Friday, June 13, 2008

A Religious Spectacle at Puning Temple Theatre in Chengde

Continuing with my experiences as a spectator in Chengde, China, I must stop a little bit and share with all of you one spectacle I considered of poor quality but curious.

As a religious tourist sight, Puning Temple is surrounded by many attractions: an old style Qing Dynasty Street, Vegetarian Restaurants (this temple is Buddhist), the royal park with those imitations of important Chinese temples, and one theatre showing a special religious spectacle.

All around the Goddess Kuanyin and her many arms (there is a gigantic statue of her inside the temple) this spectacle shows many rituals and religious dances with a common link, the Chinese emperor who built Chengde as a Imperial Summer Palace centuries ago.

It is a singular production using religion and history, trivializing them, and becoming a simple entertainment.

As I've seen in many other productions in China, they used "play back", then absolutely nobody spoke in real time; their music was spectacular, using chorus and big orchestras, and of course in this case, the whole group of known mantras and sounds of Buddhist instruments.

It is a curiosity and I liked to share it also, you can explore a little bit of it in these two videos I could recorded.

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