Thursday, May 14, 2009

Legend Of Daiyu

I can't believe it; "Nightmare of the Red Haunted Mansion" has yet finished shooting, and now there's any drama serial based on the same classic novel, which is to be titled "Legend of Daiyu" is going to start soon!

Naturally, the general concern from the public this time round is how the characters are going to look like. After all, "Nightmare of the Red Haunted Mansion" had already created a big hoo-ha with the costume and character design, despite the fact that the designer for that production was an award winner master in the industry. Luckily, for "Legend of Daiyu", the costume designs stick very closely to the 1987 production, as you can see here.

Lin Daiyu in "Legend of Daiyu"

Original Lin Daiyu in 1987's production of "Dream of the Red Mansion"

Jia Baoyu in "Legend of Daiyu"

Original Jia Baoyu in 1987's production of "Dream of the Red Mansion"

Xue Baochai in "Legend of Daiyu"

Original Xue Baochai in 1987's production of "Dream of the Red Mansion"

Wang Xifeng in "Legend of Daiyu"

Original Wang Xifeng in 1987's production of "Dream of the Red Mansion"

Jia Yuanchun in "Legend of Daiyu"; the original character which looked not so similar as the original version, but still looked pretty "authentic"

Original Jia Yuanchun in 1987's production of "Dream of the Red Mansion"

It is much of a relief to me when I see these costumes, but then again, isn't it too similar to the original, and hence lack originality? However, on second thought, I don't blame it on the designer for designing the costumes as such. The 1987 production is such a classic that it is hard to even match up to it, and the general public has already fixed their mindset that "Dream of the Red Mansion" should look just like that. Hence, the moral of the story is that it is not always easy to remake a classic!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nightmare of the Red Haunted Mansion 2

Here're two video clips with regards to the above mentioned production. The first is a Taiwanese news report on netizens' complaints about the show, and the second is a promotional trailer of the actual show.

There is now even a parody website of this production called "红楼雷话". I think the parodied version should be much enjoyable than the actual production!

Nightmare of the Red Haunted Mansion

This is not a very new news in China already, but I doubt many locals know about it. A brand new epic drama serial based on the famous "Dream of the Red Mansion" had been in production (not sure if it has already wrapped up though), and the costume design for the various roles had many netizens hopping mad, claiming that the designer had totally ruined the classic by giving the characters very unconventional looks. Here're some of the pictures I sourced from the net:

If without context, what do you think this picture is about? I initially thought it's Madam White Snake with her sworn-sister Xiao Qing and her son Xu Mengjiao! (Even the "datou" fringes resembled Maggie Cheung and Joey Wong's snaky makeup!)

A flopped portrayal of Jia Baoyu; netizens had complained that he looked more like Ximen Qing instead (or at the very least, where's his signature jade pendant?)

All female characters in this production has got "datou" fringes; makes me wonder if I'm watching Kunqu or periodic drama serial? Fine, the designer might want something more arty farty, but why make them so pale looking as well? Looked more eerie than classical!

Character portrayal for Wang Xifeng; is that a makeup disaster or did she suffer from some skin disease?

What's with all the double happiness characters all over her (Jia Yuanchun) head? Only one word to describe it: CHEESY!

"Datou" inspiration carried too far; like the Chinese caption said, it now looked more like a Da Vinci artwork than a Chinese classic!

This is supposedly Xue Baochai in her early teens, but I thought she looked more like Guan Yin in Taiwanese Bu Dai Xi!

Doesn't she look more like Mona Lisa than someone from "Dream of the Red Mansion"?

Visualisation for the scene "Nu Wa Mends the Sky"; I thought it looked more like Species...

Visualisation for Xiao Xiang Lodging, Daiyu's residence; sorry, I just felt it looked more like Oriental version of "Lord of the Rings"!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Madam White Snake in English

No, this post is not about Chinese Theatre Circle's English version of "Madam White Snake". It is "Madam White Snake" in the style of Western opera. Yes! Western opera!

I was quite surprised when I was randomly web hopping again when I saw this news, that Opera Boston, a professional opera company in US, is going to stage "Madam White Snake" next year. I'm very curious as to how this opera is going to be like, because after all, Western opera focuses more on singing, and it's hard to imagine how they are going to portray the different mystical and fighting scenes. Will they include acrobatic choreography in this production, or will they replace all these scenes with singing? So far there hasn't been much news on these over the net, but I understand that the production team is trying very hard not to let this production be biased towards the Asian or Western community.

This production is going to be staged in Beijing as well, and there is also plans for it to go to Hangzhou, the "birth place" of this legend. I'm looking forward for it to come to Singapore; we just have too few opera performances despite having an Esplanade which was supposedly built for opera performances!

PS: The role of Xiao Qing, the green snake, is performed by a famous male soprano! This is interesting, because other than the Chuanju version (non-human persona), I've never, ever seen a male actor taking on this role before.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Guess who's this Tang Dynasty Beauty?

I've been web-hopping (aimless surfing) again and found this video clip, extracted from the 1986 CCTV's TV serial "Journey to the West". Can anyone guess who this Tang Dynasty Beauty is? A clue: She had performed in a popular Chinese opera show based on a fairytale, and this show had been adapted by Hokkien Konghuay Opera Troupe a few years back. But do not play cheat by going to the video server to retrieve the answer!