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A Pingtan Musical: Love Stories and Folk Art In New Form

By Aug 17, 2020 Music
Chinese Valentine’s Day coming up real soon on the calendar! Less than 2 weeks. If you don’t want to do restaurants, here's a cool show; it's "Across the Milky Way To Meet You" at the theater in MIFA 1862, a show created and performed with traditional folk art, pingtan (评弹), a theatrical art that combines singing and storytelling in the Jiangnan dialect. Shanghainese artist Lu Jinhua does pingtan differently, mixing it up with other music genres like jazz, a cappella, or rock’n’roll. She also does the storytelling part like a musical. The show tells four Chinese romantic tales from four different historical periods, and the last set features pingtan juxtaposed with rugged, stylistic folk singing performed by Shaanxi province’s Zhang Gasong.

This last set alone would be worth it, as Zhang rarely does live shows in the city. His song style, accompanied by a three-string instrument that looks like an sanxian, is riveting and authentically Shaanxi. Bound to be a great performance, romantic and — even more importantly — a great chance to trick your other half into thinking you're cultured. There are tickets available over on SmartTicket.



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