooky Bunch (1980) and Derek Yee's C'est la Vie, Mon Cheri (1993) continue to this day in the Big Lychee.  And on a culture heritage note: Hong Kongers may not be all that good at preserving old, historical structures but I do get the feeling time and time again that many forms of intangible cultural heritage -- performing arts but also traditional beliefs and practices -- remain very much alive and even pertinent to contemporary lives.


chica said...

Linda festa e fotos!abraços praianos,chica

YTSL said...

Hi Chica --

Thanks for thinking the festive photos are beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

The Bamboo Theatre may be a temporary structure, but from a distance it has a haunting quality. Maybe a place where voices coming from inside would draw a traveler to it who came upon this place. The photo inside the theatre is enough to make a gweilo eccentric who enjoys Chinese Opera wish they were there.


Diana said...

Great photos! Two traditions continued in one place, really quite impressive. I hope they had an appreciative audience for both the performance and the venue.

YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

Hmmm, I think you're feeling quite a feel ghostly vibes from my photos! But the association to "The Spooky Bunch" notwithstanding, it's actually not that spooky at all! :)

Hi Diana --

They did seem to have quite an appreciative audience for the performance. Re the venue: I sometimes think it's just outsiders like us who would be really appreciate of it... ;b

Terrence said...

This is fantastic!

YTSL said...

Hi Terrence --