Zuni Read and Sing
Zuni Experiments "Read and Sing" by Rap and Kunqu
Location: Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre & Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
SHUOCHANG (Read and Sing)

“Shuochang”, literally tell and sing, is a Chinese oral narrative arts that includes literature, music and performance. It is a way of storytelling with the alternation of speaking (prose) and singing (verse). After 1950, the term "quyi" become widely used referring to such traditional narrative art forms such as pinghua, xiangsheng, kuaiban, dagu, tanci, etc.

Multimedia Music Theatre – Eighteen Springs (2012)
Suzhou tanci (storytelling and ballad singing in the Suzhou dialect): Jin Li-sheng, Yu Qun

Kunqu has a history of more than six hundred years. As early as the late Yuan to early Ming Dynasty, a singing style – Kunshan style – was already enjoying immense popularity. Later it assimilated and the merits of other singing styles and developed into its own, and this was Kunqu. Kunqu incorporates singing, dance and literature and is a showcase of a variety of performing art forms. In 2001, UNESCO declared Kunqu as one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.

Kunqu - A Tale of the Forbidden City (2010)
Kunqu Performers: Shi Xiao-mei, Zhao Jian


History Theatre — 1587, A Year of No Significance (2015)
Cedric Chan as Shen Shi-xing, performed in the style of Cantonese Opera

Nianbai, the spoken part of the Chinese Opera, is the monologue or dialogue in Xiqu. Different forms of nianbai include sanbai, yunbai,  shuban, and yinzi. Nianbai and singing are both interpretation of vocal sounds with unique expressions. Nianbai is a melodic language, with distinctive beauty of rythm and prosody.


Multimedia Architecture Music Theatre - In Praise of Shadows (2019)
Rapper: Chang Yao-Jen

Rap / Rapping is a musical form of vocal delivery that emphasizes on the content and rhythm, which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways to express emotions and criticize the society.
Rap is a primary ingredient of hip hop music. The origins of rap precede hip-hop culture. The earliest precursor to modern rap is the West African griot tradition, in which "oral historians", or "praise-singers", would disseminate oral traditions and genealogies, or use their rhetorical techniques for gossip or to "praise or critique individuals."

Explore more: Eileen Chang 100 Read Sing Eileen Chang